“One swallow does not make a spring” … but our recommendations of places in the capital where you can enjoy a sublime moment or two will certainly help you to make the most of this exquisite season.
We Parisians love our city and understand its many secrets, and we have plenty to share with you under the sun, or ‘Sous le Soleil Exactement’, as the classic Serge Gainsbourg song performed by Brigitte Bardot phrased it! So here we go…
The Jardin du Palais Royal is a green jewel of the city. Laid out around a central fountain it is a haven of peace in the heart of the capital that seems delightfully out of time. Grab a typically Parisian wrought iron chair, put your feet up, and take in the sight so dear to Victor Hugo, who said that the air here sustains the soul, especially beneath the façade of the Comédie Française. Alternatively, you might opt for a bench in the shade of linden trees to read Verlaine, Baudelaire and Apollinaire.
8 Rue de Montpensier
La Cour des Mûriers: go through the gate of the Ecole de Beaux Arts on the Rue Bonaparte in the 6th arrondissement, and follow the path until you come out onto the cloister of the former Petits Augustins monastery. In this secret garden a large mulberry tree reaches for the sky, sparkling water shivers in the basin of a fountain, and birdsong invites you to dream.
A place where you will attain, if not paradise, then most certainly the profoundest peace is the Benedictine Priory of the Sacré Cœur, in the shadow of the Basilica in Montmartre.
3 Cité du Sacré-Cœur
And finally, the garden of the Musée Albert-Kahn is a wonder not to be missed, with its Asian maples, rustling silk, mature bamboo, and red lacquered bridge. Bringing together garden landscapes from around the world, it will touch your soul.
Musée et Jardin
10-14, rue du Port
Spring can be rich in discoveries for those who stroll with eyes and hearts wide open.
To enjoy a little sustenance during your Parisian wanderings, drop by the Café de Flore, one of the oldest and most celebrated coffeehouses in the capital… If you don’t meet a celebrity or my friend Dogan who knows everyone it’s because you didn’t open the right eye !
Café de Flore
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain
Or for a quiet drink, push open an anonymous gate at 23 Avenue Junot in the 18th arrondissement and you’ll find yourself in a pleasant garden where you can play chess in the glow of chandeliers while sipping an intriguing cocktail named ‘Between the Sheets’. Enjoy a rare moment in the bar of the Hotel Particulier Montmartre, a refuge that seems miles from the hubbub of the city.
MARK THE DATE
The 40th edition of the Paris Marathon is on Sunday, April 3rd. Come and support the competitors as they follow the 42 kilometre route across the city.
Paris hosts the first European round of the Formula E all-electric racing car championship on April 23rd on a specially constructed track around the Invalides complex.
Petit Madeleine Hôtel, un hôtel 3 étoiles à Paris, au coeur du 8ème arrondissement