"Paris: City of Light & Love"

With so much to offer in this city, even I need to be reminded of some of my favorite places and can always use new tips to discover new ones. From where to eat, to where to sleep, and some shopping in between, this article has got us covered. In fact, it might just be the perfect Paris itinerary for a romantic weekend in the City of Light.

Memorable meals
For the hottest (and most reasonably priced) gastronomic menu in town, reserve months in advance at chef Yves Camdeborde’s Le Comptoir (9 Carrefour de l’Odéon), near Luxembourg Gardens—where you can later walk off the five-course prix-fixe meal. If you can’t get in, try his wine bar, L’Avant Comptoir, next door. Another favorite is two-Michelin-star Apicius (20, rue d’Artois), where old and new blend, both in cuisine (classic French with innovative touches) and decor (modern chic in an 18th-century mansion). Good cheap eats abound, too: brie and baguettes at La Grande Epicerie Paris (lagrandeepicerie.fr) and buttery croissants at Le Flore en l’Île (42 quai d’Orléans).

Shop-till-you-drop streets
Paris is a shopper’s Shangri-la. You’ll find a cornucopia of fashion at Le Bon Marché (bonmarche.fr), where even the dressing rooms are beautiful, while chic boutiques line the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A surprising find is Yamina on Ile Saint-Louis (56, rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Île) for colorful clothing and accessories. Paris is also full of vintage treasures. Head to the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt (Saturday to Monday), where a maze of alleys offers everything from classic designer clothing to 18th-century antiques, and Mouton à Cinq Pattes (mouton-a-cinq-pattes.info), a thrift store carrying designer clothing.

Haute hotels
Watch old-world French society rub elbows with the hip designer crowd as you sip a café in La Gallerie. The 86-room Hyatt Paris-Madeleine (888/591-1234 or paris.madeleine.hyatt.com) is close to chic rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. Check out the lobby restaurant, Café M, a favorite celeb haunt. Even the elevator at L’Hôtel (011-33-1/44-41-99-00 or l-hotel.com), a sexy 20-room jewel in Saint-Germaindes-Prés, will put you in the mood—it barely fits two people. For a private dip, head to the subterranean pool (it rents by the hour and comes decked out in candles—très romantique!). —Nicole Alper

Reprinted with permission from Brides: “Paris—City of Light and Love”

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