The city of Paris is abuzz with the return of an iconic grand hotel, chic cafes, hip boutiques, and in typical high French fashion, a slew of trendsetting cultural shows. Below, the lowdown.
The Velvet Underground at Philharmonie de Paris
Inside Jean Nouvel’s striking Philharmonie de Paris, the prolific American band Velvet Underground will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its debut, Warhol-designed "banana" album Expect to see a series of concerts, film screenings and a standout exhibition charting the band's rise.
In the theater district, the small, chic 18-room boutique hotel from Pierre Moussie pops with lush textures including patterned retro wallpaper by House of Hackney, vintage Louise-Philipe furniture and art deco fixtures (bathroom amenities by niche Parisian outfit Buly 1803 complete the picture). Book the large suite for stellar views of the Parisian rooftops stretching to Montmartre.
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In April, chef Alain Ducasse’s Champeux opened its doors in the Les Halles shopping mall. Across from Saint-Eustache Church and overlooking the new 10-acre Nelson Mandela Park, the light-drenched restaurant designed by Philippe Stark serves classic brasserie staples like escargot, hand-cut steak tartare and oysters perfect with a light rosé.
Le Grand Restaurant by Jean- Françoise Piége
In the 8th arrondissement, chef Jean Françoise Piége's stark dining room is decorated with concrete walls, crystal lamps, geometric carpets and a polygon glass dome. The haute prix fixe menu includes seasonal and savory dishes like veal sweetbreads simmered over nutshells, nut mousseline. For dessert, try the bergamot-infused custard.
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Paul Klee, Irony At Work
Whether you've been to the Centre Pompidou or not, don't miss Irony at Work, which showcases 230 pieces organized into seven themes by Swiss-German talent Paul Klee. Once you've had your art fix, snag a rooftop table at the industrial-style Georges and order a glass of bubbly while taking in the city views.
The Ritz Paris
After a 3-year, $234 million dollar renovation, the venerable Ritz is reopening its doors. French architect and designer Thierry Despont is responsible for the 142-room revamp, which will include an Imperial Suite to replicate Marie-Antoinette's Versailles and a garden inspired by the Palais Royal. For traditionalists, the mythical Bar Hemingway (where the legendary author spent many a drinking hour) has thankfully gone untouched.
La Maison Plisson
This bright Parisian gourmet market in the upper Marais sells a high-quality artisanal spread (80% French) of farmhouse meats as well as crusty breads and cheeses. On the café side, there are pastries and small label coffees by l'Arbre a Cafe. Bonus: the sunny terrace is ideal for a plate of camembert and crisp glass of wine.
In the hip Marais, fashion fans and skaters flock to the newest flagship of the mid-90’s streetwear label Supreme. The interiors are an airy mashup of white walls and wooden floors filled with signature T-shirts, artwork and sculptures by the legendary skater and collaborator Mark Gonzales.
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Hotel Grand Amour
A sibling to the tiny Hotel Amour, Hotel Grand Amour is the brainchild of hotelier and graffiti artist Andre Saraiva, who duplicates his whimsical- meets-vintage style to dazzling effect. The 42-rooms are filled with photos by Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin and the customized carpet art is by French designers Andree Putman and Pierre Frey. At night, the ground floor's late-night brasserie and cozy bar packs a super stylish crowd, so look your best.