Paris by day is an intoxicating place. After arriving by train, I started my day with brunch at Thierry Mark’s new restaurant L’Etoile Du Nord, which is adjoined to the bustling Gare Du Nor international terminal.
Breakfast at the exquisite L’Etoile Du Nord – the perfect start to the day
Designed as a ‘space for life’, this contemporary concept restaurant aims to excite travellers with fresh ingredients served in a relaxed brassiere setting, making it a far cry from the cuisine one would typically expect to receive from an eatery within a train station.
Considering the simple menu is curated by a world-renowned chef, the dishes are amazingly inexpensive. Within the restaurant, there are small touches that are tailored to travellers, such as ample space to store your luggage while you dine. The décor is light and airy and the staff are young and enthusiastic, making for a pleasant experience.
I enjoyed the Le petit-déjeuner du Zinc (€21), which included a choice of pastry, a plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and baked beans served in a lovely mini saucepan. The fromage blanc with seasonal fruits and organic muesli was also glorious. All of this was accompanied with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a short macchiato – a great way to start the day.
After a heaty meal, I spent my day exploring the city, taking in the wealth of interesting boutiques and the unique street acts, alongside the classic attractions such as Musee Du Louvre.
After a long day exploring the city, the sweet scent of the Perfume District paved my way to one of my favourite Parisian hot spots - Hôtel Costes - an exclusive establishment that offers some of the best people watching in Paris.
Where to stay in Paris – the remarkable Hôtel Costes
The hotel is discreetly located on a main road. If you didn’t know what was inside, you would walk straight passed it. But I think this is the intention to maintain its distinction away from the madding crowds.
Once inside, the hotel oozes style. On-site facilities include a pool, spa, restaurant and bar. But everything here is far from the ordinary. The hotel even has its own amazing perfume range, with a range of stirring fragrances.
Music is also central to creating a special vibe within the hotel, with carefully curated compilations live streamed through the sound gallery. I’ve been a long-time fan of one of their resident DJs Stephane Pompagnac, whose unique blend of lounge, electro swing, acid jazz and deep house has spanned 21 compilation albums since its inception. You can get a taste of the music offering at Hôtel Costes here: https://hotelcostes.com/#/en/costes/54/life-at-costes/55/music/
One of the best bits of the hotel is the flower adorned, sun-drenched terrace, which is always packed with an incredible assortment of interesting characters. As I glanced across the terrace, an impeccably dressed woman with a poodle under her arm caught my eye and made me smile - it was perfectly Parisian.
Room options include mini, standard, deluxe and duplexes, which overlook the terrace and penthouse suites. Rates from €500 - €1500 a night.
Keeping the spirit of Paris alive
Although my time in Paris was short, the memories were sweet. After my return home I compiled a set inspired by my visit, which takes me back to this sensational city. Listen to my compilation here:
*While I was in Paris, I was hosted by Paris Region Comité Règional Du Tourisme. All views are my own.
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