Paris is everyone’s favourite city, whatever time of year. But there is something very special about Paris in spring when the trees are in blossom and Parisians’ cafés start to spill onto the pavements.
One of the oldest quartier, right in the heart of the city, is the Marais, which has become so very chic in the last few years. The narrow medieval lanes buzz with bars, restaurants, designer shops, vintage boutiques, luxury brands and museums, all crammed into a small area in the third and fourth arrondissements.
If you want to spoil yourself, opt to stay at Le Pavillon de la Reine, which is tucked away off Places des Vosges (often referred to as one of the prettiest squares in Paris) and reached via a secluded courtyard covered in greenery. As you step into the foyer, the feel is very much understated sophistication, yet cosy, glam and grand all rolled into one. Little seating areas either side of the lobby (where, by the way, breakfast is served) are perfect for a spot of relaxation with a drink from the honesty bar, away from the hubbub of the city.
The 54 individually decorated rooms, with their mix of antiques and contemporary furniture, are stylish, super comfortable and quiet. Some are decorated in dark wood with velvet furnishings, while others are more minimal and modern. All the bathrooms are very swish with large walk-in showers and plenty of Molton Brown toiletries.
In the basement, you’ll find the gorgeous Spa de la Reine by Carita, a very well-equipped gym and hammam. The only hard part is choosing which pampering treatment to have from the list especially conceived for the hotel.
Out and about, you can easily while away a morning wandering round the small alleyways of the Marais, but the recently re-opened Musée Picasso, which has undergone a five-year renovation, should be top of your must-see list. Housed in a stunning-17th-century building, there are over 5,000 of his works on show, so be sure to set aside a couple of hours to fit it all in.
The Details Picasso’s Paris at Le Pavillon de la Reine, from 900 euros, based on two sharing a two-night stay on a B&B basis, two tickets for the Musée Picasso and a self-guided walking tour of the city. To book, visit Pavillon-De-La-Reine.com or call 0033140291919.
Eurostar operates up to 18 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord with return fares from £69 return. Tickets are available from www.eurostar.com or call 08432 186 186.