Worth getting out of bed for
The queues look daunting but, on a nice day, who cares? There's something charmingly festive about hauling yourself up the Eiffel Tower (www.tour-eiffel.fr). The Guimet Museum in place d'Iena, 16ème (www.guimet.fr) houses one of the biggest collections of Asian art in Europe, including a whole wing of Buddhist, Hindu and Shinto art. Not famed for Asian art, in spite of its name, the Palais de Tokyo on avenue Président Wilson, 16ème (www.palaisdetokyo.com), puts on excellent contemporary-art shows; the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris occupies the same buildings. In the 8th arrondissement, the splendidly neoclassical Petit Palais is home to the Musée des Beaux Arts; the Grand Palais hosts temporary exhibitions and many a fashion show. For fashion shopping of the most serious kind – be prepared financially, sartorially and morally – the thoroughfares to scour in the 8ème are Avenue Montaigne, for Dior, Chanel, Marni, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and the Rue du Faubourg St Honoré, where you'll find Lanvin, Hermès, Givenchy, Chloé, Yves Saint Laurent and Comme Des Garçons. In the 1er, head to the Jardins des Palais-Royal for Marc, Stella, Acne and hip boutique Kitsuné. In the Haut-Marais, an amazing constellation of independent boutiques and smaller designer stores, explore Rue de Charlot, Rue du Poitou and Rue de Saintonge.
On spring/autumn evenings, throw on a jacket to dine at the glamorous, crystal-strung Café de l’Homme in the Musée de l’Homme, 17 place du Trocadéro, 16ème (+33 (0)1 44 05 30 15; www.cafedelhomme.com), which is a two-minute walk from La Réserve Paris. If not, the fabulous terrace, with its incomparable eyeful of Eiffel, can be a bit chilly. Halfway up yer actual Iron Lady, Le Jules Verne (+33 (0)1 45 55 61 44) is a super-exclusive Alain Ducasse restaurant, where alpha Parisians dine on foie gras, turbot, soufflé and a praline 'nut' (as in bolt), among Patrick Jouin-designed luxury and Pininfarina chairs. A classic bistro nearby, La Fontaine de Mars, at 129 rue Saint-Dominique (+33 (0)1 47 05 46 44) leans toward the southwest of France, so you might eat black pudding with apple, cassoulet and rum baba. Aim to dine alfresco in summer. Chez l’Ami Jean at 27 rue Malar, 7ème (+33 (0)1 47 05 86 89) is the oldest Basque restaurant in Paris, now run by star chef Stéphane Jego, and beloved of a true cross-section of gourmets, who know their cochonnaille (major ham time), milk-fed Pyrenéan lamb and Basque wines. Another hotspot in the 7th, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon on rue de Montalembert (+33 (0)1 42 22 56 56) serves exquisitely sized and crafted dishes to glossy couples perched at the counter; no reservations. Back on the Right Bank, Le Cristal Room, in Place des États-Unis, 16ème (+33 (0)1 40 22 11 10) is a glittering dining room in the historic Baccarat brand HQ, with witty Starck decor and a lobstery, caviary menu. At the other end of the scale is Granterroirs at30 rue de Miromesnil, 8ème (+33 (0)1 47 42 18 18; www.granterroirs.com), a deli/lunch spot where smashing produce (800 foodie items in stock) and communal oak tables are a big hit. Another relaxed favourite, just off the Champs Elysées and open for lunch until 4pm during the week, Lô Sushi at 8 rue de Berri, 8ème (+33 (0)1 45 62 01 00; www.losushi.com) is an upmarket kaiten sushi joint, with plates priced €3 to €11.
Pershing Hall's Lounge Bar (+33 (0)1 58 36 58 00) is a dead cert for glamour and atmosphere, with its contemporary rococo decor, DJs and a stylish crowd. The restaurant is highly recommended, too. A space-age place to pose with a cocktail, in one of the city’s grande dame hotels, Le Bar in Plaza Athénée (+33 (0)1 53 67 66 00; www.plaza-athenee-paris.com) combines a long, blue-lit glass bar and high stools with comfortable leather armchairs. For something more dressed down, head to well-worn, retro Café le Basile at 34 rue Grenelle, 7ème (+33 (0)1 42 22 59 46), a favourite among students from the Sciences Po faculté over the road.
The cakes served at Galerie des Gobelins at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée (+33 (0)1 53 67 66 65; www.plaza-athenee-paris.com) include macaroons shaped like frisbees and religieuses on chocolate skateboards. The famed Ladurée, whose macaroons may be the holy grail of sweeties, has a fabulous Second Empire-style tearoom at 75 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 8ème (+33 (0)1 40 75 08 75; www.laduree.fr), where you can let yourself eat cake. At Mariage Frères on Rue des Grands Augustins (+33 (0)1 40 51 82 50; www.mariagefreres.com), you can sit down for a brew and also, transportingly, choose and purchase packets of their dozens of teas, in a ritual that never palls.
The music/fashion faces who favour tiny, louche Le Baro, at 6 avenue Marceau, 8ème (+33 (0)1 47 20 04 01; www.clublebaron.com) make it one of the coolest ex-brothels in Paris, every night of the week. It’s not easy to get in but the right friends and the right togs do help. Black Calvados at 40 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 8ème (+33 (0)1 47 20 77 77; www.bc-paris.fr) is a pair of box-like spaces, one black and glossy, one in polished metal, where well-heeled trendies consume champagne, hard rock and electro. La Régine (+33 (0)1 43 59 21 13) is a reincarnated oldie on Rue de Ponthieu, run by the socially prominent gang known as La Clique, where you can expect to have good fun among an unpredictable, fashiony crowd, dancing like mad to Guilty Pleasures-type sets.