Not a city for the faint-hearted, Paris engulfs the senses with its vibrant culture, architectural marvel, world-class galleries, stylish shopping, smoky wine bars and fantastic food. With a list like this, it’s hardly surprising that the city has a reputation for arrogance; something that could be called merely confidence in itself as both a historical showpiece and a fearless innovator. While it holds tight to its traditions, this modern city continues magically to evolve. Its essence is an effortless balance of old and new, of traditional elegance and creative thinking: it is Notre Dame through cherry blossom from the quai de la Tournelle and rollerblading under potted palm trees beside the Seine. What better place to spend unforgettable hours and days with the Escort Lady of your dreams?
More than ever before, Paris of the 21st century is a feisty brew of peoples from around the world. Old-fashioned French flavours have not been lost, or even submerged – men in berets still play boules on the quai de la Seine and bourgeois madams still feed tasty titbits to their poodles from the restaurant table, but now there are more ingredients in the city mix, more viewpoints, perfect for you to discover together with your Escort Lady. Twirling seductively to her own special tempo, wit the rest of Europe gawping from the sidelines, Paris confidently expects to lead the way but also no afraid to go against the prevailing wind.
Central Paris is divided into 20 numbered districts (arrondissements) and is bisected by the river Seine. At its heart are two small islands – île de la Cité (home to Notre Dame Cathedrale) and île St Louis. This is intricate, romantic Paris. On the Left Bank of the Seine (Rive Gauche), St Germain still has a high concentration of publishing houses and bookshops but tourist chatter has largely replaced debates on Existentialism and Surrealism. The Latin Quarter, to the east, is home to the Sorbonne, while the imposing seventh arrondissement, to the west, has a number of key landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides and the Musée d’Orsay. Southwest is Montparnasse, once a place of wild entertainement.
North of the Seine on the Right Bank (Rive Droit), the Louvre is a big pull for tourists who buzz around the place du Carrousel snapping the glittering Pyramide and the Jardin des Tuileries. From here, the Champs-Elysées, long synonymous with wealth, sweeps up to the Arc de Triomphe. To the east of the Louvre are three adjoining quartiers: Les Halles, Marais and Bastille, while, to the north, Montmartre sits prettily on a hill, more like a village than anywhere else in the city and home to the fanciful Sacré Coeur. Thanks to some canny facelifts the working-class districts of Belleville and Ménilmontant, to the east, are now the hip places to be once the sun goes down.
Can’t wait to spend a day in wonderful Paris with your chosen Escort Lady? This is how it could be: Get up early and head to the île de la Cité for Notre Dame and the Sainte-Cahpelle. Linger at the flower market, grab a delicious sorbet from the renowned Berthillon, then cross the Pont Neuf to the Left Bank. After a caffeine and philosophy fix in Café de Flore, visit the beautiful Musée Rodin or browse for books, antiques and fashion around place St-Germain-des-Prés. Treat yourself and your charming Escort Lady to a lunch at Ze Kitchen Gallerie or Les Bookinistes, in preparation for one of the great museums: the Louvre or the Musés d’Orsay, perhaps. In the late afternoon, head for the Marais for window shopping or Montmartre for the view. After dark, Brasserie Flo is great for dinner, followed by jazz at New Morning. Alternatively, succumb to the lure of the lit-up Eiffel-Tower, or join the beautiful people drinking the night away strolling along with your Escort Lady by the bars along rue Oberkampf.