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The Vogue Man’s Guide on How to Experience French Sophistication

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Paris is easily one of the most glamorous destinations in the world and a staple visit for any globe-trotting gentleman. The French have an undisputed reputation for incredible cuisine, legendary cabaret, chic fashion and world-class attractions. Here’s how to do the wonder city in style and explore its treasures from a viewpoint beyond the tourist stampede.

Make Le Bristol your Parisian boudoir

Le Bristol. Courtesy

Renaissance-style architecture never felt so good within the walls of the Oetker Collection’s Le Bristol Paris, a fine stay for those who appreciate classic beauty. From the moment you walk through the revolving door entrance you’re whisked away in French elegance right up the rooftop pool boasting views including the Eiffel Towel. Suites are majestic and bright with chandelier lights and Louis XVI inspired bedding (you may even get a personalized pillowcase!), bathrooms feature luxe products, and the corridors are lined with art and antiques. You’ll love riding in the vintage glass elevator down to breakfast each morning or even the spa which regularly tops ‘best Parisian spa’ lists on web-listicles. Woody Allen fans may also recognize the hotel and its prestigious location on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré as a key setting for ‘Midnight In Paris’. If it’s good enough for Woody, it’s good enough for a VOGUE Man.

Eat magnificent French

Le Clarence. Courtesy

Le Clarence is a dress-sharp evening out situated on the glistening Champs-Elysées, within a gorgeous 19th-century mansion. The cuisine features seasonal produce under Michelin starred chef, Christophe Pelé, and Le Clarence itself has already been awarded multiple Michelin stars and a prestigious World Restaurant Award since opening in 2015. The oysters are not to be missed, especially if joined by a bottle from their extensive wine cellar representing over 250 estates from all regions of France. Magnifique! You may have encountered a Dans Le Noir? in Australia or Spain, but the concept was born in Paris, on Rue Quincampoix. Hosted and served by visually impaired wait staff, you dine on a surprise menu in complete darkness, igniting your taste buds as your senses heighten. Sitting next to strangers is roaring fun in the dark, too.

Enjoy dazzling cabaret

”Lido” Courtesy of Gregory Mairet

The most famous cabaret in history is the Moulin Rouge, established in 1889 and today a French institution. The venue is decorated ‘Belle Epoque’ style, featuring authentic mural paintings and Moriss columns with original posters of the artists who performed on its extravagant stage. Come and enjoy dinner, drinks and the likes of the Doriss Girls performing French Cancan, whether you’re with friends, family, colleagues or a date. On the Champs-Elysées, Lido De Paris is a more intimate affair which just as much sparkle, echoed by advanced technological wizardry. The space has seen iconic entertainers such as Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker, Elvis Presley and Elton John take the stage to join the energetic Bluebell girls wow their fun-loving audience. It also serves up dinner and drinks to see the leggy lovelies over. Look out for a talented chanteuse and an ice-skating duo perform jaw- dropping tricks.

Shop fancy in any category

On 31 Rue Cambon you’ll find the world’s first Chanel boutique, opened by the fashion legend in 1910. The store has a museum-like feel and within it you’ll find everything from hats to fragrance. For street trends, it’s all happening at Royalcheese. There are four locations offering new and established brands from all over the world including Carhartt, Edwin, Yuketen and Portuguese Flannels. Finally, you can’t leave Paris without a box of macarons. Avant-garde pastry chef Pierre Hermé has shops dotted across the city with classic and unusual flavors (caviar macaron, anyone?)

Discover city treasures

Fondation Louis Vuitton. Courtesy

There no denying that the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre are amazing, but we suggest digging deeper, specifically underground to Les Catacombes De Paris , an ossuary in which bones from several Parisian cemeteries were gathered at the end of the 18th century. There are approximately 6 million skeletons here including important figures of the French Revolution from Danton to Desmoulins. Above ground level, check out modern and contemporary art museum Fondation Louis Vuitton. Designed by Frank Gehry, the shell-shaped glass building itself is an architectural wonder which can be viewed in full glory from Bois de Boulogne, a huge adjoining public park.

Take in views

Ballon Generalli De Paris. Courtesy

Seeing Paris from the Eiffel Tower means you miss out on the icon itself. Don’t be fooled by the shabby exterior of Montparnasse Tower, because from there you’ll get an amazing view which includes the Eiffel Tower in sight. Or a take ride on the biggest hot air balloon in the world with Ballon Generalli De Paris for a bird’s eye view of the city (but check forecasts as flights only run on clear days). Failing those, you can head back to Le Bristol’s pool and terrace for a quiet dip and a drink with views.

Paris is served by international airport Charles De Gaulle, and Eurostar rail at Gare Du Nord

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