LOVE REIGNITE

Written by root. Posted in FEATURES

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Published on September 15, 2017 with No Comments

Rediscover romance in Paris.

Words FLEURANCE DELON
Images PARIS TOURIST OFFICE

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Watch the sunset at the Pompidou Centre. Credit(s): Paris Tourist Office

 

Paris. The city of romance and love. Books and movies have long celebrated this city’s romantic splendour. There are the the strolls along the Seine, candlelight dinners on the city’s rooftops, and sipping coffee in Paris’ many legendary cafes. Paris is a city where everything is possible, and love comes to life.

But don’t just limit your idea of love to the indelible Paris landmarks. Peppered throughout the city are corners, nooks and rooftops waiting to be included in your journey of romance.

Consider sharing the best viewpoints with your loved one. The most famous is the one from the square in front of the Sacré-Cœur basilica, at the top of Montmartre hill. In eastern Paris, the hill at Belleville also offers a spectacular view. From the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse, the Ciel de Paris restaurant high above the capital offers amazing moments. Great views are also guaranteed as you travel up the glass-walled escalators at the Pompidou Centre. At the top, you can carry on enjoying the vista and watch the sun setting over the city as you sip a drink at Chez Georges, the restaurant on the top floor of the modern art museum.

Note to the intrepid: the tethered hot air balloon at the Parc André Citroën takes you up into the sky to hover over the park from a height of 150 metres. The Terrass Hotel rooftop affords another viewpoint over the city from this part of Montmartre. The narrow streets winding from Place du Tertre offer spectacular views of Paris, and the little-known Butte Bergeyre in the 19th arrondissement stands right opposite the Sacré Cœur. Strolling through the Parc des Buttes Chaumont feels like walking on the city’s rooftops, as if on a tightrope. La Défense is an area with less warmth, but a fabulous view of the Arc de Triomphe in the distance. You can also see this futuristic district from the Fondation Vuitton terraces, along with the green hills around the outskirts of Paris.

Paris is also full with legendary bridges and footbridges perfect for sharing a lingering kiss. Maybe because the arch symbolises an alliance, or because water will carry away even the craziest promises. Tradition dictates that those in love should kiss on the Pont Marie, nicknamed the Lovers’ Bridge. Even if you’re not in love, you still have 37 bridges and 49 pedestrian footbridges across the Seine to choose from! The Bichat pedestrian footbridge (10th) is a great place to stand hand in hand and watch the barges perform their ballet while the locks fill on the Canal Saint-Martin. The Pont au Double (4th) that links the square in front of Notre Dame to Quai de Montebello is ideal for losing yourself in contemplation of the Seine riverbanks. The Rue de Crimée lift bridge (19th) affords a lovely view over the Bassin de la Villette Ourcq Canal. Crossing the Arsenal Marina on the Mornay footbridge (7th and 12th) with your loved one, you may even be tempted to cast off and sail away together. The BZ/12 footbridge (12th) on the Coulée Verte spans the garden known as Jardin de Reuilly, the perfect spot to stretch out for a siesta on warm days.

While roaming the cities, do not forget its secret streets and alleys. People around the world are familiar with the usual pictures and clichéd images of romance in Paris, but lovebirds in search of tranquillity will find plenty of romantic spots off the beaten track. Rue des Thermopyles, a cobblestone street, is an oasis of calm and greenery in the 14th arrondissement, offering a glimpse of a bucolic side to Paris, like the Cité Florale in the 13th, where even the street names – Orchidées, Volubilis, Mimosas, Glycines, Iris, Liserons – evoke the fragrance of flowers. Rue Crémieux, a stone’s throw from the Gare de Lyon, provides a colourful excursion for people with a taste for the unusual. And then there’s the Square de Montsouris, formerly inhabited by several artists, with its houses draped in wisteria and ivy.

The secret of romance is to let your imagination run wild. Draw up your own itinerary. Get lost in the lull of the clip-clopping of the horses’ hooves on the cobbles on a two-seater horse-drawn carriage. Book a spa with a view. The Spa Le Bristol invites you to a treatment room fresh with daylight and opens onto a pleasant interior garden. The spa’s menu by La Prairie begins at the Eucalyptus Steam Room and includes the aptly named “Midnight in Paris”, a package for couples to indulge in both a massage and facial before rounding it off with canapés at the terrace. Indulge your sweet tooth. Beautifully crafted confections from great pâtissiers, sweet treats from pastry chefs specialising in a single dessert and signature cakes resembling works of art can be just as effective as a declaration of love at sunset. Bite into an original Pierre Hermé macaron at Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris, or the legendary Berthillon ice cream.

Reserve a dinner with a view. The city is never in shortage of restaurants with a vista. The terrace of the Maison Blanche, the roof of the Hôtel Raphaël needs no introduction. Guests enjoy wonderful vistas of Paris whether over breakfast or dinner. Other rooftop restaurants worthy of mention are Les Ombres at the Musée du Quai Branly, the Georges at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Zyriad by Noura on the 9th floor of the Institut du Monde Arabe, and the Benkay, a gem of Japanese cooking, on the 4th floor of the Hôtel Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel.

 

Royal Brunei Airlines flies London daily via Dubai for connections to Paris. Discover things to do in Paris in www.muhibah.com.bn

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