Paris in a weekend

Ben arrived in Jersey in 2003 and established our Gallery magazine title, determined to offer a better quality independent media offering. Holding a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communication and Masters Degree in Marketing, he builds media brands with the emphasis on brand. Ben loves mountains and is fond of penguins (the bird, not the bar).

Thanks to the new air routes linking Jersey to Paris, the city of lights can be all things to everyone.  We sent two of our writers on a well-deserved break in the capital of chic. Zara goes in search of romance in the city of love and Kate sees if Paris can be done with toddlers in tow?

The Romantic Break
All the sexiest words are French ? louche, désir, amour, preferably said in a deep husky voice while peering through a heavy Carla Bruni-esque fringe.  And if the language is sexy, well it?s got nothing on the country?s capital.  Paris is just perfect for lovers.  All those romantic backdrops, those leafy parks to lounge in, the Seine to stroll along, and charming bistros where you can enjoy indulgent French food over a great bottle of red wine.

French Kiss – romantic things to do in Paris

Enjoy the view from the Sacré Coeur.
Enjoy the Paris panorama from the steps of the Sacré Coeur, but stay away from the tourists and head back down to the cafés and quirky shops around Abbesses.  The Café des Deux Moulins on rue Lepic is where Amélie worked as a waitress in the cult film.

Stroll hand-in-hand along the Seine
Head to the Ile Saint-Louis ? one of the two islands in the centre of Paris ? and stroll along the quais beside the Seine.  The Pont-Marie bridge on the northern side of the island is known as the ?bridge of lovers? ? legend has it that wishes made under this bridge and sealed with a kiss will come true?

Climb the Eiffel Tower by night
With queues of tourists during the day, an evening trip to the top of the Tour d?Eiffel is much more appealing.  It?s open until midnight through the summer, and once at the top, the City of Lights becomes a glittering map, spread out beneath you.

Get an eyeful at the Musée Rodin
The famous sculpture ?The Kiss? should be inspiration enough, but the museum?s rose gardens dotted with statues are a beautiful location to pass a few hours.

Explore Père Lachaise cemetery
A seemingly odd choice for a romantic list, but this wonderful gothic cemetery could have come straight out of a Tim Burton movie.  Get lost with your lover as you try and find the tomb of Jim Morrison.  Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and the doomed French lovers Abelard and Heloise are also buried here.

Escape to the Medici Fountain at the Jardins de Luxembourg
Tucked away in a hidden corner of this beautiful Paris park, this shady alcove surrounds a fountain depicting Galatea and Acis sharing their final embrace.

Try a traditional Hammam
Paris is full of Arabic steam baths ? not sleazy massage parlours, these are places to relax, sip mint tea and get a traditional massage.  Try the tree-shaded courtyard at the Mosquée de Paris in the Latin Quarter, with fresh mint tea and syrupy pastries, then sweat it out in the steam room next door.

Search for bargains at the antique market
Make like the Parisians, and spend a lazy weekend morning browsing through French antiques at the flea market at Porte de Vanves.  Stroll down the tree-lined street and pick up original vintage souvenirs of your Paris weekend.

Romantic break – recommended reading: The Hedonist?s Guide to Paris (Filmer) and Mr and Mrs Smith ? European Cities

En famille – recommended reading: Fodor?s Around Paris with Kids (Fodor Travel Publications), and Eloise in Paris, Kay Thompson & Hilary Knight (Simon & Schuster)