If ticking off kids’ Christmas lists is simple, adults can be trickier to buy for. From candles to cashmere dressing gowns, it’s easy to get side-tracked, and forget that shared experiences often make the most memorable gifts. Our advice? You can’t go wrong with a Channel-hopping adventure to Paris. Plump for a pair of tickets to the latest blockbuster exhibition, dinner at a buzzing new restaurant, or a pampering massage with skyline city views. Passports at the ready: it’s time to go on an adventure.
Architect Jean Nouvel designed this space-age concert hall, with thousands of tessellated metal birds flitting across its façade. Inside, its cocooning concert hall has state-of-the-art acoustics, whether you’re taking in Beethoven’s Fifth or a big-ticket gig. If you want to spot the Eiffel Tower from its rooftop viewpoint, don’t leave it too late: it’s open from Wednesday to Sunday, but closes at 8pm.
Moored across the river from Notre-Dame, this bijou floating theatre is scandalously good fun. Formerly a working barge, it’s been opulently converted, with a glassed-in restaurant on the upper deck and a gilded theatre down below. Settle into a plush red velvet seat and enjoy the burlesque cabaret, which might run from smoky-eyed femme fatales to tattooed boys in sequinned frocks.
After stints at some of the city’s coolest neo-bistros, chef Sota Atsumi has opened his own place – a pared-back, 40-seater restaurant, already tipped for Michelin stardom. Grounded in classic technique, his cooking’s boldly inventive; cuttlefish ragoût with French toast, perhaps, or crème caramel with grilled corn. Looking to impress the foodie in your life? A table here should do the trick.
Plunge into the giddy whirl of fin-de-siècle Paris, in the company of the inimitable Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. His absinthe-soaked reputation inevitably precedes him, but the Grand Palais’s retrospective puts the emphasis firmly on his work. On show until 27 January 2020, more than 200 paintings and posters showcase his remarkable talent, and gift for capturing the city’s seedy but seductive demi-monde.
Word’s spread about this under-the-radar address, perched on the top floor of an anonymous-looking block. Take the lift up, and you’ll find yourself in a spacious, light-filled apartment, with lime-washed walls and a small but chic hammam. We can’t think of a more restorative gift than a blissful Thai massage session, followed by a kip on the loungers on the plant-filled, wraparound terrace.