Co-founder of style and culture blog Pamflet.co.uk Phoebe escaped to Paris for an autumnal weekend of shopping, café au lait and people-watching. Follow @pamflet on Twitter for tweets about books, fashion, food, music and more…
Paris is stunning in every season, but there’s something particularly magical and melancholic about the City of Light in the autumn. I was invited to stay at the Renaissance group’s Paris Le Parc Trocadero hotel in early November. The hotel was located in a neighbourhood that I’d never explored before – the 16th arrondissement – which is quiet, elegant and within strolling distance of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées.
The hotel’s gleaming white, modern lobby was dotted with armchairs in macaron shades, from which smartly-dressed ladies sipped glasses of wine while watching the bustling traffic that you see in every hotel. At the back of the space was a small but perfectly formed area known as the G’ Bar devoted to my favourite drink, gin. Bottles of every brand imaginable lined the art deco-style shelves and I found a dinky bottle of the hotel’s own gin, G’Vine, which is made from grape spirit rather than grain, waiting for me in my room.
My room on the first floor was a neat square that was decorated in soft grey and cream tones in a classic style with imaginative touches – a toile headboard, a comfy armchair – creating a tranquil atmosphere.
I opened the tall French doors and peered out into a lush courtyard which still had a bustling, buzzy feel despite the gentle rain falling (even that felt quintessentially Parisian and chicer than our own dreary drizzle, or am I romanticising too much?) And can we talk about the bed for a moment? I usually have an endless list of gripes about hotel beds (mostly due to my supreme fussiness) but this one was truly excellent. Vast, with just the right amount of firmness and a lavish selection of pillows and fluffy duvet, it was a pleasure to snuggle up in and drift away into a dreamless sleep.
The old parts of the building are sensitively connected to the modern; the restaurant is in an airy annexe with the greenery of the courtyard brushing up against the windows. An old fashioned map of Paris decorates the ceiling and the colourful glass bottles of the gin bar next door cast a glow over the space, like a boozy stained glass window!
The breakfast served in this room set me up for a day of boulevard-pounding; there was a lavish spread of hot dishes, fruit, cereals and, of course, delicious fresh pastries, all of which were washed down with a pot of hot, strong coffee.
And if you have a sudden desire for perfectly cooked steak frites and a delicious glass of red, just a few steps along the street from the hotel is Le Ducale (110 rue Lauriston)- a fantastic neighbourhood restaurant with a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere that serves unpretentious, excellent food and wine. Stroll back down the street past the hotel and you’ll come to Trocadéro, which has the most wonderful view of a glittering Eiffel Tower, then return to the Renaissance, climb into your cloud-like bed and drift away…
Renaissance Paris Le Parc Trocadero Hotel, 55-57 Avenue Raymond Poincare, Paris, 75116
Tel. +33 1 44 05 66 66