New must-see exhibitions and canalside boutiques and indie stores make the French capital the perfect place for an autumn getaway
The opening of a new hotel, a new gallery and two compelling exhibitions in two of my favourite galleries made a pre-Christmas Eurostar dash to Paris irresistible. The draw of the 91-room Bloom House Hotel & Spa, which opened in September (new beds, new everything equals no bedbugs!), is that you can get off the Eurostar at Gare du Nord after a stress-free journey and be having lunch in their courtyard garden oasis 10 minutes later. A green-tiled pond is the focal point, a pergola strung with festoon lighting overhead – perfect for evening cocktails.
We spent our first afternoon exploring the bobo Canal Saint-Martin, a short walk from Bloom House. The 4.5km canal, which stretches through the 10th and 11th arrondissements down to the Seine, is peppered with indie stores, delis and cafés. Following the Quai de Valmy, we dropped into Antoine & Lili, a set of three shops with a sunflower facade. I swooned over their velvet, just-so flared trousers. More swooning, this time for clothing and curios new and old, in Babel (55 Quai de Valmy), a brocante and déco-cadeaux store a few doors down.