17.45 – Early flight in, hectic morning, busy afternoon. Time to let off some steam at the Gay Aquagym club, or simply take it easy at La Piscine de Pontoise, a swimming pool which dates back to the last century and boasts a fantastic retro style ceiling. It may be open from 7am, but the late night swim may appeal, and you never know who you might meet!
19.30 – Ponder the week ahead, or start to read through the latest pitches at Café Delmas – a veritable island of calm in the heart of the city’s Place de la Contre-escarpe. The book-themed-wallpaper should inspire!
8.00 – Breakfast at Hotel Amour, no matter what kind of inspiration you’re after, you’ll be able to find it while sitting here!
21.30 – Most of the museums are closed today, the weather forecast is awful. If you want something to tickle your cultural fancy, then cinema is your friend!
Saint Laurent, not to be confused with earlier film, Yves Saint Laurent, is on the silver screen and has the critics quietly nodding in approval. Discover (or rediscover) a fine crop of French actors, including the already international acclaimed Lea Seydoux. Book your ticket at MK2 Quai de Loire, a cinema chain with a passion for the independent and little tolerance for the Hollywood big budgeters. Price: 12 Euros.
23.30 – Post-film drinks in Paris’ hip and up-and-coming Gambetta district, followed by a late dinner at Le Chantefable, a traditional brasserie which has, of all things, friendly waiting staff!
14.00 – 15-00 – Keeping it classy! Fill some time (if you have any to fill), with a peruse around the big auction houses; check out the Art du Spectacle catalogue at Drouot. Keep an eye out for forthcoming book auctions; the Pierre-Andre Benoit collection will be up for grabs (and a lot of money) before you know it at Tajan.
15.30 – Pop in to the mustard shop Mailles Place de la Madeleine while you’re in the area.
20.00 – The first of only two classical performances with Jean Yves Thibaudet giving a piano concert led by Chinese conductor Long Yu. From Olivier Messiean to Barber, Prokoviev or Gershwin. Tickets range from 10 – 60 Euros, get in quick – they WILL go.
11.00 –You work in art and culture? You may find yourself in the 9th district and, perhaps, the St George area. If you need a work respite, go to the beautiful little museum, with the emphasis on ‘little’, The Museum of Romantic Life. Mainly known for being the place Frédéric Chopin and his lady lover with a man’s name, George Sand spent many a happy day. A charming distraction from the mundanely of modern life.
12.00 – Book hunting, we may love it, but it is still work… sort of! One thing any book aficionado should not miss out on is the used and antiquarian booksellers known as the Bouquinistes, who line parts of the river Seine. Ramble on to the old books stores in the historic shopping passage Galerie Vivienne, especially Librairie Jousseaume where you’ll find books so old they might have been inspiration for an Indiana Jones film!
13.00 – A delicious cheese and charcuterie plate for lunch at Legrand Filles et Fils, where you will also find a bewildering selection of wines – so liquid lunch optional!
8.00 – Wet, but not particularly wild! Wash off the night before with some water sports (not THAT kind of water sports) and head to Le Meurice spa. Located in one of the most luxurious hotels in the city. The spa is named after Valmont, the literally character from the sexually brooding novel, Les Liaisons dangereuses. Think about that while you’re plodding along wearing nothing but a robe!
11.15 – Between meetings (and keeping up the aqua-theme) refresh with a ‘designer water’, which you can find at La Grande Epicerie, one of the most exclusive food halls which stocks a most upmarket range of waters.
19.00 – Glass of wine and something to nibble at Les Editeurs, after all, that does translate to ‘publishers’.
20.00 – It’s a night at the opera. There’s enough to distract the Eurotrash, time for a little sophistication, namely Le Theatre de l’Odeon, also known as Theatre de l’Europe. It is newly refurbished and offers a beautifully cleaned facade, and a new program each year of European authors, in their original language (how peculiar for France!).
Tonight, controversial, gay dramatist Jean Genet’s Les Negres is on the bill – and reviews are glowing. From 6 to 40 Euros depending on your seat. It may be a night at the theatre, but it is pretty laid-back, lose the black tie, but keep it smart and trendy.
11.00 – A gay bookstore? Well, why not? Nestled in Le Gay Maria, a district which houses 40 per cent of all Paris’ LGBT businesses, you’ll find Les Mots a La Bouche – a literary heaven. This ‘only gay related publications’ book store is a glorious way to while away a Sunday afternoon. Filled with fiction, non-fiction, art book, postcards and anything printed about homosexuality.
14.00 – Lunch at Les Philosophes, some of the best traditional food you can find, it’s a Sunday afternoon, relax and soak up the cuisine and the culture.