Where do you rest your head in Paris when you’re a student of psychoanalysis? Hôtel des Jardins du Luxembourg in the 6th, where Sigmund Freud slept in the winter of 1885-86.
Merci beaucoup to Howard Book, a psychiatrist in Toronto, for this recommendation. In Howard’s words, the three-star, hôtel de charme is clean, quiet, reasonably priced, and centrally located. And the Freud connection for him is a natural.
But there’s more. Lovers of design will embrace the Art Deco chairs in the salon, and the original beams, trompe-l’oeil lizards, and claw foot tubs in some of the rooms.
Gardeners will love the proximity of the Luxembourg Gardens. Practical types will appreciate the AC and double glazed windows.
And anyone who has walked all day in Paris will be happy to breathe deeply and rest tired legs in the hotel sauna. From 171€.
The Paris performance season runs from September to June, and if you’re planning to visit Paris in the fall or winter, check out the newly released schedule at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
The season’s offerings include top-rate orchestras and soloists, as well as opera and ballet. YoYo Ma, Orchestre National de France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Rotterdam are a few of the performers – and that’s only September.
They’ve also added a Sunday morning concert series at the performance hall, and a Bach organ series at Eglise-St-Louis-en-Ile. Built in the second half of the 17th century, the church has a bright Baroque interior, alabaster carvings, and an organ that is one of the best in Paris.
The atmosphere at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées is second only to the Opéra Garnier. The Art Deco concert hall was created by Auguste Perret in 1911. Murals are by Vuillard, and sculptor Antoine Bourdelle designed the reliefs. The Ballets Russes performed here in the theater’s early days, and Stravinsky’s first rendition of the Rite of Spring caused an uproar.
Tickets are also easier to come by than at the Paris Opéra, with lower prices and no waiting periods. You’ll need a French speaker to help you, though, as the website is in French.
Before (or after) you make your way through the crowds at the Eiffel Tower, enjoy a smaller scale experience nearby. At Carette, the macaroons are legend, and there are many other small pleasures to enjoy in the Art Deco tea room, or on the sunny terrasse.
Carette opened on Place du Trocadéro as a patisserie and tea salon in 1927. Its tile mosaics, large mirrors and, Art Deco lamps recall the spirit of the time.
Large, glass topped cases reveal more than a dozen flavors of macarons (including butterscotch, gjanduja, pistachio, rose and cassis), and treats like Boule de Coco, made with chocolate ganache and coconut; Black Forest, containing chocolate mousse, vanilla ganache, and a concentrated cherry mixture; Mont Blanc, a dome of meringue, chestnut paste and vanilla chantilly.