Cities we love – Paris

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Boldface names lead a stylish comeback for the City of Light.

“We’re looking at a lovely year,” the Michelin chefs say.

Housed in the centuries-old building that was once Paris’s stock exchange, the Bourse de Commerce-Collection Pinault museum was renovated by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It is one of many cultural institutions that opened in Paris over the past two years.

The future is looking bright for the award-winning chef Thibault Sombardier.

Last year, under financial pressure from successive coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions on hospitality businesses, the owners of Antoine restaurant on the Right Bank — where Mr. Sombardier had won a Michelin star for his inventive seafood dishes — decided to sell the decade-old establishment, which had regaled everyone from French politicians to tennis star Serena Williams.

Mr. Sombardier struck a remarkably positive tone about the current Paris dining scene and his latest project, a chic Left Bank bistro called Les Parisiens.

“People are keen to discover the latest spots,” he said.

“Things are going well in Paris. The crowds are out. I’m optimistic.”
Samaritaine, a classic belle epoque department store perched along the Seine. Owned by the global luxury group LVMH (whose chief executive, Bernard Arnault, is France’s richest man), the 19th-century landmark closed in 2005 to address structural issues and wound up sitting idle for the better part of 16 years.

The multibuilding, multilevel new version is a cathedral of consumption, encased in Art Nouveau and Art Deco detailing. If the idea of exploring the building’s more than a dozen restaurants, a 5-star hotel Hotel Cheval Blanc, a spa, a perfume atelier, a VIP lounge and scores of shops selling around 700 brands sounds too intimidating on your own, consider a 90-minute guided tour (15 euros).

Paris, mon amour.

Living in style.