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Things to do in Paris

Become a master in patisserie

For those with a sweet tooth, it's hard not to be tempted by Parisian patisseries. Bogato's (www.chezbogato.fr) cute creations are some of the finest in the city and those who can stop salivating over the countertop for just one moment can learn how to make their own masterpieces. Children are welcome too.

Blade through the city at night

Every Friday, hundreds of rollerbladers glide through the streets of Paris. Strap up and join them. Pari Roller (http://pari-roller.com) leaves at 10pm from Place Raoul Dautry and returns at 3am. If you prefer a few more thrills and spills, join the boarders and BMXers at Espace Glisse de Paris (tel: +33 140 056 200; http://equipement.paris.fr/espace-de-glisse-parisien-18e-egp-18-3699) skate park.

Oh I do like to be beside the Seine-side

With sand, parasols and rosy bodies, you could be forgiven for thinking you were on the Côte d'Azur. During July and August, the Parisians get their very own beach along the Seine. Paris Plage (http://quefaire.paris.fr/parisplages) features deckchairs, ice cream sellers and a pool for the kids. Get your towel down early.

Spend a day at the races

The Hippodrome de Longchamp (www.france-galop.com) is the most famous horseracing track in Paris. The French equivalent of the Grand National, the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barrière, is one of society’s most important events, held at the beginning of October. If you can’t make it, Sunday meetings are best for atmosphere.

Swim in the city's most stylish pool

Paris is so achingly fashionable that even their swimming spots are dripping in style. Jump in at the Club Quartier Latin, an art deco swimming centre that centres on the beautiful Pontoise pool (tel: +33 1 5542 7788; http://equipement.paris.fr/piscine-pontoise-2918). Flounce the dress code and don your most modish bathers for their night sessions with underwater music.

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Le Bristol

There’s luxury accommodation and then there’s Hotel Le Bristol Paris. From marble-panelled powder rooms to its regal 1,210-sq-m (13,000-sq-ft) garden, Le Bristol has been Paris’s most prestigious hotel since its inception in 1925. All services are naturally state of the art and foodies will be happy to hear its three-Michelin starred restaurant continues to stockpile accolades under the guidance of chef Eric Frechon.

Saint James Paris

The Saint James is steeped in weird and wonderful history. A one time hot-air balloon field (some still take off today) and school for France's most talented students, nowadays it is one of Paris's hottest addresses. Situated in a 19th century chateau on the edge of the city centre, rooms are a blend of belle époque decadence and modern luxury. Beyond the bedrooms, the library bar, with a terrace affording views across town, is what makes this hotel really special.

Hotel Dupond Smith

This lush Marais bolthole isn’t obscenely overpriced but will leave you feeling pampered and prepped to take on the area’s myriad coffee stops and macaroon shops. Its furniture is by Phillipe Starck and its wallpaper by Hermes. Sleek and stylish, make sure you dress the part for this classy Parisian hotel.

Ritz Paris

Situated on one of the smartest squares in the city, the Ritz Paris is the capital’s most celebrated hotel and is the very essence of luxury and discretion. The lobby gleams with marble, chandeliers and impressive floral arrangements from designer Djordje Varda, while the oriental carpets, soft to the touch, soak up the sound. It has a magnificent swimming pool and fitness room, as well as a health spa.

Hôtel Arvor Saint Georges

Owner Nadine Flammarion has taken a fresh and fun approach to interior design with bright white walls and splashes of colour bringing out the atmosphere at Hôtel Arvor Saint Georges. Novels, deckchairs and striking art prints contrast with the otherwise Spartan approach. Arvor has 24 rooms and six suites and the location makes it perfect for strolling through Montmartre and soaking up some creative inspiration.

Hôtel Darcet

Hotel Darcet offers 32 modern and comfortable rooms right in the heart of Paris. Perfect for travellers and business people alike, the prices are also very reasonable. The hotel is also conveniently located just a 10-minute walk to Saint-Lazare station.