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Louvre Musée D'Orsay Galeries Lafayette 104 guide business travellers' and hearty food of the Auvergne. Arrive hungry and be prepared for lots of cabbage, sausages and sweetmeats. 22 rue de Grenier St- Lazare, tel: + 33 ( 0) 1 42 72 31 22, www. ambassade- auvergne. com Q BRASSERIE BOFINGER Bofinger is the archetypal French brasserie. It has been going since the 1860s and shows no signs of slowing down. The décor is beautifully Belle Époque with lots of glass, brass and wood, and the menu is standard brasserie fare: try the oysters or the sole meunière. 5- 7 rue de la Bastille, tel: + 33 ( 0) 1 42 72 87 82, www. bofingerparis. com Q LE JULES VERNE You might think a restaurant part- way up the Eiffel Tower would be a tourist trap, but this place has always been good and recently got better when Alain Ducasse took it under his wing. The views and gourmet food are both worth booking a long way ahead – and you'll need to. 2nd Level, Eiffel Tower, tel: + 33 ( 0) 1 45 55 61 44, www. lejulesverne- paris. com Q LA RÉGALADE This bistro is something of a showcase for very good French food at affordable prices, but you'll need to book ahead as Parisians have known about it for years. Try the Grand Marnier soufflé to finish and you'll know exactly why Parisians will trek to Montparnasse just to eat here. 49 avenue Jean- Moulin, tel: + 33 ( 0) 1 45 45 68 58 TIME OFF In the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris has two of the finest art museums in the world. They're where you'll find sculptures like the Venus de Milo and paintings including the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhône. The Picasso Museum has another splendid art collection. Iconic buildings like the Eiffel Tower, the colourful Pompidou Centre and the cathedrals of Notre- Dame and Sacré Coeur can all be admired from the streets, and just strolling along the city's wide boulevards, or by the River Seine, can be as rewarding as visiting any particular attraction. When darkness falls the city really comes to life, and you can enjoy jazz clubs on the Left bank, a romantic bistro dinner, a cruise on the Seine, a feast at a gastronomic temple or a night out at a show like the Moulin Rouge, the Crazy Horse or the famous Folies Bergère. if you do one thing Q MUSÉE D'ORSAY Even regular visitors to Paris return to this, its museum devoted to art from 1848- 1914. It's the building itself that also appeals, converted from an old railway station but retaining features like the station clock and the wonderful sense of light and space. It's a showcase setting for some of the world's favourite art and artists: the Impressionists. These galleries get crowded so come early and head straight there, to see fine collections by names such as Monet, Manet, Renoir, Dégas, Cézanne and, the biggest draw of all, the works of Vincent Van Gogh. But there are thousands of other works here too – sculptures, sketches, photographs, paintings – that mean you'll need to set aside plenty of time. 1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur, tel: + 33 ( 0) 1 40 49 48 14, www. musee- orsay. fr TIME TO SHOP Food and fashion are the two big shopping draws in Paris. If it's designer stores you're after, then you're in the right city and just two streets, the avenue Montaigne and the rue du Faubourg- St- Honoré, will provide you with flagship stores from names like Max Mara, Dior, Gucci, Prada and Versace. There are more affordable but still stylish options at department stores like Printemps, Galeries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché. There's a good cluster of upmarket food stores on and around the place de la Madeleine, while almost every neighbourhood has a street market lined with tempting food stalls. If you want books, old postcards and posters, browse the stalls of the old bouquinistes on the quais of the Seine near Notre- Dame, and there are any number of small, specialist shops selling quality items. BEST BUYS Fashion accessories by top designers, quality foods like caviar and truffles, superior French wines, handmade stationery, stylish kitchenware, portraits from street artists in the Montmartre area. msafiri Le Tour D'Argent