Hotel de Vigny
The lowdown Never one to miss a little jaunt to Paris, staying at the Hotel de Vigny (named after the great French Romantic poet Alfred de Vigny who lived in the 8th arrondissement) adds a delightful dash of old world charm to a break in one of our favourite cities. Set on a quiet street very close to the Champs Elysees, the hotel manages to set you in the heart of the city, but without all the crowds. Huge armchairs, low lighting, damask drapes and charming staff immediately lull you into a state of attended upon relaxation – and that’s only the check-in process! If you imagine a lovely, warm and welcoming country chateau, then you're in the ballpark of the mood of this little hidden gem.
The rooms The French are masters at making the classic feel contemporary, and the de Vigny doesn't disappoint in this respect. All 26 rooms and 11 suites have been individually designed by British interior designer Nina Campbell, and our tip is try to score yourself one of the junior suites. You'll love the separate living rooms with their chintzy floral wallpapers and neutral colour palettes; and for super relaxation time, the large marble baths take some beating!
Eating and drinking The hotel's restaurant is open all day, and its heaving buffet breakfast is the perfect way to set yourself up for a day in the city. At night, it has a fun, slightly louche vibe, with bar staff who know how to mix a fantastic pre dinner negroni. Indulge your penchant for all things fantastically French and go for the amazing tartare de boeuf. But do remember to save enough room for the cheese plate at the end – you'll be very grateful for this tip, it’s divine!
The details Hotel de Vigny, 9/11 rue Balzac, 75008 Paris; tel 0033 1 42998080. Rates start from 235 euros (exc breakfast). Visit hoteldevigny.com
By Jaye Thompson