Hotel de Nell, Paris

Never have I witnessed luxury and design so beautifully combined as it is at Hotel de Nell in Paris. Part of Charm and More Hotels and Resorts, this establishment is in the calm and intellectual 9th arrondissement. There is a feeling of exclusivity as you walk through the smart glass doors and speak to the suited man on reception. It is instantly clear that the staff here are passionate about their workplace and pride themselves on providing the finest service.

We were in a lovely first floor room, flooded with natural light. The space was impressively large, one of the biggest bedrooms I’ve seen in a Parisian hotel. The airiness was emphasised further by the soft shades of white and brown seen throughout the decor. Fine materials like Oregon myrtlewood, organic wool and Egyptian cotton made the room look and feel luxurious. Every room is equipped with the latest technology and we noticed these features everywhere, particularly the comforting underfloor heating. A plump Queen sized bed was made up in the crispest, whitest linens… It guaranteed a blissfully indulgent sleep.

The bathroom was the highlight. A huge Japanese bathtub, carved from a single block of marble, was spa-worthy; in fact they do offer massages in the room. The ultra deep bath was incredible, great for a soak and scrub, especially using the invigorating Charm and More toiletries. Following the bathroom round we discovered an expansive walk-in black stone walled rainfall shower with numerous different settings. Two grand sinks allow couples their own space for beautifying and cleansing.

There are endearing touches in the detailing at Hotel de Nell. A box of chocolate treats from A la Mere de Famille (the neighbourhood institution and favourite Parisian chocolatier) was left for us in the room. There was also an extensively stocked mini-bar and intriguing design books to flick through.

In the morning, after a long hot bath, I sat by the balcony in my towelling robe and listened to soothing classical music, part of the Sunday service drifting from the giant Sainte Cecile church opposite. Looking out at this 19th century religious building across the road, I breathed in the warm incense hinted air and admired my contrasting minimalist surroundings.

Those guests interested in gastronomic delights will enjoy the prestigious restaurant at Hotel de Nell run by chef Bruno Doucet. I would recommend booking ahead for a table as it is one of the hottest eateries in town. For relaxing there is a library and a glass roof bar for evening cocktails. A small spa caters for visitors in need of some TLC.

More information and book a stay at Hotel de Nell here.

Thanks to the Paris Tourist Board, more information here.


Perfect Paris

On my recent trip to Paris, for a change, I flew in to France’s capital rather than taking the Eurostar. After so many visits I find it amazing that there are still so many things I want to explore and experience in Paris. A brilliant burger bar, a new design hotel and a personalised perfume service were all part of my itinerary but I also discovered a few wonders whilst wandering…


Le Citizen Hotel – a tiny boutique design hotel located by the canal. Young, hip and affordable.

Hotel de Nell – a quietly elegant and very luxurious 5 star design hotel in the 9th arrondissement.


Beef Club – visiting late on a Friday night, this popular local hangout was full to the brim and we were sad to learn of the lack of burgers. Nonetheless we enjoyed a delicious steak before sloping downstairs for a well mixed cocktail in the Ballroom Bar, another of the illustrious ECC venues.

Patisserie Christian Colonniat – here you will find perfect pain au chocolats with flaky buttery pastry that melts in your mouth. Best of all… It is hidden away from the hordes of tourists.

Big Fernand – Perhaps the best burger in Paris, this shabby restaurant is identified from the long queues down the street. We tried Le Bartholome, an irresistible combination of raclette cheese, crispy bacon, caramelised onions and chives accompanying a genius juicy beef patty. I’ve heard Big Fernand are soon to be opening in London, I cannot wait.

Ferdi – a very traditional and cosy restaurant serving classic French dishes and a particularly good and simple cheeseburger using the finest thick ground meat. Served with wonderfully thin fries.

Le Bal Cafe – particularly popular for weekend brunch, this cafe and art gallery attracts a cool crowd of creative creatures.


Ten Belles – just a few feet from Le Citizen Hotel, this charming little coffee shop squeezes customers in for delicious coffee and homemade cakes.

Lockwood – good in the day for a strong coffee or at night for an even stronger cocktail. Lockwood is a new ‘vintage’ venue that already has a great vibe.

Candelaria – My favourite new cocktail bar and dance establishment. Escape through the tacos kitchen to find a happy dancing den where trendy girls and boys drink clever concoctions. I loved the Dino sour with pear liqueur, lemon, egg white and floral-infused honey.


Nose – this perfume emporium offers a full analysis and personalised service to find you the perfect scent. I bought Le Fin du Monde by Etat Libre D’Orange.

Coincidence – a little concept store with lots of character. Here you will find Scandi inspired clothing and quirky accessories.

A.P.C. – the typically French brand, APC offers chic but relaxed garments for modern thinkers. Classic colours, modern design.


Rodin Museum – indoor and outdoor gallery filled with Rodin’s robust and sensual sculptures. Sadly the famous and romantic Kiss was on loan when we visited, though the other works are just as magnificent.

Cartier at Le Grand Palais – showcasing the finest jewels from Cartier, this is a glittering exhibition including jewellery worn by stars such as Grace Kelly.


Wikipearls at Wikibar – the experimental and innovative frozen balls of flavour are interesting but certainly not enjoyable. We tried Lobster and Coconut Milk, Beetroot and Foie Gras, Coriander and Pumpkin, and Roquefort and Walnut. Weird but not wonderful.

Le Comptoir Generale – this ghetto museum-cafe-bar is hidden away behind the main canal street. Filled with memorabilia and strange artefacts, it is a fascinating place to explore.

Thanks to the Paris Tourist Board, more information here.