Northern France

Exclusive guide to the best holiday destinations in northern France, independent reviews from award-winning travel writers

Six secret Paris treats

Even if guided tours don’t appeal, there are secret treats for those prepared to hop a Metro to less-travelled parts of the city or bag a perch offering a ringside view of the most famous landmark in the world. Here are six secret ways to get the most out of la belle Paris:

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ALAIN DUCASSE AT THE PLAZA ATHENEE

Is Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athenee one of the best restaurants in Paris? Certainly, the man currently regarded as the god of French cooking has the prettiest room in the most glamorous hotel in town

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Les Bains

An 1885 bathhouse off a charmless Paris boulevard may seem an unlikely vehicle for one of the city’s most desirable boutique hotels. But Johnny Depp and his cohorts have pulling power, and the too cool for school crowd cavorted for years in the basement of Les Bains when it was a hip nightclub.

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Slack Deux Caps Art Festival

The coast, between Calais and Bologne sur-Mer, just across the English Channel is relatively undiscovered by visitors and it may because of this that an outdoor art exhibition has been mounted on some of its most scenic points. Slack Deux Caps art festival is running between, 20th June to 20th September 2015 and the idea is that the art fits seamlessly into the landscape.

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A weekend wonder on the Calais Coast

From his lofty perch some 53 metres up, Napoleon Bonaparte gazes across at what might have been. Back in 1804 over 100,000 men of his grand army stood alongside him right here at Boulogne sur Mer on the Calais coast poised to invade England.

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Walking the Camino de Santiago

When I was walking the Camino de Santiago, my companion John was by all accounts not looking very well. To be fair, he had been walking solidly for the last two weeks and had completed nearly 500 kilometers. I suppose his generous girth and the fact that he had recently undergone bypass surgery didn’t help […]

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