Top romantic spots in Paris
The City of Love has museums and restaurants for ideal romantic settings
Valentine's Day is a month away. When it comes to romance, no city comes close to Paris. Here are some places to get in the mood for passion in the City of Love.
FOR ART LOVERS
The Mona Lisa - and her enigmatic smile - may have inspired love stories, but The Louvre, home of the world's most famous artwork, has plenty of other similar tales.
See them in the paintings of French romantic artists such as Eugene Delacroix, and the statue of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, better known as the Venus de Milo.
The Left Bank of the Seine has long been the haunt of lovers, but railway station-turned-art gallery Musee d'Orsay is hard to beat for an afternoon date.
Among the head-turners is Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night Over The Rhone, depicting a lovers' tryst under the stars.
FOR ROMANTIC VIEWS
You cannot get more Parisian than the wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars. The architecture of the Eiffel Tower defines the city.
The food - courtesy of celebrity chef Alain Ducasse's one-Michelin-starred Le Jules Verne on the second level - is sublime, and the views have provided the backdrop for thousands of marriage proposals.
For die-hard romantics, Sacre-Coeur Basilica (the Basilica of the Sacred Heart), perched prettily on a hill in Montmartre, provides views of the city to help stir passions. Rose sellers on the steps know it too and are ready to pounce before you can say "je t'aime" (I love you in French).
FOR A SWEET TREAT
Every good relationship claims to be about the little things you have in common - like a shared love for the macarons made at Pierre Herme, an award-winning patisserie.
The flavours are as delicate as you would hope for. Go for the raspberry and rosewater, or milk chocolate and passion fruit.
For a splashy yet sophisticated date, take your partner to luxury food emporium Fauchon for a gift-wrapped box of tea-flavoured macarons. They are infused with the aromatic scent of apple, earl grey or jasmine.
FOR A HAND-IN-HAND WALK
For that only-in-Paris moment, leafy garden Jardin des Tuileries is the ultimate box-ticker. Set your camera whirring at the fountains, picnic by the ponds, or consider the sculptures while showing off your partner to the people-watchers of Paris.
For a dreamy stroll, consider blooms-filled market Marche aux Fleurs, located between the Notre Dame cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle chapel. Buy your partner a dozen roses but remember, yellow ones imply infidelity.
FOR A ROMANTIC DINNER
At more than 400 years old, La Tour d'Argent is said to be the oldest restaurant in Paris and one of the city's most expensive.
It is also a one-Michelin-starred darling that overlooks a sensational skyline crowned by the Notre Dame.
It is a date, after all - what better excuse to justify a visit?
At first an unassuming neighbourhood restaurant, Restaurant Le Coupe Chou reveals itself bit by bit behind a small wooden door.
Here, you will find a warren of plushy furnished rooms, crackling fireplaces and ravishing main courses.
Film icon Marlene Dietrich dined here, so if that does not inspire you, little else will.
This article first appeared in SilverKris.com (www.silverkris.com).