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How to do the French capital like Emily in Paris

Emily in Paris has sparked a renewed fervour for tourism in the French capital  (Netflix/The Independent)
Emily in Paris has sparked a renewed fervour for tourism in the French capital (Netflix/The Independent)

It’s official: Emily Cooper has so enticed fans of the hit Netflix series Emily in Paris to visit the French capital that the streaming giant has given the green light to official trips.

Yes, you too could follow in marketer and wannabe-influencer Cooper’s footsteps; an immersive trip is being launched by experiential travel start-up Dharma, which promises to pay “homage to the cultural wonders” of Paris “for all the curious minds”.

They’re working with the producers of the series and have been given the go ahead by Netflix. Itineraries for the City of Love include a masterclass on baking pain au chocolat, knocking back rounds of Lillet Spritz at a rooftop bar and private designer atelier visits curated by Marylin Fitoussi, head costume designer for Emily in Paris.

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But the four-night holidays for groups of eight to 16 guests cost from an “oh mon dieu!”-inducing £2,155 per person; flights are not included.

If you fancy ogling the sepia-toned shots of bougainvillaea spilling from the wrought-iron balconies of Paris’s Haussmann and spending an inordinate amount of time fine-dining in restaurants with panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower a la Emily, minus the Savoir -esque price tag, fear not.

Follow this guide for a do-it-yourself trip to experience Emily’s Paris (wardrobe not included).

Emily in Paris sells the romance of the city (STÃPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX)
Emily in Paris sells the romance of the city (STÃPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX)

Do

In the latest season, Emily took ‘funemployment’ seriously and spent a jam-packed few days live-streaming her Parisian escapades to her followers. The Eiffel Tower and Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur may attract every tourist in the vicinity, but they’re popular for a reason.

Once you’ve ticked off the big sites, hit the art galleries. We’ve all heard of the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, but Paris is home to over 1,000 art galleries, many of which are small, intimate and exude the charm and cool of the gallery run by Emily’s friend/arch-nemesis Camille (Camille Razat). I particularly like the Musée Moreau, home to paintings by 19th-century Symbolist artist Gustave Moreau, with its higgledy-piggledy staircases that look like an illustration from a Lemony Snicket novel. The Musée Picasso is another highlight, and it’s difficult to say which grabs the attention more, the artwork or the building.

Piscine Molitor is Paris's classiest spot for a dip (Getty Images)
Piscine Molitor is Paris's classiest spot for a dip (Getty Images)

Summer may feel some way off, but Emily makes the most of getting outside in Paris. The Fête de la Musique, where Emily serenades Alfie (Lucien Laviscount) in Episode Two, is a free, nationwide event that takes place annually on the Summer Solstice (21 June). The biggest and best stages usually appear on the banks of the Seine, outside the Louvre and the Petit Palais, but walk through the streets of any arrondissement and you’ll discover amateur buskers and groups (Montmartre is particularly good).

If the heat of the city gets too much, head to Piscine Molitor. This is the actual pool where Emily and her best friend Mindy (Ashley Park) spend the day drinking cocktails in Episode Five.

Stay

Emily lives in the 5th arrondissement, on Rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques. This is on the edge of the Latin Quarter, the oldest district in Paris, built by the Romans. It’s exactly as it looks on TV: independent bookshops, quirky cafés and bistros and tree-lined boulevards. The central location makes it the perfect base for a Parisian séjour. (Or check out our pick of the best boutique hotels in Paris if you’re looking for an Insta-attractive base elsewhere in the city.)

Hotel Leopold offers a bougie setting in which to rest your head (Herve Goluza)
Hotel Leopold offers a bougie setting in which to rest your head (Herve Goluza)

To truly emulate Emily, book a chambre de bonne (maid’s room) on the top floor of one of the old Haussmann buildings, but overpackers beware: many of Paris’s old Haussmann buildings still don’t have elevators.

Four-star Hôtel Léopold has pretty rooms decorated in an Art Nouveau style and is just the other side of the Jardin du Luxembourg; leopoldhotelparis.com

Eat

Gabriel (Lucas Bravo)’s restaurant may be fictional, but the bourgeois little streets of the Latin Quarter are lined with exquisite and often reasonably priced bistros. JJ Beaumarchais does a great value three-course lunch menu for €26 on weekdays.

And Gabriel wasn’t lying when he said McDonald’s in Paris was something special. McDonald’s Saint-Lazare is particularly spectacular, with an Alsatian shopfront like something out of an Advent calendar. Admire the exterior but don’t stay for petit déj; Fou de Pâtisserie is a 15-minute walk away in Pigalle, with glazed cakes shinier than Emily’s blow-dried locks.

Dine with a view of the Eiffel Tower (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Dine with a view of the Eiffel Tower (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For an experience worthy of Emily’s social media feed, splash out on dining on the rooftop terrace at Michelin-starred L’Oiseau Blanc. The dishes are so beautifully presented you may even forget to admire the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Drink

“Go to Angelina’s”, says one of Emily’s Instagram followers, and there’s no doubt that it’s a Parisian institution. There are seven across Paris and Versailles and the house specialityis a thick, rich hot chocolate served with lavish bowls of whipped cream.

Angelina is deserving of its glowing reputation, but to enjoy an equally decadent hot chocolate without rubbing shoulders with every tourist in Paris, head to Bontemps instead.

Swing by Angelina to emulate Emily (Getty Images)
Swing by Angelina to emulate Emily (Getty Images)

You don’t need a friend who sings in a jazz club to appreciate Paris’s bar scene. Piano Vache (again, a stone’s throw from chez Emily) hosts regular live jazz nights and has reasonably priced drinks. For drinks with a view worthy of the show’s opening credits, go to Brach, a rooftop bar with a gourmet cocktail menu.

Shop

To do Paris Emily-style, you have to look the part, but most of us have neither the financial means nor wasteful inclination to buy a new designer outfit for each soirée. Fortunately, Paris’s friperies are full of gems cast aside by a fashion-conscious population. Prisca Paris has eye-catching vintage pieces that wouldn’t look out of place at a Pierre Cadault launch.

Be sure to pick up fresh blooms from Ile de la Cite flower market (Getty Images)
Be sure to pick up fresh blooms from Ile de la Cite flower market (Getty Images)

Since your trip to Paris sits somewhere between cheesy romcom and exaggerated telenovela, the rule is that you must always have a bouquet of freshly purchased flowers in your hand. Emily and Mindy go to fictional florist Marguerite et Capucine, but I recommend the flower market on Île de la Cité.

Getting there

Catch the Eurostar from London St Pancras and you’ll be in Paris in two hours and 16 minutes.

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