At the end of the 18th century, town planners in Paris created a labyrinth of hidden passages across Paris and if you know where to look you can still push back a doorway and walk into a fabulous belle époque arcade, a glittering art nouveau galerie or an ancient courtyard.
My favourite covered gallery must be Galerie Vivienne. It is place I take my visiting friends without fail. Somehow the covered galleries have kept under the radar of the general tourist rounds - probably because there is so much else to visit in Paris - but with the number of tourist evermore on the rise even these lovely quiet spots are being invaded.
Follow me into my favourite not-so-secret passageway and not only for some retail therapy...
The back entrance
Sumptuous architecture, delicate mosaics and grand statues have been wonderfully preserved, and the shops and restaurants are seriously chic and expensive. Jean-Paul Gaultier opened his first boutique here and it remains his flagship.
Some good old classic reading can be found in the Ancienne Librairie
These three piggies reminded me of a dice game I used to play when I was young...
Even the ceiling is delightful
Very tempted to take a peek up those stairs
Endless entertainment for the kids, no need for i-phones!
Decorative nametags to give your dinner table a French touch of glamour