You love travelling to Paris for work. In fact, you pride yourself on having ticked off the most famous landmarks the city has to offer. However, for this business trip, you feel it would be a shame not to rent a car, explore gardens, parks and other hidden treasures near the French capital. So, here are our suggestions.
Get rid of your love handles because you know, French pastries…
Why don’t you drive to Ozoir-la-Ferrière golf club, just 10km from Lognes, where you can be treated to a one-day membership? You can tee off, slice and putt the ball alongside typical stressed Parisians in need of recreation. Then, you can appreciate blissful silence while having lunch at the castle and trying to steer clear of those delicious pastries.
Golf Club d’Ozoir-la-Ferrière, Château des Agneaux, 77330 Ozoir-la-Ferrière
You’re sick and tired of glass towers
Check out the spectacular Arboretum de la Vallée-aux-loups in Châtenay-Malabry, about 7km from Vélizy-Villacoublay and 12km from Orly Airport. There, you can stroll around Chateaubriand’s house, and even shed a little tear at the sight of the majestic blue Atlas cedar, a 150-year-old tree that was selected for the European Tree of the Year contest in 2016. It will feel like getting a big hug from Mother Nature.
Arboretum de la Vallée-aux-loups, 140 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 92290 Châtenay-Malabry
You are still trying to figure out the appeal of modern art
You have visited museums and galleries in Paris, but you still can’t get a grip on modern art. The MACVAL Museum in Vitry-sur-Seine, less than 9km from Orly Airport, might finally sway you. It offers a stunning and accessible collection of French art from 1950 to the present, and exceptional temporary exhibitions. And you can also meet resident artists. If you are still not fond of contemporary art, splendid ancient statues will welcome you back at the Louvre.
MACVAL Museum, Place de la Libération, 94400 Vitry-sur-Seine
Impress your French counterpart with your perfect knowledge of Rodin
Everybody knows the Rodin Museum in Paris. But did you know there was another one in Meudon, a chic suburb only 12km southwest from the capital? Located in the middle of a lovely park, the Villa des Brillants recreates the environment and the intimacy of the artist’s workshop. Also, imagine the look on your colleagues’ faces when you explain that the artist and his wife are buried a few feet under the Thinker’s thoughtful gaze.
Rodin Museum, 19 Avenue Auguste Rodin, 92190 Meudon
You thought Versailles was the only place to feast on formal landscape design
If want to avoid crowds and enjoy some dramatic scenery, head 11km outside Paris to the Parc du Domaine de Sceaux designed by Louis XIV’s beloved gardener and landscape architect of Versailles, André Le Nôtre. If the 448 acres of beauty and brilliant design haven’t exhausted you, you can also join one of the castle tours, view its former stables converted into art galleries, as well as its impressive art collection.
Parc du Domaine de Sceaux, Château de Sceaux 92330 Sceaux
Remember there was a time when people didn’t write on a computer
Some artists liked to find inspiration in the country rather than in the city’s distracting buzz. Rent a car and head to Médan, 32km from Paris, where the famous writer, Emile Zola, bought a house, designed the park and invited artists such as Manet, Cézanne and Pissarro. When Zola wasn’t busy entertaining geniuses, the novelist also filled thousands of handwritten pages in his office.
Maison d’Émile Zola 26 Rue Pasteur, 78670 Médan