La Mosquée, Paris

Birds in the garden cafe of the Grand Mosque of Paris © zingaro

What with museums, architecture, romance and sparkling lights, Paris can be a non-stop rollercoaster. The Grand Mosque, or La Mosquée, with its hammam spa, North African restaurant and quirky café, offers an unexpected way to unwind.

The interior is palatial, bejewelled with colourful tiles and stained glass windows.

After a tour, indulge in some tagines and couscous indoors, or linger over traditional sweet mint tea and honey cake under cedar trees in the pretty outdoor garden. It’s frequented by flocks of tiny birds, which flit from table to table in search of forgotten crumbs.

Meanwhile the hammam has three steam rooms of varying strength (hot, very hot, and blurry vision hot), plus a cold-water plunge pool if your tolerance for heat is waning.

Two additional treatments are on offer: Gommage, where your skin is vigorously exfoliated with bars of bitty black soap; and a rather more soothing massage, with sweet smelling oils.

Grab your same sex friends for spa time though, as separate times are allocated to different genders.

La Mosquée is located by Jardin des Plantes.

Written by - Edited by Charlotte Amelines - Photo by Zingaro

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