Hoverspeed will skim you across the Channel to Calais or Boulogne in less than an hour. Paris' prestigious Hotel Frantour is just a three-hour drive away.
The Frantour is superbly situated on the quiet Avenue de Clichy, just 500 yards from the peripherique. Your stay will be extremely relaxing. It has four restaurants and a first-class heated swimming pool. It is an ideal base for leisurely exploration of the city and you get two nights' stay plus continental breakfast.
To qualify for this bargain break you need to collect four differently numbered tokens from The Independent, the first of which appears today.
From 24 February to 30 March you may travel on the Hoverspeed SeaCat from Dover to Calais, a crossing that takes 50 minutes. From 31 March to 30 April, the last day of this offer, you can cross the Channel from Folkestone to Boulogne by SeaCat (55 minutes) or by Hovercraft (35 minutes) from Dover to Calais. Please note that travel throughout April attracts a £45 supplementary charge and the outward journey from Dover to Calais CANNOT be made on a Friday.
Whenever you choose to go, you can take up to two further companions at a cost of £35 each. Single room supplements are £10 per person per night and children under two go free.
All sailings are subject to availability and terms of trading and booking conditions. Details of sailings and how to make your booking will be printed in The Independent later this week. Where could you eat? Breakfast Rachinel Patisserie, 18 rue Saint-Antoine, 4e (Metro: St Paul). This busy, narrow bakery doubles as a cafe, and needs a choreographer to shuffle the customers queuing for baguettes as others sup industrial-sized vats of cafe au lait. The mouthwatering selection of cakes and crossaints is sold at shop prices, so you can set yourself up for the day for as little as 25F.
Lunch Chartier, 7 rue du Faubourg-Montmartre (Metro: Rue Montmartre). Big, busy and smack in the middle of the tourist trail, but a good venue for midday refuelling nonetheless. It tends to fill up once the first Eurostar train arrives from London, so getting a table before noon is a good plan (it opens at 11am).
Aperitif Cafe l'Industrie, corner of rue Sabin and rue Sabaine, 11e (Metro: Bastille). This is the Parisian cafe you always hope you'll stumble upon: a large, welcoming haunt, decorated with monochrome photographs and multicoloured oil paintings. Furthermore a beer costs only nine francs, a refreshing event in a city where the standard quarter-litre of pression usually costs twice as much. Anis is on hand, too.
Dinner Chez Paul (13 rue de Charonne; tel 47 00 34 57). This almost wilfully unassuming street-corner restaurant - unpretentious to the point of pretension - is regarded by many Parisians as the best-value restaurant in the capital. With wine, coffee and a tip you are likely to spend around 250F per person. You can eat much more cheaply elsewhere in Paris, but it is hard to eat better. As the weather becomes warmer, the clientele begins to spill out along the pavement, so tables are easier to find. But reservations are essential, whatever the time of year.
Nightcap Majestic Cafe, 34 rue Vielle du Temple, 4e. The only drawback here is the propensity to play early 1970s music: Marc Bolan and David Bowie croon out from somewhere amid the handsome mirrors and woodwork. Rue Vielle du Temple is the best street in Paris for a bar crawl, lined with dozens of relatively cheap and friendly places, and makes a good base camp for a night of clubbing.Reuse content