When it came to investing in a weekend retreat across the Channel, Zivi Sainsbury and her hotelier husband Mark decided Paris would be the ideal spot. ‘We wanted to be in the area close to the Gare du Nord because in the UK we live near to theEurostar stop in Ashford,’ says Zivi.
‘I wanted somewhere with a fireplace and three bedrooms, in close proximity to the buzz of markets, shops and bars; and ideally, somewhere we’d just buy and move into. We had no intention of doing anything up.’
So of course, the minute she found the ideal place, an apartment spread over two floors in a 1700s building bordering the 3rd arrondissement (remarkably, with the requisite working fireplace), ‘The upstairs needed rejigging, which meant bringing builders in – and before we knew it, the whole thing was gutted.’