Restaurants & Bakeries
Le Marché Couvert Les Enfants Rouges was set up in 1615 under the reign of King Louis XIII. It is a small food and flower market with a selection of street food stalls, our favourite of which is the Thai restaurant, Rose Kitchen.
For the best hot chocolate in town, forget Angelina’s (there was a long queue of tourists when we walked past) and head to Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse. There are several shops around town but our favourite by far is as 9 Rue du Marché Saint-Honoré, 75001 where you head upstairs above the shop to a chic cafe that serves seriously good madeleines and hot chocolate with vanilla cream.
Le Voltaire, 27 Quai Voltaire, 75007. If you want a treat, then head to this upscale restaurant popular with celebrities. It serves classic french food in cosy, dark panelled rooms in the house where Voltaire used to live. Top tip: the portions are huge so you might want to share. Also don’t miss the delicious chocolate mousse.
Cedric Grolet is the baker de jour (he has just set up shop at The Berkeley Hotel in London) and there were queues outside his bakery at 35 Avenue de L’Opéra, 75002 when we visited. If you can’t face waiting, then top tip: order ahead and pick up a takeaway to eat in the nearby Jardin des Tuileries.
The Picasso Museum is one of our favourites and is it is usually less crowded than the Louvre and Musée D’Orsay (which was extremely busy when we visited – although the current Gaudi exhibition looks great). Off the beaten track at 5 rue de Thorigny, 75003, this Spring it is showing a new exhibition exploring the relationship between Picasso and his daughter Maya Ruiz-Picasso.
Hotel de La Marine is a new museum on Place de la Concorde which used to be the headquarters of the French Navy. The beautiful 18th century buildings were recently renovated and opened to the public last year. Do take the audio tour and don’t miss the stunning Al Thani collection which includes artefacts from many different cultures and spans over 6,000 years.
Hotel Therese, 5-7 Rue Thérèse, 75001. This small but lovely hotel is one of our top hotels to stay in Parisian. It is extremely central, good value and perfect for visits to the nearby Jardin desTuileries or Louvre Museum.
Soho House Paris, 45 Rue La Bruyere, 75009 is located in the old house of Jean Cocteau in the Pigalle district. It’s bedrooms range from traditional Parisian-style suites to provencal attic bedrooms and as always, it has a great vibe in the communal areas. Of particular note is the restaurant Club Cecconi’s restaurant and the outdoor courtyard, great for a summer tipple.
Relais Christine, 3 Rue Christine, 75006, on the left bank is more of a traditional, luxury hotel. It has a lovely old courtyard at the front and it’s rooms are decorated in a mixture of Pierre Frey fabrics and marble bathrooms. If you can, ask for a studio room on the ground floor with it’s own entrance through the courtyard.
Hotel Les Deux Gares, 2 Rue des Deux Gares, 75010, is a super fun hotel recently renovated by Luke Edward Hall. Think toile wallpaper with leopard print sofas and pink-tiled bathrooms. The cafe Les Deux Gares is also worth a visit, even if you aren’t staying.