Paris in Pictures – some of my favourite things to do in the City
From rich, opulent architecture to dry corners to read in the rain or let your mind wander, to bites of food and spots for views, these are some of the things I enjoy about Paris.
Tell me more about your special Paris neighbourhoods and activities…
- La Chateaubriand, Paris – darling of new bistro dining scene and now number 15 on World’s 50 Best (9 in 2011). Hip, service is brisk, take what you get, no cooing over your allergies and intolerances. You’re given a menu, take it or, leave it and your seat will be swooped up in 3 seconds. We queued for a seat for an hour and a half from 9 pm as reservations were not possible. I sheepishly instagrammed a shot of the queue outside as testament to our developing virtue: patience. At 11pm there were still people at the bar waiting for a seat. 6 courses, €60 per person or €120 paired with wine. Contemporary wines without hefty price tags. Ours had a label, in gothic print that read: ‘French wine isn’t dead’. It matched with the hipster with the tattoo up his calf and the braces on his tweed shorts, at the table a hair’s breadth away from ours. Very French this- you sit as close to your neighbour as possible. 45 covers are made to fit in snug spaces. Highlight was a simple but completely unexpected pairing of fresh strawberries with Indian Mukhwas– the candy covered fennel seeds with other sweet little bits served at weddings or after meals. This is the anti-establishment restaurant extremely popular in Paris right now – bistro fare with flair but no frills, simple set-up and no hefty bills.
- Fish la Boissonnerie, Paris – best meal of our stay in Paris in July 2012. And at €35 for three courses per person, one of the less expensive meals we’ve enjoyed in Europe. Our food guide managed to wangle us a table with her friend, the owner. Same concept – small, packed and very, very popular. Don’t let the tables of loud North Americans put you off, they love the area St Germain so would make sense they pop in. Locals love it too. Tip- the bakery opposite the restaurant belongs to it and makes the most amazing foccacia. Take some away for a picnic or dinner later if you’re there for lunch. You must at this point be reminded that the French would never buy bread after dinner to be used the next day. Bread is purchased twice a day; with so many excellent bakeries open till late, makes sense. Not done that way here, at all! A Japanese chef who understands flavour heads this operation. Portions on the large side, flavours are bang on the money. Not fine dining, but very good dining indeed.
- Rino, Paris – the restaurant that the chefs and insiders recommend. Two menus, one at €41, four courses per person and another €58 for 6 courses. The food was good but not memorable. I think this is because we had, at this point been on the road travelling and eating out for for almost 3 months, and our palates needed a rest. Pity. I will give it another shot, when we return.
- La Comptoir, Paris – one of the few good restaurants where you can arrive for lunch without a booking. You can queue at noon or at 3pm when it quietens down. The proviso is that you need to be out by 5 30 pm before the dinner service starts. Had a lovely catch up here with my friend Linda who came down from London for a day. Attached next door is a standing-room only small bar. Look up at the ceiling and you see images of the tapas dishes you can order with a glass of organic wine, which is huge in Paris. Also, this little spot makes the best, high-end take away crepes, sweet and savoury. Linda and I shared a sweet one with nutella after our lunch at La Comptoir.
– See more at: https://www.foodandthefabulous.com/restaurants/restaurants-visited-updated-hoorah/#sthash.xyURuaZY.dpuf