A Pop-Up Chalet at La Maison Champs Elysées, Designed by Maison Margiela

A Pop-Up Chalet at La Maison Champs Elysées, Designed by Maison Margiela
La Table du Huit is a perfect address in the Golden Triangle of Paris, and for the winter season, they’re hosting a cozy pop-up chalet. Located inside La Maison Champs Elysées, the cutting-edge hotel designed by Maison Martin Margiela, La Table de Huit has a lot to love: the Alice in Wonderland white themed gastronomic restaurant in a garden setting; “The Blind Bar” designed by Philippe di Méo (where the barista suggests you do the work); a handsome Cigar Bar; and– until April– a romantic pop-up called Chalet Grand Marnier. A breath of mountain air in the city! The beautiful townhouse was built in 1866 for the Duchess of Rivoli, Princess Essling, who was Mistress of the Household to Empress Eugénie. Shoot forward to the here and now, what would the Duchess make of the provocative, lively decor and atmosphere? I think she’d adore it. Heading the culinary team is the talented and passionate young chef Bênoit Hilaire, inspired by his time with great chefs such as Antoine Westerman, Jacques Cagna and Jean-Pierre Vigato. His starters (18€) include Caesar Salad;  Scallop carpaccio, hazelnut oil, “red meat” radishes; Chicory and green salad, Beaufort cheese, black truffles and warm potatoes; Seared Duck Foie gras, beets, Corinth raisins with honey and gingerbread spices; soothing Cauliflower and langoustine velouté. Continue with the Huit’s signature dishes (from 28€) like the Chef’s Cheeseburger with bacon and hand-cut French fries, or the perfect creamy black truffle macaroni gratin (32€)– worth the visit just for this dish! With your meal, sip red Brouilly “Pierreux” P-M Chermette 2013 (38€). There’s also Thai Beef Tartar, raw or slightly seared; market-fresh seasonal vegetables drizzled with olive oil (24€); or the Fish of the Day (32€), like Roasted Cod or Mullet with oyster and shellfish tartare, steamed leeks. Mop up the sauce with bread from Master Baker Fabrice Hilaire (11 rue Saint Antoine), the chef’s brother! And note there’s always a dish of the day (32€). On Monday, for example, there’s Veal liver with red wine, and on Tuesday, Risotto “du jour” with aged parmesan. The desserts, price at 12€, are divine. Think Chocolate millefeuille with pear sorbet and Frozen Grand Marnier soufflé. Note that there’s a lunch menu priced at 45€ for a starter plus a main dish, or 55€ including dessert. And if you lunch or visit on Thursday, check out the luxury MARINHO manicure (from 10-45€, 2pm-7pm) available in the Salon Blanc designer sitting room. Sunday there’s Brunch from noon-3pm (54€). Perfect before a stroll along the Champs-Elysées for a little retail therapy, or a visit to the nearby Grand Palais. 8 rue Jean Goujon, 8th. Open 7/7 from 7h-2h00. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 74 64 95. There are 57 rooms and suites from 300€. http://www.latableduhuit.fr

Lead photo credit : Chalet Grand Marnier, courtesy of La Maison Champs Elysées

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !