Top 10 Parisian Terraces to Enjoy this Summer

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Top 10 Parisian Terraces to Enjoy this Summer

Ouvrons Grand Les Jeux” (Games Wide Open) – The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are approaching fast! There will be beach volleyball beneath the Eiffel Tower, equestrian events at the Palace of Versailles, and the Opening Ceremony on the River Seine. The first to be held in a city center, a flotilla of boats will transport the athletes towards the Eiffel Tower, embellished with outsized Olympic rings. Within the 32 sports (climbing, skateboarding, surfing etc), watch out for one hip new spectacular addition: “Breaking” (Breakdancing) will make its Olympic debut. The Paris Summer Olympics will take place from July 26-August 11. Rock on.

Yes, Paris is on show this summer. For the Games, Le Stade de France, the country’s largest stadium (seating capacity 78,338), will transform into the Olympic Stadium, hosting track & field events. Built in Saint-Denis (1995), Le Stade was designed by architects Macary, Zublena, Regembal and Costantini. While some events take place near iconic sightseeing spots, others are at sporting venues that have become synonymous with the city. For example, Roland Garros, home to the French Open, will present tennis and boxing, not forgetting Bercy Arena.  Note that 50% of the athletes are women, making Paris the first Olympic host to achieve gender equality in the history of the Games. “Women athletes competed for the first time ever at the 1900 Paris Olympics,” explains Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024.   

Parisian summer terraces have been given an exceptional extension, with the possibility of staying open until midnight, from July 1st- September 8th, 2024. So, between games (rugby, long jump, high jump etc.), it’ll be easy to find restaurants where you’ll delight in the mouthwatering cuisine- whether it’s traditional French, international, or vegan! After all, in the culinary Olympic Games, the French win everything! 

Ducasse sur Seine 

Aye aye, Captain! Alain Ducasse has a firm hold on the tiller of his eponymous floating restaurant. The good ship “Ducasse sur Seine” docks directly in front of the Eiffel Tower, with incredible views as you board for a chic lunch or dinner cruise.

Slow and silent (the boat’s electric), you glide past iconic Paris monuments during the two-hour circuit. The seasonal menu is created by Ducasse and ship head chef Jean-Philippe Berens (ex-top Chef, Plaza Athénée, Paris, Hôtel de Paris, Monaco). Vegetarian options are available and “Le Cookpot” features on the menu, when seven vegetables and cereals are slowly simmered in a sleek white porcelain cookpot – a pure delight.Ducasse, always conscious of the environmental and health impacts of his cooking, says he aims to increase the plant-based proteins on his menus, while reducing fats, salts and sugars. This, he predicts, will become a key aspect of future fine dining.

DETAILS

Lunch menus from €95.
Dinner from €160 (four courses). €305 gets you five courses with wine pairings and Champagne. For €500, there’s a six- course menu with Champagne and wine pairings.
19 Port Debilly, 16th 
Metro: Trocadero 
Tel: +33 (0)1 58 00 22 08 

The famous Ducasse cookpot

Laurent  

Formerly Louis XIV’s hunting lodge, Le Laurent was as an open-air tavern during the French Revolution (1789-1799). By 1842, architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorff (designer of Gare du Nord), then in charge of the redevelopment of the Champs-Elysées, transformed it into an elegant neo-classical villa. Today, talented chef Mathieu Pacaud clarifies the classics, refines tradition, bringing interesting contemporary cuisine to this historic mansion.

Discover Pacaud’s delights such as smoked salmon with pink berry aspic, brioche mousseline and golden caviar; confit cod; leg of suckling lamb with marrow and marjoram. Don’t ignore the trio of revised house classics: iconic blue lobster salad, languorous langoustines crowned with basil leaf, sinuous spider crab, astringent with fennel jelly. And those unforgettable dessert trolleys! This is one of the most romantic addresses in Paris, France, the world. Inside, check out the new décor. C’est une fête! 

DETAILS

41 avenue Gabriel, 8th 
Metro: Franklin D Roosevelt 
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 25 00 39 
Average spend €100+ 

Le Grand Véfour

Superchef Guy Martin took over this magnificent maison in 2011. His dishes are inventive and joyful, as is the welcome. In 1820 Jean Véfour bought the “Café de Chartres” (created in 1784) from Mr. Aubertot, giving it his name. This romantic location is within the Palais Royal arcades. Diners such as Bonaparte and Joséphine, Victor Hugo, Balzac, Colette, Jean Cocteau, Sacha Guitry and André Malraux did not have the pleasure of the two terraces – you do! Nor did Raymond Oliver, the renowned chef who took over the ovens in 1948 with Louis Vaudable – then owner of Maxim’s. Chef’s signature dishes include: pan-seared langoustine, served with white asparagus, caviar, and white asparagus emulsion (€98); blue lobster, with green asparagus, shell fish emulsion (€96); tonka mille-feuille (€19). And for vegetarians, don’t miss the green and yellow courgettes, flavored with cardamom and served with cherry tomato pickles (€29). 

DETAILS

La Semainier menu from Tuesday-Saturday at lunch and dinner €57-€68 + wine.
17, rue de Beaujolais, 1st 
Metro: Palais Royal 
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 96 56 27 
Closed Sunday & Monday 

courtesy of Le Grand Véfour

Lordy’s Paris Club 

This beautiful building, named in honour of Lord Baltimore (their first, and possibly most famous guest), was a luxury hotel in the 1920s. I’m sure his polo-playing Lordship would approve of today’s fun RDV at the LPC Bar, nestled in the heart of the Sofitel Paris Baltimore Tour Eiffel. Enjoy the “British Afterwork” every first Thursday of the month from 6:30 pm with music, wine, cocktails and fun.

And the restaurant?  Young chef Yassine Riahi (28) trained in the kitchens of Alain Ducasse and Hélène Darroze. Riah’s starters are delicious: Cocotte Organic Egg (€15), Foie Gras (€21), Crispy truffle cheddar (€23). Very British mains include Fish & Chips (€26); Very British Pie (€25); Shoulder of lamb, chips, lamb jus with mint oil (€34). Finish with Lordy’s Sundae (€14) or the Apple Tart (€14). 

DETAILS

Located at the Sofitel Paris Baltimore Hotel 
88 bis avenue Kleber, 16th 
Metro: Boissière 
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 34 54 34 
Lunch: Monday-Friday. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 
Let’s meet at “Jeudi Lordy’s” every first Thursday of the month 
Terrace – Bar open daily from 9am-midnight   

Chalet des Îles 

Following a fire, the Le Chalet des Îles recently reopened with bright décor by architect Nicolas Laisné. Nestled on one of the two islands in the lower lake of the Bois de Boulogne, it’s a historic Swiss style chalet, apparently built by Napoleon III for his Empress Eugenie, now converted to a lakeside restaurant. In this bucolic setting discover delicious French food and excellent wines – a romantic secret rendezvous. And pre-Olympics, Chalet des Îles has revealed a new and unique space: The Vegetable Garden (le potager). Diners sit among the fruits, herbs and vegetables grown in an eco-sustainable way and, bien sur, used in the kitchen. The five-course menu was created by chef Pierre Chomet (remember him from Top Chef 2021?)

DETAILS

14, chemin de Ceinture du Lac Inférieur du Bois de Boulogne  
Porte de La Muette, 16th 
Metro: La Muette 
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 88 04 69 
Open 7/7. Sunday Brunch from 12 noon – 4 pm

The Village Cafe  

Here Julie Noyer is cooking in tandem with cheffe Marianne Dargere (ex-Les Airelles, LouLou, Ramatuelle) at her husband Benoit Dargère’s belle brasserie. Cuisine is in Julie’s genes, coming from an Aveyron dynasty who launched Le Village, Neuilly

This setting’s colorful, simple, warm. The daily changing blackboard menu has something delicious for everyone. I want everything! Soup of the Day (€11). Tartare of Salmon and avocado (€16). Hearty salads (from €19). Scallops served with fresh herbs and beans (€28). Burgundy style Beef cheeks with steamed potatoes (€25). Chicken paillard in astringent cider sauce, with chips (€19). For dessert, try the Tarte Tatin de Mamie (€11) and/or Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce (€11). Wash it down with Porn Star Martinis (€16) from the comprehensive wine and cocktail list. 

DETAILS

22 rue de la Terrasse, 17th 
Metro: Malesherbes 
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 94 37 92 
Open 7/7 from 8am for “Good Morning Paris” breakfast (from €11-€16)

courtesy of the Village Cafe  

Le Troquet 

Rue “Bonvin” is an excellent address for a “troquet” – I think you’ll agree. But what is a troquet? It’s a small bistro serving drinks and food. (The word is popular because of the series of no-reservations spots created by Christian Echtebest: “La Cantine du Troquet.”) 

When former sous chef Marc Mouton (ex- Bocuse School, Lyon, L’Astrance, Gagnaire) took over Le Troquet, he kept the touches of the southwest with bold paintings of bulls. Add a lovely zinc bar, tiles typical of the bistros/troquets of yesteryear, wooden tables, a collection of Michelin guides, copper pots, and benches, and you’ll get a lovely, convivial atmosphere.

Begin with a pot of duck rillettes. Then choose from the blackboard which changes according to the season. There may be celery remoulade and crispy pig’s trotters, or marinated salmon with dill vinaigrette, asparagus. Main courses could be squid and chorizo ​​risotto; braised beef cheeks and fried vegetables; duck breast and Grenailles potatoes. For dessert, go for the mango or vanilla soufflé served with black cherry jam.

At Troquet, Marc Mouton wants to continue the tradition of an authentic bistro/troquet. The meat and foie gras come from Comptoir Corrézien, asparagus from the Boyer family (Baucaire in the Gard region), and the bread is from Jean-Luc Poujauran.  

The wine list gives pride of place to small producers: a Saint-Chinian, Little paradise of vineyards of Foncalieu; Valencay Les Griottes from Francis Jourdain; or cru bourgeois Haut-Médoc Château les Ormes sorbet. All at affordable prices, sip slowly on the terrace, discuss the day’s results.. c’est parfait!

DETAILS

21, rue François Bonvin, 15th 
Metro: Sevres-Lecourbe 
Tel:  +33 (0)1 45 66 89 00 
Open Tuesday-Saturday lunch & dinner 
Starters & Desserts €13. Mains €23.
Menus from €36-€38 

courtesy of Le Troquet

Les Deux Magots 

Give in to the spell of this fabled cafe, going strong since 1884. Picasso met Dora Maar here! Famous clients include Hemingway, Sartre, and James Baldwin. Les 2 M’s have their own Olympics. “Le Deux Magots Award” was created in 1933 to bring talented and original writers to public attention, today one of the most prestigious literary prizes. Dishes include Croque-Monsieur (€19), Madame (€21), Veggie Club Sandwich (€23), Grilled vegetable millefeuille with fresh goat’s cheese (€20), Saint Germain Salad (€26), warm Tart Tatin (€16), and L’Enigme d’Auguste” (€20) in homage to Auguste Boulay, who acquired Les 2 Magots in 1914, and is the present owner Catherine Mathivet’s great-grandfather.

Toast summer, the Olympics and 140 years of Les Deux Magots with Dom Perignon 2013. And, check out the exhibition of photos of celebrities who’ve enjoyed this gem throughout the years. 

DETAILS

8, place Saint Germain-des-Prés, 6th 
Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés 
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 48 55 25 
Brunch weekends 

courtesy of Les Deux Magots

Le Molitor Rooftop 

Atop the famous swimming complex and luxury hotel, this rooftop celebrates summer with panoramic views and gourmet experiences capturing the sunshine spirit of the Olympic summer in Paris.

This is where the sun shines not only in the sky, but also on the plates! And the cocktail menu continues the chic partnership with St Germain. “Through this collaboration, we combine the expertise of our talented mixologists with the floral and delicate essence of St Germain”, say the staff.

The restaurant opens daily for lunch and dinner, by reservation only. The Solarium will be open every day, continuously from 5 pm to midnight, without reservation. Don’t forget the sunblock! And, the Bikini Bar’s back from May 20, without reservation, daily from 12 noon to 7.30pm 

DETAILS

6 avenue Molitor, 16th 
Metro: Michel-Ange Molitor 
Tel: +33 (0)1 56 07 08 50 

 

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Camondo 

Moïse de Camondo (1860-1935) was the French banker, with an Olympic-style passion for acquiring the finest works of art. Discover his incredible collection of exquisitely rare furniture and objets d’art from the 18th century, set in the palatial Parisian residence he built (1911) to showcase his infatuation. Artworks by Houdon, Guardi and Oudry complement the unsurpassed accoutrements of aristocratic life in one of the most sumptuous homes of the Belle Epoque. And, now you’re starving, reserve for lunch/brunch/cocktails on the beautiful terrace. In the state of the art kitchens, chefs Fany Herpin and Mehdi Boucenna create convivial summer cuisine.

Here’s Culture & Cuisine – the password for Paris, n’est ce pas? Don’t forget the Ray-Bans! 

DETAILS

61 bis rue de Monceau, 8th 
Metro: Monceau 
Tel: +33 (0)1 53 89 06 40 
Sunday Brunch 

courtesy of Le Camondo

Lead photo credit : Paris cafe. Photo credit: Pat Guiney/ Flickr

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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 !