Whether it be a girl’s getaway, a classy stag do or that world renowned romantic weekend, Brits have been flocking to Paris in search of a quick escape since well before our friends at Eurostar made it so convenient. These intrepid travelers are faced with the eternal dilemma of wondering how to make the most of their break without getting stuck in one of the many tourist Venus fly traps tempting you with their convenient Eiffel Tower adjacent locations and their charming English speaking waiters. So in a bid to deliver you from a fate of badly cooked frozen burgers and greasy Croque Monsieurs, I have put together a list of my favourite, not to be missed spots in Paris for decadent dining and cheeky after-hours drinks.
With virtually every spot on Rue du Nil taken up by various versions of this restaurant make sure you visit at least one of the Frenchie Trio; Frenchie to go, Frenchie wine bar and Frenchie restaurant (in ascending levels of formality). Expect queues.
The perfect place to grab a half time snack when attempting to ascend the hill at Montmartre. The Lobster Croque Monsieur provides a delightful twist on an old classic.
Le Mary Celeste
Effortlessly cool with a unique European/Asian menu. See my full review here.
After dinner drinks
La 25ème heure
My favourite in a long line of Parisian hidden bars. Behind a completely anonymous black door lies the cocktails and cocktail bar tenders of your dreams. If there’s no doorbell then they’re closed, I’ve had to learn the hard way.
The Little Red Door
Duck behind the Alice and Wonderland style entrance into one of Paris’ most celebrated spots. This little gem comes to you direct from the team at ECC London and has recently claimed 39th place in the World’s 50 Best Bars. Arrive early or expect to stand.
Yet another hidden bar, Candelaria is neatly tucked behind a small Mexican restaurant. Its success has come at a hard price as it is now officially Paris’ worst kept secret and I’ve heard Parisian’s grumble that the ambiance has suffered for it. But hey, who doesn’t love a bandwagon?
Just up from the bustling streets of Odéon you can find this tiny late night cocktail spot, guaranteed to be quiet, guaranteed to be open late and always plunged in virtual darkness. The perfect spot for a clandestine rendezvous.
Almost the most important meal of the weekend your Sunday brunch should be just the pick me up you need to drag yourself back to the Eurostar. My all-time favourite is Derriere. Direct for the genius who gave London the gift of Sketch, Derriere’s spectacular brunch buffet has Parisians all a-quiver every Sunday morning.
Les Enfants Perdus
If I’m totally honest, I have never been to Les Enfantes Perdu for brunch, but this is not a total stab in the dark. I have visited on numerous occasions for dinner, which has always been of a reasonable standard and anyone who is anyone tells me that their mammoth 3 platter brunch is well worth the trip to Canal St Martin.