Reasons to visit Paris in 2017
Author: Alexander Lobrano
After the huge success of Holybelly, which redefined the gastronomic possibilities of Paris mornings by serving urban Australian-style breakfast-slash-brunch, the latest contender is the new Montmartre branch of Di and Will Keser's Melbourne café Hardware Société. Boho locals have fallen hard for their poached eggs with smoked salmon or crumbled black pudding, and coffee from Melbourne's award-winning Padre.
Hardware Société, 10 Rue Lamarck, 75018, Paris
If you prefer going full French in le matin, head for Boulangerie Utopie, which many consider to be the best bakery in town. Pick up one of the superb croissants or pastries from 7am, and then head to a nearby coffee shop or café to enjoy it.
Boulangerie Utopie, 20 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011, Paris
Business lunch: Divellec
This is the lunch invite that will get a "oui!" faster than any other in Paris right now. Mathieu Pacaud, chef and son of Bernard Pacaud of the three-star L'Ambroisie, has brilliantly updated this old ocean-liner of a seafood house overlooking Les Invalides on the Left Bank. The edgy winter-garden-in-1960s-Palm-Springs décor is by chic Studio KO, which did the interiors of Chiltern Firehouse in London. Formerly old-fogey central, thanks to the government ministries in the neighbourhood, Divellec has been spotted by the city's fashion and media crowd, among others, as the perfect place for impeccably fresh, inventively prepared seafood such as sole with morels in a vin jaune sauce. There's also a €49 prix-fixe lunch menu available weekdays.
Divellec, 18 rue Fabert, 75007, Paris
Dinner: Restaurant Orties
The reason Paris is probably still the Western world's best food town is not its pantheon of three-star restaurants but rather the excellence of its large choice of everyday eateries in residential neighbourhoods. They're getting better, too, and a perfect example of the new wave of brilliant affordable tables is Restaurant Orties, on a side street in the 9th arrondissement. This is Paris's new Saint-Germain-des-Prés since this is where many of those sexy arty people you used to see on Left Bank café terraces have moved now that part of the city has become another pied-à-terre paradise for the world's roving rich. Chef Thomas Benady's market menu changes daily and runs to earthy but elegant dishes such as spelt risotto with shaved mushrooms, and tuna steak with fava beans.
Restaurant Orties, 24 rue Rodier, 75009, Paris
Ortie's pea mousse with Colonnata bacon.
Cocktail culture is thriving in Paris, and a new raft of bars is filling the void left by the mostly defunct clubs where the capital's friskiest party people once gathered after hours. Check out this glamorous low-lit Left Bank shaker shack to see how the French do it. Christopher Gaglione and Luis-David Cuevas are the bar maestros, and this place pulls a combustible mix of rumpled Latin Quarter intellectuals hunting ingénues, flirtatious foreigners, vintage night owls and new ones in the making. Try the Belize, a guaranteed lift-off from Blackwell rum, strawberry purée, lime juice and pressed mint leaves.
Solera, 283 Rue Saint-Jacques, 75005, Paris
Sleep: Le Saint Hotel
Just five minutes from Café de Flore - one of
the oldest coffee-houses in Paris - and surrounded by the boutiques
of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this 54-room hotel is exactly that small
charming Left Bank hotel you've been dreaming about. Availing
himself of a variety of
those updated floral patterns that instantly signal "hotel de charme", owner and decorator Bertrand Plasmans created this chic but discreet new address by joining three adjacent hotels (the old Lenox, Saint-Thomas Aquin and Saint-Vincent) in a shrewd renovation that delivers both modern comfort and buckets of charm.
Le Saint Hotel, 3 Rue du Pré aux Clercs, 75007, Paris
Solera's Regulus cocktail.
Coming soon: Hôtel de Crillon
Barring a last-minute hitch, the venerable Hôtel de Crillon on the Place de la Concorde will reopen this July after a four-year renovation by new owner Rosewood Hotels. The elegant pillared limestone mansion, built in 1758 by architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel for King Louis XV, doesn't look much different from outside, but inside it's kitted out with all the amenities that exigent 21st-century travellers love, including a new spa and indoor pool. Young chef Christopher Hache, who won a Michelin star for the hotel's Les Ambassadeurs restaurants, returns with a new menu that reflects his world-roving sabbatical.
Hôtel de Crillon, 10 Place de la Concorde, 75008, Paris