Have lunch in a garden at the Lulli
Ok, so it’s not quite terrace weather, but at the award-winning 5-star Grand Hotel du Palais Royal’s cosy Lulli restaurant, it’s easy to forget the low skies and subzero temperatures. Set in a winter garden lined with green plants and bright lights that make you feel like you’re out on a summer’s day, it’s the perfect antidote to the winter blues. And don’t get us started on chef Clément Le Norcy’s simple wholesome regional and organic French fare like roasted coalfish with Macadamia, sweet potatoes, and black currant or veal piccata eggplant caviar and Valois sauce.
Take a stroll in a rainforest
Tucked in the upscale residential and sporting neighbourhood of Auteuil, the five romantic lofty serres (greenhouses) enclose micro-worlds of exotic flora like carnivorous plants and fauna including birds and butterflies. Listed landmarks, they first opened in 1761 under King Louis XV. Sit at the tables dotted about the place and soak up the scene and tropical temperatures.
Turn up the heat Copacabana style
It doesn’t get more Carioca than at this lively sensual cabaret just steps from the Champs Elysées. Sit down for dinner while you watch the dancers clad in colourful feathers and sequins just like at the Rio carnival shake it on stage to the live band’s samba sounds, making it just the perfect place to get your summer hit.
Sip on a Jamaican ‘Bobbie’ rum cocktail under the palm trees
You’d never guess this shiny modern brasserie and bar was a seedy cabaret (and the place where – according to one of many versions – Jim Morrison died of a drug overdose in the toilets). Snapped up by restaurant magnate Terance Conran and overhauled by Laura Gonzalez (behind the new Manko cabaret in Paris), its slick leafy interiors with their golden glow are a welcome breath of breezy summer air.
Dig into a home-made Berthillon ice-cream
By far the most popular ice-cream shop in Paris, the 1954-established Berthillon is a local institution that plays a key part in the Paris summer experience – the only problem is getting your hands on one of their ice-creams because the queues are so long. However, in winter the coast is all clear and you can even go for seconds without spending the day getting to the counter.
Sail away on a Caribbean cruise
A local favourite below-the-radar spot not to miss if you like the idea of nursing a secousse cocktail while hanging off the side of a wooden pirate ship. The giant wacky buzzy Africana/Caribbean curiosity cabinet is hidden in an artfully crumbling building adorned with creepers and plant life, the Comptoir Général’s new Caribbean cruise theme is enough to take you far from the rainy skies.