There's nothing better than eating al fresco in Paris' summertime. Whether on the banks of the Seine, in private wharfs or on the city's rooftops, there's a certain je ne sais quoi about the atmosphere that makes outdoor dining irresistible. Here's how to enjoy the city's outdoor dining in style for summer:
With its 150-page wine list, Les Climats is a veritable haven for lovers of Burgundy wine. Transcending all time and place, its cosy interiors and wonderful veranda lined with potted plants and white bamboo tables along with its jovial atmosphere remind of a dream summerhouse. Opened in 2013 by Carole Colin and Denis Jamet, the exclusive restaurant is a firm favourite among the local crowd in the know. In the kitchen, chef Julien Boscus, an old Gagnaire and Alléno hand, rustles up moorish contemporary cuisine. A winner. LUXOS Recommends: Seared Saint-Jacques with cream chestnuts, citrus butter and Granny Smith apple
Les Jardins du Pont Neuf
Right in the heart of Paris on the banks of the River Seine, the newly-created private wharf looks across the water to the 19th century Samaritaine department store (currently closed) and the nearby bridge Pont Neuf. Created by Lapérouse owners Jérôme Schabanel and Gregory Lentz, the celestial garden of variegated foliage designed by the aptly-named Guillaume Le Jardinier appears to float above the Seine, the brilliance of the plants mingling with the reflections on the water. The Jardins will be open all year round. LUXOS Recommends: Sophisticated tapas and Pique-Nic Chic menu
© Les Jardins du Pont Neuf
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Le Laurent terrace
A 19th century guinguette (dance hall), Le Laurent has always been a refined place of leisure. The coral pavilion stands across from the Grand Palais, the Art Nouveau nave visible from the restaurant terrace and upper floor salons. It’s here that Paris high society lunches, including singer Johnny Hallyday and former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. The terrace, lined by potted flowers and parasols, draws the crowds; a charming setting for tasting Michelin-starred Alain Pégouret’s modern French cuisine. LUXOS Recommends: Araignée de mer en gelée, pièce de boeuf and chef’s trademark pommes soufflées, pear Melba.
© Le Laurent Terrace
Saint James fairytale garden
A spectacular Napoleon III-style château-hotel right in the heart of Paris, the Saint James is located just east of the Arc de Triomphe. In the summer, the 300-square-metre outdoor terrace with its hot air balloon theme recalling the garden’s former life as Paris’ first aerodrome is the highlight. Complete with a champagne bar, this outdoor spot is perfect for a late afternoon apéro before heading inside to sample Virginie Basselot’s Michelin-starred cuisine. The terrace opens from 7pm Monday-Saturday and for brunch on Sunday. LUXOS Recommends: Fresh urchins, lamb filet, cheese from the maison Quatrehomme; or the five-course menu degustation
© Saint James garden
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Le Châlet des Iles
Nestled in the Boulogne woods on the banks of its lower lake, the recently-renovated Châlet des Iles is an address that guarantees a change of scene from the daily Parisian bustle. Going back to 1857, the chalet was in fact brought over from Switzerland by Napoleon III for the Empress Eugénie before it became a literary café in the 20th century that was frequented by the likes of Proust and Zola. A quaint wooden cabin lined with tables set out in the garden by the lake, it provides a unique countryside setting in Paris. LUXOS Recommends: Marinated Norwegian salmon, pan-fried sea bream, mango and pineapple Carpaccio.
© Le Châlet des Iles
Named after the 19th century French poet, the very bon chic bon genre Michelin-starred Baudelaire restaurant is found inside the lavish 5-star Le Burgundy hotel slated between Madeleine and jewellers’ quarter Place Vendôme. Chef Pierre Rigothier rustles up contemporary French cuisine with a Mediterranean twist served up on the private courtyard patio. Surrounded by bay windows looking into the restaurant, the patio is adorned with ivy climbing the walls, creating a very intimate and romantic ambiance. LUXOS Recommends: Sautéed creel-caught langoustine, seared day boat John Dory and Fig from Solliès poached with hot wine.
© Le Baudelaire
An address that screams summer holiday atmosphere, the Art Deco-style Molitor hotel’s rooftop terrace is the crowning glory of this Jean-Philippe Nuel-designed hotel. The terrace boasts 360° views and looks down onto the dazzling blue of the outdoor hotel pool. Adorned with islets of deck chairs hidden among meadow foliage and flowers, the rooftop is the perfect spot for sunbathing with a glass of rosé in hand while waiting on the barbecue. The terrace is open (weather permitting) from 11.30am till 2am. LUXOS Recommends: A daily selection of barbecued foods.
© Hotel Molitor
The mansion and its private garden alone will blow you away. The Count of Artois’ stables until the end of the 19th century, the building was then transformed into a private residence by a Parisian Marquis. In 2004, current owner and chef Jean-Pierre Vigato turned the magnificent house into the luxurious restaurant it is today. Complete with a Klimt salon, where The Kiss hangs above a fireplace, the lavish interiors of original period features have a contemporary but cosy style, matching the Michelin-starred chef’s refined cuisine. LUXOS Recommends: Brittany lobster, white truffle, with the simplest of vegetables from the market.
Déli-Cieux Printemps rooftop
Located on the leafy rooftop of the Printemps luxury department store flagship, the restaurant boasts 360° views of the city, including a perfect picture of the Eiffel Tower jutting out from the landscape of chimney tops at one end, and the majestic hilltop Sacré Coeur basilica at the other. Déli-Cieux, a play on ‘delicious’ and ‘cieux’ meaning skies, is a casual self-service option that is perfect for soaking up the sun at lunchtime. Open 9.35am until 8pm Monday-Saturday and 8.45pm Thursday. LUXOS Recommends: Light Mediterranean fare like salads and fish cooked a la plancha.