the Tour d’Argent in Paris – time to refresh

by Sharon Santoni

diners in the tour dargent overlooking the Seine

There are few restaurants quite as iconic as the Tour d’Argent in Paris … or with quite such a view!  From the bay window of the dining room you look across the Seine river to Notre Dame and the Ile de la Cité, a scene that has hardly changed for hundreds of years.

sunset over the notre dame, paris

It is claimed that the tour d’Argent (the silver tower) is one of the oldest restaurants in the world, with records dating back to 1582.   It gained its name because the building was constructed with stone from Champagne with a slightly silver glint to it.

lamps outside the tour d'aregnt

Guests haven’t always enjoyed this fabulous view.  It was André Terrail, owner of the restaurant since 1910 who built the sixth floor and moved the dining room upstairs.  He was also responsible for creating the famous wine cellar : 350,000 bottles stored on two underground levels.

The restaurant has long been known to attract a wealthy and fashionable clientèle, from Marilyn Monroe to the Kennedys, Charlie Chaplin, Emperor Hirohito and even the Queen of England.   All drawn by the Michelin starred table, the fine food, the fantastic wines and tables that look out across the city.

wine cellars at the tour d'argent

During the second World War, André’s son Claude, saved the cellar from the hands of the Germans by walling up the entrance.  And today it is the next generation,  his son, another André, who is the owner and director of the restaurant, he inherited it from his father at the young age of 26 – what a responsibility!

entrance to the tour d'argent

André Terrail is proving an honourable inheritor and works hard to maintain the restaurant’s reputation for excellence and the tradition for keeping up with the times while respecting the spirit of the the restaurant.

He is currently preparing a new step in the life of the restaurant and in a few weeks time, early May, there will be an auction of 3000 items whose time has come to be renewed.  An opportunity to refresh the design and the dining experience of guests.

And an opportunity for all lovers of hotel silver, or Paris souvenirs to snap up their little piece of history.

details from the sale of the tour d'argent

Among the sale will be tableware, silver, tablecloths and  lanterns from the façade.  There will also be many glasses.   The Tour d’Argent has one of the world’s largest glass collections, each size and shape chosen for a specific wine or liqueur.   All of the glasses are engraved with the restauant’s monogram.

Bottles will be sold from the wine cellars and complete dinner services will be available too.

articles for saleYou can see the full auction catalogue HERE on the site of Artcurial who is handling the sale, and if you are in Paris between the 8-10th May, then why not come along to enjoy the show and maybe even go home with a little piece of Parisian history!   I have certainly put this one in my diary.

ashtray from tour d'argent restaurant

If you would like to see details of the sale with price estimates, you can click


And if you would like to bid by phone, then just sign up HERE

Tour d’Argent,  Paris


Marilyn April 15, 2016 - 12:15 am

My goodness — what fun to browse the catalog. Merck for sharing.
My favorite was the little silver ducks.

Ginger April 15, 2016 - 2:25 am

Was very excited to read your article. We had the honor of dining there while on our honeymoon 1997. I believe however a bit young to appreciate all the details. Would love to attend again.

Our French Oasis April 15, 2016 - 12:16 am

I read about this in The Telegraph online this afternoon. Apparently, Andre Terrail was asked what he thought would be the most popular item for sale, his reply made me laugh; “The ashtrays without doubt,” he said “I know this because customers were always stealing them!” It will be an amazing sale and a great way for the restaurant to move forward with the times.

Marcy Hammerstein April 15, 2016 - 12:19 am

Want sooooo many things here! Even the little duck they put on your table is available. What fun! Those napkins May give a try

Carol April 15, 2016 - 1:05 am

Oh my gosh. What a beautiful dining spot. So romantic.

Carol April 15, 2016 - 1:06 am

I wish I could be in Paris!

JaneEllen April 15, 2016 - 1:22 am

And what will you be trying to buy? So much to drool over, I would love one of those little ducks. Need to peruse the catalog. How happy you must be to have opportunity to attend the sale, will be many people can imagine, or don’t French people act like maniacs at a special sale? Is behaving badly just an American trait?
Loved your gorgeous photos of view, breath taking.
When you do go to sale wish you much luck to get what you really want. What a wonderful history the restaurant has. Enjoy your weekend

Vicky from Athens April 15, 2016 - 1:42 am

Oh my! What fabulous eye candy!

Kathryn Gauci April 15, 2016 - 2:37 am

Its on my must do list the next time I am in Paris.

stacey snacks April 15, 2016 - 3:19 am

I wonder if they will let me bid from the States? I will check it out.

Sharon Santoni April 15, 2016 - 10:27 pm

I’m sure you could Stacey, check out the register to bid by phone


Jen Owens April 15, 2016 - 3:24 am

Such an interesting array of beautiful items. The copper pots are fantastic!!! Thanks for the link! xo

Katherine April 15, 2016 - 3:50 am

The volume of items being sold is incredible. This is not a simple revamp, but a complete overhaul. So many beautiful furniture pieces and dishes, not to mention the much loved copper pots.

Taste of France April 15, 2016 - 9:36 am

I am confused why timeless, quality items like silver and wineglasses would be “revamped.” A boon for the buyers, anyway.

Despina April 15, 2016 - 1:50 pm

Tour d’Argent has the best duck a l’ orange.We love this restaurant!What a great chance for someone to be in Paris 8-10 of May!

Amy K April 15, 2016 - 2:53 pm

That is completely and utterly amazing. So wish I could be there just to watch. Everything is so beautiful. I’d love one of those swords!! and of course a little bit of everything else too!

Madeline April 15, 2016 - 3:52 pm

I hope they are not changing the ambiance of the restaurant. It is a Parisian landmark. I remember how beautiful and wonderful Louis Carton was. They changed it and it is no longer the same at all. What a pity.

LA CONTESSA April 15, 2016 - 3:59 pm

OH< this makes me SAD……………..why do they have to sell off the STUFF!

Kerry L O'Gorman April 15, 2016 - 5:04 pm

I’ll take the little bronze bunny with the hunting horn please!!!

Karena April 15, 2016 - 5:13 pm

Truly a historical event! Surprising though!

The Arts by Karena

LindaH April 15, 2016 - 6:48 pm

Just asked my husband if we could fly to Paris next month. He said “No”, rat fink!!

I would give my right arm to attend this auction! I want the dishes and the silverware!

Valorie April 15, 2016 - 7:56 pm

I too am a bit sad to read this. What a great opportunity, yes; but sometimes when these things are done, they never feel the same. What a pity! No need to replace the lanterns on the outside!! They are timeless! Everything is! New is not always better, especially in Paris I would imagine. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Sorry to be a wet blanket.

Valorie April 15, 2016 - 8:04 pm

Someone needs to buy these for Ellie. ot 104
A décor bleu blanc de bouquets de fleurs, couvercle à poignée en forme de chien assis ; un couvercle cassé et recollé, fêlures, éclats au col
H. : 37 cm.

– See more at:

Cathy C April 16, 2016 - 3:23 pm

Thank you for including the catalog-I would love to bid on some of the silver. I will have to investigate. My french is not fluent so I envision myself bidding on the wrong item and then having to take out a second mortgage to pay for my loot! Those ancient bottles of wine and champagne – mon dieu!

karen Fritz April 21, 2016 - 7:32 am

What a lovely article. Thank you.


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