Although we live in the countryside, surrounded by fields and forest, we are lucky to be only an hour from Paris, which means that I can pop in regularly for meetings or for lunch. I have no need of an office space in Paris, so for my appointments, I just love to use a hotel lounge or a brasserie restaurant that is open all day, and where they are quite happy for me to lay stakes to a table and let my meetings come to me, morphing between breakfast, coffee, lunch, re-coffee and even early evening drinks. Of course the only thing to be careful about is how many coffees I actually swallow in the day but I’ve learnt to pace myself and it all works fine. .
So I thought you may like to know some of my favourite addresses, in case you ever have to meet for business, or meet with a girlfriend for lunch or for a coffee, and you want something more discreet than a busy restaurant or crowded café. Picking the right place is fun and you want to get it just right, according to who you’re meeting. For a change, I have ignored St Germain and stayed on the Right Bank, enjoying the grand avenues and open parks. Of course I wouldn’t ever use all of these in one day, but if you wanted to try, (which would be a feat!), then you could do the whole thing on foot and get some exercise at the same time.
Let’s start with breakfast, my favourite meal of the day, and there is honestly no better place to start than at Le Meurice. I have a very special soft spot for this palace hotel by the Tuileries where the staff are so kind. Breakfast in the Dali salon can take as much time as you wish, and tables are spaced far apart so if you need to be discreet, there is no problem. And if you are hoping to impress your breakfast partner then the decor and the attention cannot fail to hit the spot.
Our next stop is through the Tuileries gardens and up the Champs Elysées for morning coffee at Le Berkeley. We can lay claim to a table in the glass fronted veranda or move into the plush salon behind for extra privacy. Waiters are attentive but never invasive. This is my favourite spot for a series of meetings that run from one to the next, and they serve a good lunch too!
A favourite place for lunch with a girlfriend, is on the Place des Etats Unis at the Baccarat Museum. This beautiful elegant building, hosts the Baccarat collections in tableware, crystal decor and even jewellery. Up another flight of stairs there is a beautifully curated small museum which is fascinating, and just across the other side of the stairs is their delightfully pink restaurant, the Cristal Room. This is not a brasserie restaurant that stays open all day, but they are quite happy for you to take your time over lunch. I recommend their desserts accompanied of course by a glass of champagne, served in … Baccarat, what else?!
Tea time is always a special moment to meet between girls. There is something about the indulgence of a platter of pretty cakes, and a cup of Souchong that men don’t really appreciate. For tea, I love to pop over to Le Burgundy Hotel on the rue Duphot. they serve tea between the hours of 3 – 6 , and I particularly love the chic grey and yellow salon in the veranda, and their delicious lemon tart that fits in with the décor!
And finally if I want to join someone for a glass of wine or champagne before the evening; and it is a special occasion then it is hard to beat the luxurious comfort of the Bar du Bristol at the Bristol hotel. Deep comfy sofas, excellent servie and a great position.
An alternative and more surprising venue would be the L’Apicius, for its grandiose decor, stunning entrance and excellent cocktails.
Voila, I hope these addresses will prove useful one day, and that they’ll add to your enjoyment next time you’re in Paris