A recent work trip to Paris left me more in love with the city. I’m so into the culture there, with food and wine being such a huge part of everyone’s everyday lives. By 4pm, even in February, the bars are full, everyone sat outside in hats and scarves, soaking up winter rays and chattering over glasses of vin. I love it! Read on for some of my new favourite spots that are sure to leave you swooning over Paris...
The biggest, boldest venture yet from Parisian hospitality group, Big Mamma, La Felicità is a giant covered Italian food hall in the 13th arrondissement, that’s perfect for everything from quick morning coffee, to decadent dinners, and late, late boozy nights. I’m in awe of the concept, it’s brilliant. The huge space is decked out with plants and string lights and Moroccan rugs, and is made up from several bars and restaurant counters, serving everything from pastries to pizza, burrata salads, truffle pasta and risotto. I hear queues are pretty long at the weekend, so try and head down on a weekday if you can. Don't miss it, it's mega.
Septime La Cave
Without a doubt, my new favourite place to drink wine, Septime La Cave is a brilliantly Parisian feeling wine spot in 11th arr., and is the perfect place for pre-dinner drink. Sister to Michelin-starred Septime and seafood fave, Clamato (both of which are right across the street), Septime La Cave has a focus on nature wine and sells some pretty special stuff. That said, wine novices are more than welcome. The atmosphere is super relaxed and friendly, and though it looks a little fancy, I swear it’s chill inside — you just need to squeeze your way in (it's tiny) and find a spot at the bar. Swing by to share a bottle and couple of bar snacks (I vote you get the anchovies).
Tasty tacos and a secret cocktail bar out back, I left Paris fan-girling pretty hard on Candelaria. For lunch, I’m sure it’s great, but you’re better going for a late-night taco at the bar, before descending into the secret cave-like bar through the back door for margarita or two (or three). Prepare yourself for a late one, this place is sick.
I’m obsessed with dumplings thus scoping out good ones is always a priority when I’m exploring. My mate took me to JIXIAO’S BUNS — a teeny tiny spot that’s got rave reviews, right near Arts et Métiers station in the 3rd arr. Super low key (I’m talking no indoor seating, just a kitchen and iron tables and chairs outside), it’s ideal quick lunch grub. Get a bowl of spicy noodle soup (it’s fiery, heart-warming, hangover-busting goodness) and a plate of sheng jian buns to share. It’s cheap, it’s quick and it’s proper tasty!
A great little wine bar set just off the courtyard within The Hoxton, Paris, Planche has a focus on biodynamic wines, and serves delicious selections of cheese, charcuterie and bread on sharing boards. It’s an intimate very French little spot, perfect for a date or a cheeky pre-dinner wine.
A charming spot for a dinner date, Le Servan is a great little bistro serving French-Thai small plates. Service is friendly, dishes change regularly and everything we ate was creatively put together, tasty and pretty reasonably priced. It's France so naturally, they've got some great wines on offer too, and the vibe is bang on. Book a table (it’s popular) at the counter if you can so you can spy on the kitchen.
Du Pain et des Idées
Okay, not a new discovery just a revisited favourite, Du Pain et des Idées is somewhere I always recommend people go when they’re in Paris. It’s v Parisian, does the best croissants in the city, and the ‘escargot chocolat pistache’ are insanely good too. Go early to avoid disappointment. Oh, and it’s (sadly) only open Monday-Friday. There’s your excuse to make it a long weekend in Paris…