Marché Couvert Saint Quentin
I love this little market on Boulevard Magenta, built in 1866 it has a village-y vibe going on. It’s so normal, such a part of everyday life for Parisians in the area. It’s very close to Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est (less than 10 mins walk). It is great for a beer or glass of robust red wine; there are several restaurants (including a gluten free one) and seafood stalls where you can scoff a plate of oysters washed down with a glass of white wine. The Bistro in the centre is frequented by the locals and you’ll be made to feel welcome here by the barman whose family have run the bar for decades. Feel like a local for the cost of a glass of wine.
Le Bar at the iconic George V
The Four Seasons George V Hotel oozes glamour and luxury. It is expensive. This is where the likes of Mariah Carey and David Beckham stay when they’re in town. Old money, new money – if you’ve got lots of it, this is where you’re likely to spend it on a bed for the night. However, that doesn’t mean that those of us who don’t have pots of dosh can’t enjoy a taste of all this luxury. Le bar is admittedly expensive, I paid 28 Euros for a cocktail (I didn’t choke on it, I couldn’t afford to). It did though come with a big tray of nibbles and the waiter kept bringing bottled water and ice to go with it which is included in the price. This being Paris, this being a legendary hotel, it was worth it to get to see the inside of this uber luxurious, historic institution where the famous floral display in the lobby costs around Euros 1.1 million (yes million) a year. Ps I wore scruffy jeans and nobody batted an eyelid and they didn’t put me in the corner either!
Café de la Paix
Café de la Paix is a Paris institution. It opened its doors in 1862 and has never looked back. Oscar Wilde was a regular and Marlene Dietrich too. Right next to the Opera Garnier, this place has been pleasing and pulling in the crowds for decades and with this location and iconic status it doesn’t come cheap.
Great cocktails in Paris
Head to the Hotel Eduoard 7 at 39 Ave l’Opera, just a few minutes’ walk from the Opera House, go through the elegant doors and straight into the hotel bar. This was the residence of the Prince of Wales, Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria, when he visited Paris which he loved. Cocktails cost Euros 15 and come with nibbles, worth every centime. The perfect way to start the evening in the Louvre/Opera area – so very Paris.
The Paris Peninsula
The Paris Peninsula hotel opened in a former palace in 2014. It has been consistently in the ‘top ten hotels in the world’ list ever since. The very wealthy and very famous stay here and with prices starting from 795 Euros for a room it’s certainly amongst the most expensive hotels in France. There’s a great bar in what was a former office where Henry Kissinger signed the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 bringing the Vietnam War to a close. Today it’s the Bar Kléber.