Paris offers thousands of traditional cafes, restaurants and hotels, but 30-something Travel has searched and discovered the booming modern side of Paris.
Photo courtesy of Hotel de SersUpdated March 2013
Don't get us wrong, we love the long-standing traditions in France - lingering at a cafe, waiters in black and white, quaint French-style hotels (read extraordinarily small rooms), traditional French menus (duck confit, steak and frites, chocolate mousse) - but after a couple of years living in Paris, we longed for something different. So, with fond memories of clubbing at Buddha Bar (the uber-hip bar and restaurant that spawned over a dozen copies worldwide and even more CDs), we went out found the modern side of Paris.
Where to Eat and Drink
From Philippe Starck interior designs to innovative cocktails, these modern bars and restaurants in Paris are unique for their style but also offer great food and drinks.
(Photo credit: quidkarma on Flickr / license)
Restaurant La Gare, 19, chaussée de la Muette, 75016, +33 01 42 15 15 31, www.restaurantlagare.com - This spacious restaurant, formerly the Passy-La Muette train station, was transformed into one of the largest restaurants in Paris. The upper level includes a stylish bar and the terrace is a great place for an apertif on a warm day. The prix-fixe menu is reasonably priced at 33€, although the food can be hit and miss.
Bar Ladurée, 75 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008, +33 01 40 75 08 75, www.laduree.fr - Yes, this is that Ladurée. And yes, you can buy the famous macarons before or after your cocktail. But the little known bar behind the famous Ladurée pastry counter is a great stop for a well-made cocktail after the drain of shopping the Champs Elysées. Many of the martini-style drinks are shaken tableside and the Art Deco atmosphere makes for a very modern, but still very French, feel.
Where to Stay
Location, location, location, of course, but we noticed that some of our favorite trips coincidentally included our favorite hotels, so we think a little style goes a long way in a hotel.
Hotel Bel Ami, 7/11 rue St-Benoît (Saint-Germain-des-Prés), 75006, +33 01 42 61 87 13, http://www.hotel-bel-ami.com/ - There isn't a more central location than Saint-Germain-des-Prés for shopping, eating and sightseeing, and Hotel Bel Ami is right in the middle of it all. Contemporary, but laid-back, this hotel has over 100 rooms and a friendly, casual atmosphere.
6 rue Copernic, 75116 Paris, +33 01 47 04 16 16, www.jays-paris.com - A renovated 19th century house, with only five suites, each one large and beautifully decorated in traditional and modern furnishings. The staff is genuinely friendly, taking the time to get to know guests and help them plan the perfect day in Paris. And, if that isn't enough, the Clarins bath amenities and nightly Fauchon chocolates are little things that make the stay unforgettable.
Hotel Sezz, 6 avenue Fremiet, 75016, +33 01 56 75 26 26, email@example.com, www.hotelsezz.com - Out in the 16th arrondissement, on a small residential street, is the design hotel Sezz. Like many modern hotels in Paris, this is a blend of new and old - a 1913 building remodeled in 2005. Sezz offers modern, minimalist furnishings, your own personal assistant as well as the first Veuve Clicquot champagne bar in France, La Grande Dame. Check the map before you make a reservation because you'll be on one end of a large city, closer to the Bois de Bologne than the Louvre, but a wonderful change of pace if you want to be away from the tourist scene.