Festive feasts don’t have to involve toiling over a hot stove – especially if you’re in Paris, the world’s gourmet capital. Let a professional chef take the strain instead, and celebrate in style at one of these culinary temples.
Don’t miss a festive meal or three at The Peninsula, whose ravishing restaurants will offer special menus (starring seasonal classics) throughout December; there will also be a series of wintry events to make merry at. The hotel’s famed La Terrasse Kléber, will also be transformed into a winter wonderland adorned with Instagram-worthy Christmas decorations.
Go large on oysters (and foie gras, if your conscience permits) at Le Jules Verne, which dishes up Ducasse deliciousness within the awesome steel corset of la Tour Eiffel. Take a private elevator to the '2nd' floor to dine with all of Paris sparkling at your tiptoes. Stumped for gift-ideas for your favourite foodie? Treat them to a LJV gift voucher – and make sure they use it with you...
Christmas feasts can involve a meaty overload – instead, get into a legumes groove at L’Arpège, Alain Passard’s much-lauded, Mich-spangled and mostly meat-free paean to the humble veg (many of which are plucked from his private gardens, just outside Paris). Take time to admire the striking glass windows while you’re here; one of them was inspired by a green aubergine curry made by a talented L’Arpege chef.
At Le Violon d’Ingres, Christian Constant delivers a Michelin-starred symphony of tempting tasters. It’s a perfect melody of understated elegance, superb service, gourmet treats and affordability. Expect some festive specials, but take the signature dishes into consideration, too: we’re talking spider-rock crab, almond-crusted sea bass and soufflé with caramelised salted-butter sauce. Keep your eyes peeled for the off-duty French jet-set.
Gussy up glam for front-row views of the twinkly Tour Eiffel at Les Ombres: a glassy Jean Nouvel-designed rooftop perch. The luminous coppery-golds of the Iron Lady and vibrant light bites will brighten your evening in equal measure. Come for the Soirée de Noel and feast on truffled rice, foie gras served in a broth, roasted scallops in champagne foam, stuffed capon, champagne granita and more; there’s also a New Year’s Eve set menu, starring octopus, turbot, lobster, venison and other opulent lures. Joyeux Noël indeed!
La Terrasse Kléber / The Peninsula Paris / 19 Avenue Kléber, 16th / +331 58 12 67 72 / paris.peninsula.com
Le Jules Verne / 2/F / Eiffel Tower / Avenue Gustave Eiffel, 7th / +33 1 45 55 61 44 / lunch & dinner daily / lejulesverne-paris.com
L'Arpège / 84 Rue de Varenne, 7th / + 33 1 47 05 09 06 / lunch & dinner daily / alain-passard.com
Le Violon d’Ingres / 135 Rue Saint-Dominique, 7th / +33 1 45 55 15 05 / lunch & dinner daily / maisonconstant.com
Les Ombres / 27 Quai Branly, 7th / +33 1 47 53 68 00 / lunch & dinner daily / lesombres-restaurant.com