One of Paris’s biggest eyesores has morphed into a major attraction, as the once-dilapidated, vast underground Forum des Halles shopping and metro complex has been transformed by architects Patrick Berger and Jacques Anziutti into a light, seductive space. Now home to 35 spanking new stores and restaurants, it includes a destination eatery by revered chef Alain Ducasse.
Visit the Forum, then kick back at Ducasse’s cavernous, perma-packed mod-retro brasserie Champeaux, tucked under The Canopy’s immense, undulating high-tech glass and metal roof. Intended as a C.21st brasserie, the main room suits couples or families for day-long dining, from a relaxed lunch to a feast come evening or an after-show meal. Biz types can bag the private salon, which also suits special occasions.
Soufflé is chef Bruno Brangea’s signature, but the charcuterie, tartares, sirloin, french fries and snails are crowd-pleasers too. Save room for the 75% cocoa ice-cream from Ducasse’s revered bonbonerie La Manufacture. Diligent staff and a decent 70-strong wine list make this a slick affair. Canadian head barmaid and mixology whizz Marjolaine Arpin likes to reinterpret classic cocktails, putting her spin on bitters inspired by the fruit, veg, flowers and cereals of the old Les Halles market. Think vodka and sake blends.
Ciguë’s gorgeous interior design has created a glam-industrial space with bay windows and an airy terrace overlooking the Church of Saint-Eustache. Don’t miss happy hour weekdays 5.30pm to 7pm. Bon appétit!
Champeaux / La Canopée / Forum des Halles / Porte Rambuteau / +33 1 53 45 84 50 / 11.30am-midnight Sun-Wed, 11.30am-1am Thu-Sat / restaurant-champeaux.com