Travel Spotlight

News from Paris: Summer 2015


When the days are long and the nights are warm in the city of light, it's important to know where to eat, drink and play en plein air. Indagare contributor Mara Hoberman writes in from the French capital with some news and tips on how best to spend time outdoors this summer in Paris.

Outdoor Dining and Sipping

Courtesy La Passarelle
Il Gelato de Marchese

In the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this Venetian palace–style gelateria serves savory frosty blends like cacio e peppe (cheese and pepper) and ricotta con tartufo bianco (ricotta with white truffles) as well as sweet flavors like kiwi, pineapple, watermelon and clementine. The most decadent offering, a caviar gelato, is best enjoyed with a glass of Champagne. All of the gelato and toppings are made onsite with fresh ingredients and no added sugar. 3 rue des Quatre-Vents, 6th arr; 33 (0)1 46 34 75 63

La Terrasse Kléber

The Peninsula Hotel’s street-level restaurant boasts Paris’s largest covered terrace. Sheltered by a striking modern glass-and-steel canopy that recalls the architecture of the Eiffel tower, La Terrasse Kléber provides a chic café ambiance for great people watching over lunch, drinks or snacks throughout the day. 19 Avenue Kléber, 16th arr; 33 (0)1 58 12 67 72

La Passerelle This seasonal restaurant and bar on a houseboat near the île Saint Germain radiates tropical vibes with its rattan loungers, bamboo décor and Brazilian-style barbecue. Like its ultra chic sister restaurant Le Perchoir, La Passerelle’s best feature is a romantic roof deck with refreshing river breezes and sparkling views. 52 Quai du Point du Jour; 33 (0)1 48 06 18 48

Faust Serving traditional French cuisine, Faust is the chicest dining option along Les Berges (see See & Do below). A spacious rattan-decorated outdoor eating area overlooks the Seine and the spectacular Pont Alexandre III. Inside, the stone vaulted dining room evokes a Belle Époque brasserie. Pont Alexandre III, Port des Invalides, 7th arr; 33 (0)1 44 18 60 60

Rosa Bonheur sur Seine Docked beneath Pont Alexandre III, Rosa Bonheur sur Seine (an offshoot of the popular Buttes-Chaumont dance club, Rosa Bonheur) has been packed since opening last summer. The floating bar/restaurant serves cocktails and small plates at picnic tables populated by Paris’s youthful beau monde—on warm nights you can expect to wait for a place on board. Luckily the “holding area” (cheekily called En attendant Rosa) offers a pleasant terrace, decent tavern fare (hot dogs, pizza) and drinks. During the day the barge is less packed and more kid-friendly. Port des Invalides, 7th arr; 33 (0)1 47 53 66 92

Mozza & Co. This Italian to-go spot on the quai below the Musée d’Orsay is a great option for creating a gourmet picnic on the fly. The mozzarella bar offers three varieties: classic Buffalo, smoked, and gooey straciatella. Add any combination of salad, grilled vegetables, charcuterie, focaccia, plus desserts (tiramisu, panna cotta or cannolis) and enjoy your take-away feast at one of the many riverside tables or benches along Les Berges. Les Berges (below 11 Quai Anatole France), 7th arr; 33 (0)6 50 02 50 53

Outdoor Sightseeing

Anish Kapoor, Courtesy Dave Morgan
Les Berges de Seine

Les Berges de Seine (the banks of the Seine) is a riverside stretch between the Musée d'Orsay and the Pont d'Alma that has been cleared of car traffic and redeveloped as an idyllic walkway and bike path. Dotted with outdoor restaurants, floating gardens, art installations, and picnic areas, the 1.5-mile stretch has views of the Louvre, Tuileries Garden and Grand Palais and is a pleasant promenade for all ages. Children can take advantage of the P’tit Vélib’ bike share and will enjoy varied play areas such as a rock climbing wall under the Pont des Invalides and a 65-foot-long slate wall with chalk for drawing. 7th arr.

“Kapoor Versailles” Following in the footsteps of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Lee Ufan, Anish Kapoor is the latest contemporary artist to exhibit in Versailles’s 17th-century gardens. In addition to creating a visual dialogue with the chateau’s symmetrical plantings, sparkling fountains, marble statues and reflecting pools, Kapoor’s six sculptures provide a new perspective on political power on the occasion of the tercentenary of Louis XIV’s death. Through November 1. Chateau de Versailles; 33 (0)1 30 83 78 00

“Sèvres Outdoors 2015” For the second year in a row, Sèvres Cité de la Céramique (France’s national ceramics museum and manufacture) is hosting an exhibition of contemporary sculpture in its 18th-century gardens. More than 20 participating Paris galleries have assembled an impressive artist roster that includes Katinka Bock, Johan Creten, Ryan Gander, Mathieu Mercier and Yue Minjun among others. Visitors interested in the history of ceramics should leave time to check out the museum’s permanent collection comprising more than 50,000 ceramic objects from all over the world. Through October 25. Sèvres – Cité de la Céramique; 33 (0)1 41 14 10 10.

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