next stop… paris!

Paris in the Spring presented the perfect opportunity for a spontaneous visit before the upcoming Summer Olympics, a hundred years on from the “8th Olympiad”, immortalized in the English film “Chariots of Fire”. It’s the 3rd time Paris has had the honour of hosting the 2nd Summer Olympiad in 1900. Truth be told, as much as Paris is in the throes of preparation for this summer’s invasion, we went for a dose of civilization and as King Francis I so eloquently quipped…

“Paris is not a city, it’s a world.”


The Hotel Florida is a fabulous art deco boutique hotel, found in the city’s chic 8th arrondissement, that is just the perfect location from which to savour the delights of Paris.

The staff are fantastic, helpful, and attentive around the clock, but with a more casual formality that immediately puts one at ease.

We had a wonderful corner suite on the 4th floor with a balcony which opened onto two streets that allowed one to appreciate the famous natural light of Paris, that added more charm to the inviting bedroom with its blissfully comfortable bed. 

The bathroom had a wonderful tub for bath lovers with a fantastic view through another door onto the balcony, but being shower devotees, the shower was sheer heaven… Plus, who doesn’t like Diptyque as your bathroom accoutrement? It was all in the details, from the interior design, lighting, water pressure, and soundproofing from both outside and within, making it feel intimate yet spacious.

Address: 12 boulevard Malsherbes, Paris, Département de Paris, 75008

Phone: +34 42 65 72 06


The added attraction of The Hotel Florida is the seamless integration of the restaurant and cocktail bar, Nepita. The menu is a reflection of renowned Chef Amandine Chaignot’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine firmly rooted in sustainability. It is also always a bonus having a good cocktail bar without having to leave your hotel.

The hotel offers a delicious “help yourself” assortment of breads, charcuterie, cheese, yoghurts, and pastries, along with a delicious breakfast menu, which on certain mornings is a necessity before retiring to your room to get ready to seize the day.

Address: 12 bis Bd Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 42 65 74 71


Firmly convinced that our timing would preclude the joys of Le Fumoir’s happy hour, it was with great pleasure that we found ourselves in the bar “on the dot” of 7 pm, after a seamless ride from Orly and a fantastically swift check in at The Hotel Florida, we were ready for a proper dry martini.

The bar was full and buzzing, as we were joined by our pal Julia from Louisiana, who now lives in Paris and swears by this establishment, especially in the cocktail department which we must concur. They have an extensive classic cocktail list, executed superbly.

Schön!’s Tip = Happy Hour 7 pm – 8 pm

Address: 6 Rue de l’Amiral de Coligny, 75001 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 42 92 00 24


Having taken a very late long walk back to The Hotel Florida on our first evening and predicting our condition the following morning… a hearty 10 am brunch was the way to go.

The Hardware Société is situated in Montmartre, but also has restaurants in Melbourne and Barcelona. The food was exactly what one needed, from the pulled pork with pickled vegetables, cilantro, fried eggs, and sticky rice cake in a brioche bun… to the Toulouse sausage with perfectly poached eggs and various baked egg options, accompanied by excellent Bloody Marys.

Schön!’s Tip = Book a table and go early.

Address: 10 Rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 42 51 69 03


Chez Minna is a relaxed, cool, and inviting Corsican-inspired restaurant in the 10th arrondissement that we dropped in for lunch midweek and immediately ordered The Corsican Mule – which we thought was an homage to Corsica’s most famous son, Napoleon! They slipped down like a treat. 

We started with the beignets de la minna (courgette beignets with a honey mint yoghurt), followed by the œuf mollet pan aux herbs (herbed poached egg with pickled onions), both were utterly delicious and then indulged in their comforting cannelloni (spinach and cream cheese). Everything here is simply delightful.

Schön!’s Tip = Make a reservation for the evenings and weekends. Do try their formule (daily menu) and order the Corsican mule.

Address: 20 Rue d’Hauteville, 75010 Paris, France

Phone: +33 9 55 82 28 73


Le Baratin is found slightly further afield in the 20th arrondissement or to be precise, Belleville, tucked away down a little side street. This bistro’s charm is that it has no pretensions. We arrived for dinner at 8 pm and were seated left to the door, that is raised a couple of feet overlooking the bar and its assortment of small wooden tables, in a shared banquet under Chef Raquel Carena’s vast collection of cookbooks.

The wine list is on the wall at the end of the bar and the menu is brought to your table on a chalkboard. The lighting is bright, but surprisingly works and brings the whole atmosphere together. The food is the star of the show and is outrageously delicious. We were well guided in our choice of wines to accompany the pig trotter croquettes with a parsley egg vinaigrette and veal brains in butter, followed by the famous sweetbreads and the duck, all prepared with sheer perfection. Dessert was crème de vanilla with a compote of smashed apples with ginger accompanied by what we would describe as French moonshine or Prune d’Ente, which hits the spot.

Le Baratin is truly a unique dining experience.

Schön!’s Tip = Don’t be daunted if you do not speak French, as they are accommodating. 

Address: 3 Rue Jouye-Rouve, 75020 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 43 49 39 70


The Public House is UK Chef Calum Franklin’s, aka “The Pie King”, new Parisian venture that one would describe as a British Brasserie.

Arriving around 1 pm, we were seated in a central booth that gave us a panoramic view of the bar and dining room, which filled up steadily with an eclectic crowd. Starting off with a couple of pints of lager and a bottle of white wine, we proceeded to order the whitebait (basically sprats deep fried in a light batter), the delicious house scotch eggs made with boudin noir (black pudding), that required several orders, before diving into the beef pie with bone marrow and the lobster pie. Both are a big hit! Finishing off with the exceptional sticky toffee pudding.

They have done a great job of putting together an excellent team that made for a thoroughly festive and enjoyable luncheon.

Schön!’s Tip = Book a booth. There is also a 2nd floor with a beautiful terrace and a lower level for private functions.

Address: 21 Rue Daunou

Phone: +33 77 37 87 93


Le Train Bleu is found in the Gare de Lyon and is one Paris’ oldest restaurants. The décor is magnificent and the location makes it even more alluring.

Arriving via the metro around 5 pm, which compared to many cities was remarkably pleasant. We popped in for cocktails and were seated in the bar area, overlooking the trains. The cocktails were old school and perfect, as was the smoked salmon. One can tell immediately about a restaurant from ordering something as simple as smoked salmon. Quality is Quality!

Schön!’s Tip = A must for lunch, dinner, cocktails, and a great place for meetings if you are catching the train before your next journey.

Address: Gare de Lyon, Pl. Louis Armand hall 1, 75012 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 43 43 09 06


Le Dome is another legendary Parisian institution perfect for lunch or dinner. The emphasis on Le Dome has always been seafood and has remained true to its French traditions, but with Japanese Chef Yoshihiko Miura, there are subtle fusions that have been woven into the menu. We arrived early evening to the enticing lights of Le Dome, kicking off with martinis as we mused over which oysters to order and were expertly advised by Joseph to our oyster selection and a refreshing bottle of Muscadet. The oysters were so exquisite that to add anything more than a drop of lemon would have ruined them. We followed this with avocado stuffed with crabmeat… The best way to eat crab here, as they have done all the work for you. 

This was a perfect place to start before moving on into the Parisian night.

Schön!’s Tip = Oysters!

Address: 108 Bd du Montparnasse, 75014 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 43 35 25 81


The way one can somewhat express and describe this restaurant is simply put in French, “Le Coup de Foudre”, which does not quite translate so elegantly into English, but means “Love at First Sight”.

Upon arrival, at what was once Voltaire’s home, you are greeted by a valet and ushered inside to the maître d’ stand, which is cleverly set up with is a discreet separation between the dining room and the waiting guests. 

We were slightly early and sat on the patio that afforded one a glimpse into the main dining room, which was an observation into another world. We were quickly seated in a fantastic spot, and one immediately felt as if you had just run into an old friend and the conversation simply picked up where you left off. 

The ambiance is sublime, the lighting is perfect, the whole vibe is chic without being pretentious, the service is impeccable but not fussy and the whole affair seems to be emanating from Thierry, whose joy and happiness seems to envelope the whole establishment. There is a perfect din where conversations melt into one, as the acoustics along with everything else are pitch perfect.

While we explored the fantastic menu, champagne arrived. The wine list is simply one of the most interesting wine lists one has encountered. The choices are wide and varied. We started with the French onion soup and beef consommé served chilled and jellified to perfection. We shared the sole meuniere accompanied by an array of side dishes, including pomme frites, mashed potatoes, puree of sweet potatoes and haricot verts. To finish, we opted for the profiteroles with Chantilly cream, washed down with several glasses of Armagnac.

Voltaire is a perfect symphony! It has a kind of magic that you only run into once or twice in a lifetime.

Schön!’s Tip = Just go there!

Address: 27 Quai Voltaire

Phone: +33 42 61 1749


The name is legendary, and it has recently reopened under new ownership. No expense has been spared and pre-dinner cocktails in the famous bar seemed in order. The bar did not disappoint and still has a sense of it’s historical past as well as great cocktails.

Schön!’s Tip = Early evening cocktails in the bar.

Address: 3 Rue Royale, 75008 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 42 65 27 94


Lipp is another famed brasserie, which we dropped into in the beginning of our trip for some escargot and a bottle of Sancerre, but this place demands a long lunch. Having made friends with the waiter Philippe from Toulouse over the snails, we booked a table for Friday lunch in his section. 

You must love a place that brings your Bloody Mary with lemon, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and celery salt on the side. We started off with the taramasalata and blinis, which was a good choice as moving forward we ordered the Choucroute Speciale Lipp (ham, bacon, sausages, sauerkraut with boiled potatoes) and the Quart de Poulet (roasted chicken with mashed potatoes), washed down by carafes of Brouilly.

Lipp is another institution whose amazing waiters effortlessly orchestrate your whole experience.

Schön!’s Tip = Make a reservation. Explore the daily specials and the Brouilly in carafes is a good way to go.

Address: 151 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 45 48 53 91

Additional Recommendations include…


Address: 6 Rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 40 13 77 00


Address: 6 Rue des Archives, 75004 Paris, France

Phone: +33 7 81 45 41 58


Address: 13 Rue de Crussol, 75011 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 47 00 28 67

View previous editions of Tasting the World.

words. Karina and William Annesley
photography. Karina Annesley

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