In today’s Paris, cutting-edge art, culture and cuisine
With a dedicated art concierge, an onsite contemporary gallery, an auction space and an art bookstore, Le Royal Monceau, located near the Arc de Triomphe, is the perfect home base for a Paris art weekend. Originally opened in 1928, the hotel has hosted everyone from Walt Disney to Coco Chanel, and received a new lease on life in 2010 courtesy of a Philippe Starck makeover. Have the concierge arrange for you to hang out with street artists in the up-and-coming Belleville neighbourhood; create walking tours of gallery districts such as Montparnasse; and hook you up with private after-hours visits to contemporary museums such as the Pompidou.
No longer simply spots for art-weary tourists to take a break, gallery and museum restaurants in Paris have become foodie destinations in their own right. The latest to get notice is Monsieur Bleu, which opened in May 2013 in the Palais de Tokyo’s new wing. Perched above the quays of the Seine, with sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower, the restaurant features modernist lines in black, white, jade and chartreuse. Chef Benjamin Masson’s menu mixes brasserie fare – steak tartare, frogs’ legs – with haute comfort food (lobster rolls, anyone?) for the late-night set that flock in for cocktails and DJ sets until 2 am.
Recover the next day over the city’s latest brunch obsession, Le Bal Café near the Place de Clichy. Alice Trattle, formerly of London’s Michelin-starred St John restaurant, opened up this chic neo-Brit spot in the Le Bal photography and cultural centre in 2012. For brunch, try a traditional fry-up with grilled onions, thick-cut bacon, eggs and scones. Or opt for lunch fare such as woodpigeon with beets, followed by stichelton cheese with fresh biscuits and chutney or a homemade cheesecake. Trust us, it’s a work of art.