Brunch – a long, lazy weekend custom that combines breakfast and lunch -- is not a traditional part of French cuisine.
But in recent years, le brunch has taken off in Paris, thanks in part to the international influence of other countries. Here are three of the best brunches the capital has to offer, any of which should be on the itinerary for a weekend trip to Paris.
Just a short walk from the tourist hoards of
Montmartre, Le Bal
is a cultural photography centre on an out-of-the-way mews, with a cafe on the
ground floor facing out onto a small park. The fare is traditional British,
with colonial breakfast classics such as kedgeree alongside smoked salmon and
toast or scones and jam, all of which can be washed down with a pot of tea,
expertly prepared coffee -- or even wine if you wish to haul the experience
back across the channel to France.
Claus is an all-day-breakfast
hotspot set up by German expat Claus Estermann, located among the luxury
boutiques of the first arrondissement. Indeed Claus himself formerly worked in
the fashion industry, and his cafe is frequented by the trendy set looking for
a healthy -- yet stylish -- way to start the day. The bright and airy ground
floor space serves as a deli/shop, selling cake, homemade cereals, jams and
other goodies, while upstairs you can sit down and dine on Claus’ homemade
muesli or his already famous Frühstücksteller
(a selection of ham, cheese, salad and eggs), accompanied by tea or coffee and
a fresh smoothie or juice.
During the week, Coutume Cafe is a mecca
for Paris’ coffee lovers, but on the weekend it invites guest chefs Emperor
Norton, a duo originating from California, to take over the kitchen, producing
a multi-course weekly-changing brunch fiesta. Taking inspiration from all around
the world and using seasonal ingredients, you can fuel up on truly wonderful
scrambled eggs and bacon, vegetarian frittata served with fried potatoes and a spicy
sauce, the breakfast burrito, granola or French pastries – all accompanied by
freshly-squeezed juice and the cafe’s excellent coffee. After that you’ll be
ready to power through Paris and all it has to offer.
Laidlaw Adrey is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes unlockparis.blogspot.com.