The City of Light is also the city of the photo op. Sometimes it seems as if there’s a quaint café or picture-perfect setting round every corner. So much choice, so little time… Whether you’re looking to capture mediaeval Paris, channel the Left Bank intellectuals, pose in front of pretty pastel façades, or simply can’t resist a vibrant floral display, follow our guide to finding great Instagram fodder alongside a little light refreshment.
Flower power in the heart of well-heeled Saint-Germain-des-Près. Light plats and filling breakfast/brunch are served in chic comfort, where posies adorn every table. But it’s the exterior that’s the showstopper, exploding in an exuberant floral display. The pavement terrace is the place to be seen sipping an apéro under the wild, woven-straw light fittings and yet more foliage.
Pretty in pink and picturesquely situated on a corner in hilly Montmartre, La Maison Rose defies you to walk past without taking a quick snap. Despite its social media fame, the food keeps it real. This laid-back local serves simple, seasonal fare, inspired by rustic Italian cooking and sourced from eco producers, helped along by bio wines and artisanal ciders.
This bijou coffee shop in a former bootmakers’ is an Insta favourite for its lovely pale blue frontage and original sign above the door. Inside it’s as charming as it looks, so hole up with a rich hot chocolate, or ease yourself into the day with a healthy breakfast or brunch. Perch atop one of the funky colour-block stools or grab your croissant and caffeine hit to go.
Like Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, La Palette is steeped in Left Bank bohemian intellectual history. All the trimmings of the archetypal brasserie are here, from the zinc bar to the rattan terrace chairs. The salon is crammed with paintings, harking back to when it was second home to artists such as Cézanne and Picasso. It’s now a haunt of local Beaux-Arts students.
A contemporary of its near neighbour, Notre Dame, on the mediaeval Île de la Cité, this establishment is vieux Paris indeed. The chocolate-box façade drips with wisteria in the spring. This hides a sumptuous dining room where blood-red walls, gilt-edged mirrors, velvet drapes and a throne-like chaise offer a baroque backdrop to an undistinguished menu.
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