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Hidden Gems of Paris

Choosing Where to Eat and Drink?

So you want a quality food and wine experience in Paris? And you want to do something that others don’t normally do? It shouldn’t be hard you think! After all Paris is one of world’s leading culinary capitals. It’s then that you realize that there are literally thousands of places to eat and drink in the city, each claiming to be a gastronomical sensation and beckoning the foreign tourist dollars to their door.

The Basic Ingredients

‘Certainly it can be an overwhelming experience’ says Karen Ridge of Food and Wine Travel. ‘Naturally you want the best experience possible. You want to enjoy fantastic French cuisine, you want some quality wines to compliment the meal and naturally you’d love a view of the Eiffel Tower. Oh and you don’t want to be fleeced in the process! Not too much to ask, you think? But finding the balance of these simple needs is not something you’ll find easy if you haven’t done your research!’

Les Ombres Hidden Restaurant Gem

‘Take my advice and think Museum!’ says Karen.  Museum you question? Yes Quai Branly to be precise. Paris has plenty of fabulous museums as we know, but this one is home to one of the greatest hidden restaurant gems you’re likely to discover. It’s called Les Ombres and it’s located on the fifth floor. You’ll need to book ahead, but that’s just common courtesy. Open for lunch and dinner each day, here you will find all you asked for and more – including that magical Eiffel Tower view. You’ll need to pinch yourself while you’re here. ‘The food is fabulous. The service is exceptional. And the prices is right!’ says Karen

Lavinia Hidden Wine Experience Gem

So you’ve done the meal, now what about a memorable wine experience when you’re in Paris? Here’s an idea! Instead of going to a hotel bar or paying ridiculous prices for wines at a restaurant, take yourself for a treat and visit Lavinia. It’s literally the largest wine bar in Paris with over 6000 different wines. A true hidden gem! There are regular tasting sessions and educational briefings, and it’s a great place to pick up some amazing French wines at decent prices. The only thing you’ll have to worry about it getting home. (Although they will ship it if you buy more than your customs allowance!)

Taste and Learn About French Wines

The great thing about going to a place like Lavinia is that they will take time to explain the nuances of French wines in the tastings. Karen says ‘They will also answer those age old questions about the labeling of French wines and help you to understand how it works! It’s a mystery to most people, and unless you’re an expert you would be kidding yourself and others to pretend you know!’ Hear it from the horse’s mouth so to speak, and expand your knowledge of French wines. You’ll need at least a couple of hours here at this hidden gem. Hmmm maybe longer……..

Cook with the Best at The Ritz

So you’ve eaten at a great restaurant, you’ve tasted some sensational vino – what else should a food and wine lover do when in Paris? Here’s my final suggestion says Karen ‘Enroll yourself into the Ritz Escoffier School for a super session with the professionals! Learn from the Chefs in the Ritz kitchen. It’s a unique experience and one that only few could ever say they’ve done. It’s an intensive workshop that focuses on perfecting just one traditional French dish. You’ll learn the inside secret’s from the world’s best, then (as if you didn’t know what was coming) you’ll get to eat your creation and enjoy it with a well paired French wine. Wow! Tres Francais!!! Tres hidden food and wine gem in Paris.

Uncover other hidden food and wine gems in Paris, by contacting Food and Wine Travel. Specializing in ‘the less conventional’ experiences in traditional food and wine destinations.

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Written by Karen Ridge

Director Food and Wine Travel

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