If Paris’s Ile Saint-Louis is good enough for the former
It’s the smaller of the Seine’s two natural islands – the other being the adjacent Notre-Dame-hosting Ile de la Cite – and has proved to be a coveted nesting spot, actually, not just for the aforementioned Mr Pompidou, but for a multitude of rich, famous, decadent and Bohemian types over the years.
Famous residents past and present include actor Daniel Auteuil, pianist Frédéric Chopin, poet Charles Baudelaire, artist Eugène Delacroix, Baron Guy de Rothschild and painter Emile Bernard.
Paris’s Ile Saint-Louis. Famous residents past and present include actor Daniel Auteuil, pianist Frédéric Chopin, poet Charles Baudelaire, artist Eugène Delacroix, Baron Guy de Rothschild and painter Emile Bernard
And quelle surprise, because this is Paris at its most intriguing, quaint, elegant, romantic and village-y.
What it lacks in ‘sights’, it more than makes up for with cosy bars and restaurants, eye-catching shuttered houses, boutique shops – and a revered ice cream parlour.
One of the best spots on the island for a bite to eat is the homely and hipster bistro
We enjoyed exploring the brunch and lunch menus (the ravioles, in particular, was superb) – and the excellent wines-by-the-glass list.
The ice-cream parlour I mentioned is none other than
One of the best spots on the island for a bite to eat is the homely and hipster bistro Café St Regis
Ile Saint-Louis is Paris at its most intriguing, quaint, elegant, romantic and village-y
IT’S THE BUSINESS: THE BEST WAY OF REACHING PARIS FROM LONDON…
If you want to arrive in Paris from London in true style, then look no further than Eurostar’s Business Premier service
If you want to arrive in Paris from London in true style, then look no further than Eurostar’s Business Premier service.
You’ll get big, luxurious seats and restaurant-standard food.
The menu has been overseen personally by Raymond Blanc – the head chef whose dazzling talents over a stove won him two Michelin stars at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire.
His dishes for Eurostar are top-notch and it’s such a pleasure to eat a meal on a train with proper cutlery.
Other features include:
- A minimum check-in time of 10 minutes, fully flexible ticket conditions and the provision of a taxi booking service.
- Exclusive lounges in Paris, Brussels and London with complimentary wifi, USB sockets and wireless chargers.
- Dedicated Business Premier coaches with power sockets at every seat.
- Generous baggage allowance – two bags/suitcases and hand luggage.
People flock from all over the city to indulge in its delights.
But even if you don’t have a target shop or bistro in mind on the island, it’s a wonderful place for a saunter. My troupe and I (partner, daughter and gran) wandered hither and thither, gazing at passing boats, reading about famous residents on blue plaques and daydreaming about which house or apartment we’d buy if our numbers came in (real estate there isn’t cheap).
We also ventured further afield, with walks to the impressive Pantheon, the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg and up the river where we caught a
Ile Saint-Louis (to the right of this image) is the smaller of the Seine’s two natural islands – the other being the adjacent Notre-Dame-hosting Ile de la Cite
Deviant is one of Paris’s best wine bars
The trendy Marais district is also well within striking distance from the island. There we bagged a prime table outside at La Place Royale, where they serve top-notch coffee in silver pots.
There were no crazy nights out, but grandma did babysit one evening to allow for an excursion to one of the city’s best wine bars –
A good time was had – the intriguing wine list is expertly curated and the atmosphere convivial – but it was genuinely thrilling to return.
I got goosebumps as we crossed the river from the nearby Pont Marie Metro station back to our island Airbnb home, walking in the footsteps of poets, pianists and politicians.
As locations go, it was simply magical.