Hotel des Grands Boulevards, Paris, France


The Grands Boulevards restaurant has a retractable glass ceiling above, offering star-studded dining in the summer (meals from €45) [£39]). Tables are arranged around a central bar in the garden-like courtyard, with herringbone-style terracotta tiles echoing the herringbone parquet of the adjacent breakfast room. The French-Italian cucina (kitchen), overseen by Roman executive chef Giovanni Passerini, prepares seasonal dishes such as calamari tempura and cauliflower, minty lamb stew, and monkfish with chickpeas and chard . Vegetarians are equally spoiled. Sunday brunch (reservations required) has a deliciously languid gourmet vibe.

A night on Grands Boulevards wouldn't be complete without an expertly mixed cocktail at The Shell (6pm-1am, closed Sundays). The Shell (6pm to 1am, closed Sundays) is the hotel's sultry red boudoir cocktail bar, inspired by Marie Antoinette's eccentric love for decorative seashells. A highlight of the craft cocktail selection here is the great selection of non-alcoholic and half-strength cocktails. A wise choice for those who like to get up early. Finger foods include bruschetta, Sicilian arancini, smoked trout, and Italian cheese. Or head to the rooftop terrace bar, The Shed (5pm to 11pm, closed Sundays). DJ sets and small concerts are held occasionally.

Breakfast is the most delicious continental fare, including eggs cooked to order and arguably the nuttiest granola this side of the Channel. Homemade sweet and savory pancakes, mini viennoiserie and fresh fruity juices, fruit compotes and Normandy farm yogurt are all appealing. All of this is served on rustic ceramic tableware handcrafted in Greece.



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