Maison Souquet the world’s Most Romantic hotel | Courtesy of Maison Souquet
Paris has always captivated people’s hearts as the city of love. World renowned for its elegance and sophistication, and boasting unrivalled gastronomic excellence, Paris has everything you need for an unforgettable and romantic evening. From soaking up the luxurious opulence of Michelin-starred splendour, to dining beneath the stars on a barge, here’s our hand-picked selection of the most romantic restaurants in Paris.
Have a Michelin-star dining experience at Le Cinq***
A romantic date at Le Cinq*** won’t lead to locked lips over a spooned twirl of spaghetti, as their fabulously inventive ‘Truffle Spaghetti’ dish is actually more like a pie – strands of spaghetti are meticulously stood on end with breathtaking precision. It’s a masterpiece on a plate and is almost too good to eat. But don’t worry, this opulent restaurant headed by world-famous chef Christian Le Squer will have any date swooning – not just at the dinner but at the elegant décor swathed in gold. Boasting no fewer than three Michelin stars, and with service fit for a king or a queen, it’s the most impressive venue to start a romantic venture.
The five-star Maison Souquet is a secret refuge tucked away off the Rue de Bruxelles, and has been hailed the world’s top hotel for romance for 2018. It would be a crime not to include this gem on this list. Here, the luckiest romantics can bathe in luxurious opulence, only a stone’s throw away from the famed Moulin Rouge in Montmartre. The sensuality of its subversive architecture can be sensed at every turn, with velvet-lined furniture, wooden panels, huge mirrors and chandeliers in abundance – all in all the perfect setting for a romantic date. Vision is not the only sense to be seduced here, but taste as well in their restaurant. The tea leaves are proudly hand-picked from a Chinese garden by Master Tseng, and their hot chocolate is not complete without a selection of delicious black truffles.
What could be more romantic, sensual, and mysterious than having a date in complete darkness, communicating only by touch? Dans le Noir? is a unique sensory experience that awakens your senses and enables you to completely re-evaluate your perception. It’s also one of the most original dining experiences in Paris you could find, with not a light in sight. The idea is that you can reconnect with your taste buds – and with your date – without the distractions of your surroundings. The concept is so quirky it’s been copied throughout the world. How many romantic dates are ruined by guests looking at their phone, for example? There’s absolutely no chance of that happening here as light is forbidden, which makes for a good start.
Surely the location of the restaurant itself has to factor in, too? Well, nestled perfectly near Place de la Concorde, between Musée du Louvre and the blossoming Tuileries Garden, Le Meurice is one of the most romantic hotels in the world, oozing 18th-century opulence. Its dreamy interiors flaunt extravagant Louis XVI décor and have been dazzling couples for centuries. However, the delights of this palace don’t stop at lavish designs, it extends to dinner as well. The hotel’s two Michelin-starred restaurant named in Salvador Dalí’s honour is pure luxury, the perfect venue to impress a date. For centuries, it’s upheld a reputation for lavish entertainment, with long dinners lasting from eight in the evening until early next morning.
The Parisian restaurant Guy Savoy, recently hailed the “best in the world” for the second year running, is the place to revel in the delicacy of cuisine if you’re searching for elegance, prestige and perfection for your date, particularly seafood. The chef’s signature dishes include blue lobster in the “Land & Sea” option, but his most inventive dish is the “iced poached oyster”. In this meal, the shell is lined with a lightly creamed purée of oyster. A raw oyster is then laid upon it and covered with a jelly of yet more oyster juice. A strip of sorrel, a touch of pepper, and a brunoise of lemon finish it off, seducing the taste buds. But whatever you order, seafood or not, with the flowing champagne you’re sure to enjoy one of the best evenings of your life.
Of course, you don’t just have to dine at Michelin-starred restaurants to have the most wonderful date and discover the fine pleasures of dining in Paris. La Nouvelle Seine is a perfect alternative when thinking about romantic dinners. The reason this restaurant is so renowned need not necessarily stem from the mouth-watering seafood it serves – although it does offer delightful roasted king prawns or fresh salmon topped with mango and chive. Rather, this barge-restaurant is a long-held favourite as it boasts a brilliant location beneath the dramatic architecture of Notre Dame. Not many venues can offer such a unique view of the city, gazing up at the stars. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a hugely varied program of theatre that ranges from comedy to cabaret to keep you entertained throughout the evening.
A dinner date at Michelin-starred restaurant, Le George*, is faultless and full of surprises. Tucked away on the Champs-Elysées is the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel George V, reigning with luxury since 1928. It offers a light, Mediterranean-style cuisine, whisking away guests on a love-ride from the French Riviera to northern Italy. Gazing over the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais, these delicate dishes are designed for sharing – perfect for a date – whilst bursting with flavour and freshness. You’ll be swooning not only over the food, made by Simone Zanoni, the chef who’s worked for Gordon Ramsay, but also over the 12,000 fresh flowers that brighten the palatial building each week.
If you or your date is a fan of dining in the most delightful art deco elegance, then dinner at L’Orangerie should definitely be on your cards. Its reputation as a romantic restaurant is unrivalled, and famously, it won a Michelin star just eight months after its opening. The meals are artistic masterpieces in themselves, and the restaurant overlooks the famous Marble Courtyard for the cosiest cuddling experience afterwards. The dishes draw inspiration from nature and strive to bring the best out of seasonal and local garden produce. Chef David Bizet’s menu proudly complements the changing seasons, offering what he likes to describe as “a traditional French contemporary cuisine of elegance, refinement and femininity”.
As you can see, there are plenty of choices for a romantic dinner in Paris. The City of Romance is not short on splendour, with more gastronomic delights than you could ever devour. Whether you choose Le Cinq, L’Orangerie, Guy Savoy or Le Meurice for your Michelin-starred treat, or prefer to indulge in more secret refuges like Maison Souquet or better still, Dans Le Noir, swathed in sensual darkness, you’ll be leaving the date awe-struck and amorous.
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These recommendations were updated on March 1, 2019 to keep your travel plans fresh.