Paris, Restaurants

Dining at Le Bristol Paris

I recently stayed at five star palace hotel Le Bristol for a special masterclass with Head Bartender Maxime Hoerth and a fun cocktail tour of Paris’ best bars.

We had the pleasure of dining mostly in Le Bristol for our two days in Paris, making for a very decadent, relaxed trip.  Before our cocktail masterclass with Maxime, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch in Le Jardin Francais, Le Bristol’s elegant, lively lobby restaurant and bar.  It’s the perfect spot for people watching and leads on to the hotel’s exquisite garden where guests can dine on the terrace in fine weather.

Renowned three Michelin star Chef des Cuisines Eric Frechon oversees all food at Le Bristol and Pastry Chef Laurent Jeannin is the creative force behind the hotel’s dazzling patisserie.

I started with a fantastic King crab salad with grapefruit, avocado and coriander vinaigrette.  The plump pieces of chilled king crab were given a citrus zing with juicy segments of grapefruit and a tangy, aromatic coriander vinaigrette.  The colourful, uplifting salad also included slices of creamy avocado and the most perfect little gem lettuce leaves, finished with fresh herbs and edible nasturnum.

I couldn’t resist following my virtuous salad with a decadent Cheeseburger with crispy bacon and spicy tomato with fries.  At 42 Euros, it’s one of the most pricey burgers I’ve ever ordered but also one of the very best.  Two high quality beef patties were smothered in gooey Gruyère with a layer of grilled tomato, rashers of smoky, crispy bacon and a spicy tomato tapenade, packed inside a toasted sesame bun.

With such rich flavours and an unexpected double patty, it’s a truly indulgent choice for lunch and may just send you into a momentary burger coma.  The fries were classic slim, well-seasoned and plentiful, in fact, I shared more than half of them with the table.

Somehow I found room for dessert when Le Bristol’s magnificent sweet trolley parked up at our table.  It was laden with colourful Parisian patisserie created by Pastry Chef Laurent Jeannin.  Tempting desserts included a tarte au citron, Mont-Blanc, lemon meringue pie, tarte au framboise, eclair au chocolat and yuzu or pistachio macarons.

Of course, it had to be my all-time favourite patisserie – Pistachio Religieuse, accompanied by an equally green fresh mint tea.  The pistachio and vanilla crème anglaise was so silky and creamy while the choux pastry was exemplary.  I loved it that my Pistachio Religieuse was decorated in Le Bristol’s signature lime green colours – a signature pastry that can only be eaten at Le Bristol.

Laurent Jeannin’s stunning pastries can also be sampled as part of a Parisian-meets-British afternoon tea, or at ‘Fashion Saturdays’, where models present the new collections of designers such as Céline, Givenchy and Chloé in the refined setting of the Castellane room.

We finished with a tray of hand-made salted caramel chocolates and candied orange sticks wrapped in dark chocolate and then rolled into Le Bar du Bristol for our cocktail masterclass.

That evening, after drinks at Jefrey’s in hip Montorgueil, we were back at Le Bar du Bristol for artisan cocktails and gourmet bar plates by Eric Frechon.

I loved the fragrant and refreshing So British – Earl Grey infused Beefeater 24 gin, Monin elderflower syrup, freshly squeezed lime and and fresh grapefruit juice.  The elegant, limited edition 365 cocktail celebrates Le Bar du Bristol’s first birthday and I couldn’t resist trying the Hot Punch as a potent nightcap.

We grazed on a luxurious selection of Gambas Tempura with ginger and coriander mayonnaise, Maki Rolls with king crab and vegetables in spicy ketchup, Pata Negra ham and Crudités.  To end the night on a sweet note, we enjoyed a plate of exquisite mini pastries, a selection of macarons and hand-made chocolates.

The next day, we were treated to lunch at the hotel’s one Michelin star brasserie de luxe, 114 Faubourg.  Located in the hotel’s newer Matignon wing, the chic tw0-level restaurant is designed in bold shades of orange (which remind me of Hermès) and purple with oversized dahlias adorning the walls.

114 Faubourg is helmed by Head Chef Eric Desbordes, who was mentored by Chef des Cuisines Eric Frechon.  The restaurant is upscale yet with a relaxed atmosphere and the menu is contemporary French with a focus on comforting dishes.

We started with an amuse-bouche of King crab egg, ginger and lemon mayonnaise.  The crab was fresh and flaky and covered in a light, zesty mayonnaise, toppd with crisp green apple.

This was followed by an indulgent Artichoke soup with black truffle emulsion.  The soup was ever so rich and indulgent and the black truffle emulsion added depth to the flavour.  The soup usually comes with pan-seared foie gras, but I ordered it without and still found the dish very satisfying.

For the main course, we enjoyed Roasted scallops, ‘Le Puy’ green lentils with black truffle.  Four plump, succulent scallops were cooked perfectly golden on the outside and were served on a bed of flavoursome, comforting lentils with small pieces of mixed vegetables.  It was finished with an airy emulsion and shavings of black truffle.

For our last indulgence in Paris, it had to be the Vanilla Bourbon millefeuille with salted butter caramel.  114 Faubourg’s unique take on the Parisian classic was a decadent affair with crisp pastry, silky vanilla creme patisserie and intense salted butter caramel.  It was finished with delicious vanilla bean ice cream, gold wafers and gold leaf.

Breakfast at Le Bristol is a real treat and I had the chance to enjoy it in the comfort of my own room each morning.  I loved the Eggs Benedict with shaved black truffles and fluffy pancakes served with an enormous jug of maple syrup and red berries painted with gold leaf.  

My daily basket of freshly-baked Viennoiserie had a selection of mini pastries, brioche and bread, plus the most incredible pain au chocolat. 

Dining at Le Bristol is a true Parisian delight, from exquisite fine dining to elegant patisserie and evening cocktails and bites.  One day, I hope to visit Epicure, Le Bristol’s three Michelin star gastronomic restaurant with innovative dishes by Eric Frechon.

Rates at Le Bristol start from €830 per night on a room only basis.  For more information and booking, visit: www.lebristolparis.com

Eurostar operates up to 18 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord with return fares from £69. Eurostar also offers connecting fares from more than 300 stations in the UK. Fastest London-Paris journey time is 2hr 15 minutes. Tickets are available from eurostar.com or 08432 186 186.

Photos by Chérie City and Le Bristol

Chérie City was a guest of Le Bristol and Eurostar

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