23/06/17

Paris

Paris

Qui contemple les profondeurs de Paris est saisi de vertige. Rien n’est plus fantastique. Rien n’est plus tragique. Rien n’est plus sublime. Whoever looks into the depths of Paris becomes dizzy. Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic. Nothing is more sublime.

- Les Misérables (Victor Hugo, 1862)

There is no fluking a yellow jersey. Three weeks of physical attrition, of relentless mental calculations and stress, of staying ahead of a shifting mass of rivals ganging up to unseat you, of managing egos and efforts within your own team, of high mountains and cruel cross-winds. 

Tom Fordyce, BBC Chief Sports Writer

Having finished third in the time-trials in Marseille yesterday, Chris Froome is set to win his fourth Tour de France today. (Etiquette dictates that the winner is not challenged during today's circuit in Paris). An extraordinary achievement, physically and mentally.

Tant que je respirej'attaque.

Bernard Hinault, 5 time winner of the Tour

So again, a UK team wins the Tour.  Sweet victory.  Mazeltov to Froome, Team Sky and all the riders.

photo courtesy Simon Gill  (http://www.simongillphotography.com)
photo courtesy Simon Gill (http://www.simongillphotography.com)

Of course, Paris has thousands of restaurants.  Unfortunately, the days of going in to any local bistrot and being sure of having something delicious are gone. What has happened to food in France?  Small business taxation, xenophobia, industrialisation and poverty all play a role, but there are more subtleties, a long essay, not for now.

If you do not know a local, finding somewhere good remains a real challenge.  

Le Grand Véfour, oldest grand restaurant in Paris, opened in 1784, patronised since its inception by writers and artists,  is still a glorious experience, if traumatic for both liver and wallet.
Le Grand Véfour, oldest grand restaurant in Paris, opened in 1784, patronised since its inception by writers and artists, is still a glorious experience, if traumatic for both liver and wallet.

If you need further guidance, you might look at Guide Lebey http://www.lebey.com   This has been going for years, and remains one of the most reliable sources of info on where to go, from E12 set lunch, or a blow-out of the capital's finest, this is your guide.

We asked Modern Salt readers living in the city to recommend some, and they suggested:

Le Sot l'Y Laisse    70 rue Alexandre Dumas    Paris XI   

(++ 33 (0)1 40 09 79 20)

one of a wave of restaurants in Paris at the moment, started by Japanese chefs and which offer a twist on classic bistrot food.

Septime    80 rue de Charonne    Paris XI

(++ 33 (0) 1 43 67 38 29)

http://www.septime-charonne.fr

excellent fresh ingredients for wonderful simple food.  Almost impossible to get into in the evening (reservations only possible three weeks in advance) but the set lunch is excellent value.

Quedubon    22 rue du Plateau    Paris IXX

(++ 33 (0) 1 42 38 18 65)

http:// www.restaurantquedubon.fr

still a high-octane theatre of the most glorious brown food. Plenty for the offalcianado.

And, appropriately for the end of the Tour, a restaurant in Belleville

Le Grand Bain    14 rue Dénoyez   Paris XX

(++33 (0) 983 02 72 02 

http://www.legrandbainparis.co...

Chef Edward Selling-Williams comes from St John in London, and those who know the Henderson school will recognise the themes of offal, sustainable fish and seasonable, often long-forgotten vegetables.

Swinging Belleville rendez-vous     (Les Triplettes de Belleville, dir Sylvain Chomet, 2003)
Swinging Belleville rendez-vous (Les Triplettes de Belleville, dir Sylvain Chomet, 2003)

And how better to serenade the peloton down the most famous avenue in the City of Light?

and to wind up this year's Tour:

Credits

Name Role
Penny Averill Photographs