Restaurant Chartier, 7 rue Fauburg Monmartre in the 9th Arrondissement. This is the most special restaurant in all Paris. Not because of the food: it is no more than adequate and reasonable value-for-money.
No, it is something else that makes it unforgettable. It is the fact that you are seated in a massive, atmospheric dining room that has not changed in its 110 years.
And seated on tables for four. So if there are just two of you, expect to have two strangers seated next to you! And then when you ask for the bill, the waiters will write it on your paper tablecloth!
You won't find this in any of the other six cities!
Le rendez-vous des chauffeurs - it is always packed - though it does have to be said it is not big but it is cheap and the food has been excellent on all my visits - and I look forward to my next Parisian visit not least for the prospect of dining here again.
If you're getting a connecting train south from the Gare de Lyon, plan your train times to allow for lunch in the station's fabulous brasserie, Le Train Bleu.
Located up a grand staircase off the main concourse, it serves great food in special surroundings with Mediterranean-themed murals on the walls to whet your appetite.
If you're tight for time, choose a cheese plate and a half-bottle of Cotes-du-Rhone in the Big Ben bar with its comfy leather armshairs.
If you arrive in Paris Nord and have time before taking one of the new TGV Est lines out of Gare de l'Est then dump your luggage at the station and walk for five minute east to the Canal St Martin and grab coffee or lunch at one of the restaurants springing up on the Quai de Valmy, in this increasingly improving area.
The canal is also great for a walk if you've time.
Visit Bouillon Chartier, at 7 rue de Faubourg, (it was used in the film A Very Long Engagement).
It has changed little in the past century or so. It's huge, massively busy at lunch and surprisingly cheap. Lunch for two with wine and dessert is about 35 euro.
Buy Mis’Manon tarte tatin on rue Saint-Antoine and cross the street to the glittering courtyard windows of Hôtel de Sully.
Dangerous Liaisons come to mind, it’s not hard to imagine Marquise de Merteuil staring down. Linger under the arches of Place des Vosges before eating pique-nique in the most elegant square in Paris, beautiful when the trees have no leaves and the gorgeous buildings glow through the tracery.
Climb to the top of Victor Hugo’s house in one corner to get an elevated view then walk to the other corner and visit an exhibition in Jeu de Paume’s new outpost.
Without doubt my tip is Chartiers Restaurant. Hidden away at 7 Rue Faubourg Montmartre, this little gem could be a branch of Rene Artios' Allo! Allo! establishment.
Everything is so 1930s. Even the prices haven't evolved: waiters in black waistcoasts with floor length white aprons; paper tablecloths that become your bill; and great honest food. But avoid the house wine.
You must have lunch at Restaurant Chartier at 7 Rue du Faubourg, near the Opera.
Once you travel through the revolving doorway into the wood-panelled interior, it's like stepping back in time to the age of Toulouse-Lautrec, with properly clad waiters bringing plates of excellent but very cheap bistro food to a clientel that is truly representative of the city, students, business-men, slightly bemused tourists who have found themselves in this glorious time warp by happy accident.
When we last went there, the daily menu offering an incredible choice, was typed out on an old fashioned typewriter and judging by the quality, duplicated on an old Gestetner machine. I wonder what it is like now - it's where I will go for lunch if I win a ticket!
Go to Paris and get he train out to Auvers. On the way stop off at Pontoise.
Here there is a restaurant called Pave de la Roche. This is run by a young French couple and has the most amazing menu giving you a gastronomic feast.
My favourite starter is cappuccino de moules. Auvers too is a delight and here in this small village you can follow Vincent van Gogh around with copies of his paintings placed around and see the room where he died and the famous church he painted.
The museum is a delight and you get transported back in time, have a pretend train ride and 'sit in a Parisienne Cafe' The whole experience can be done in a day and is a most enjoyable interlude away from the crowds of Paris.
Dine at La Coupole on Boulevard Montparnasse for excellent plats de fruits de mer.
The atmosphere is grand but not overpowering. If it's someone's birthday, all the staff parade around the restaurant with a sparkling cake and on arrival at the table the whole place erupts with applause.
Visit the gardens at the Rodin Museum - a great place to sit, ponder and enjoy the gardens and sculptures dotted around the ornamental pool, lawn and wilder areas.
The cafe in the garden is also a top spot for a coffee or lunch. The gardens are open daily (execpt Mondays) and cost only 1 euro to visit.
For a great sense of travel go to the Train Blue at Gare de Lyons.
Bypass the cafe on the main concourse and head up the stairs to the main resturant.
Even if you are outside the main times and coffee and croissant there will give your journey a magical start.
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