A NEW WAVE OF MUSEUM RESTAURANTS IN PARIS

Girafe Restaurant at the Cite de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Palais de Chaillot. 

In a city that boasts over 140 museums, and a food culture that’s worth travelling from the other side of the world for, it a natural fit that there are going to be cafes and restaurants in certain Paris museums that are as worth visiting as the museums themselves.  Some museum restaurants have become icons of good food and great ambience, such as the Café at Musée Jacquemart-André, and more recently, Alain Ducasse’s ‘Ore’ at the Chateau de Versailles and the Café Littéraire at L’Institut du Monde Arabe.  Lately, there has been a quiet culinary revolution happening in the city’s museums.

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MUSEE GUIMET – 5,000 YEARS OF ASIAN ART IN PARIS

The Naga on the Causeway of the Giants, 12th century Cambodian. 

When we think of museums in Paris, what immediately springs to mind are the internationally famous institutions such as the Louvre, Quai d’Orsay, Pompidou Centre, and perhaps the recent addition of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.  But Paris also has the largest and most important collection of Asian artefacts in Europe at the Musée des Art Asiatiques Guimet in the 16th arrondissement.  From the Buddhas of Afghanistan, the Zen monks of Japan, Samurai armour, Indian fabrics, to fine Chinese art and Khmer treasures, the Musée Guimet offers a unique opportunity to take a meditative, aesthetic journey to discover the heart of Asian art and culture.

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PALAIS GALLIERA – THE PARIS MUSEUM OF FASHION

Palais Galliera in its garden setting. 

A stone’s throw from some of the most prestigious haute couture houses and designer boutiques in the city, the Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris is housed in the Italian Renaissance-inspired Palais Galliera.  The museum preserves some of the richest collections in the world, estimated at around 200,000 items of clothing, accessories, photographs, drawings and more.  Tracing the evolution of fashion over more than 300 years, these extraordinary collections are a window into the dress codes of France from the 18th century to the present day, and are regularly accessed for numerous exhibitions in France and other countries.

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THE TROCADERO – PANORAMIC VIEWS, BEAUTIFUL GARDENS, FOUR MAJOR CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS, AND A SUPRISING SECRET

The vast Palais de Chaillot complex at the Trocadero.

Situated on the opposite side of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadéro is well and truly on the must-visit list for offering the best view of the most recognisable monument in Paris.  It is also home to beautiful gardens, ornamental ponds and fountains that stretch down to the river, as well as the richness of the Palais de Chaillot, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, and the Musée de la Marine—although this is currently closed for massive renovations during 2022.  As we discussed in the last blog, the chic and very upmarket village of Passy and its tiny cemetery, the final resting place of numerous artists and other notables, lies just behind the Trocadéro.  However, there is one fascinating secret about the Trocadéro that only came to light a few years ago, which I’ll look at in this story.

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PASSY – WHERE QUIET VILLAGE CHARM MEETS CULTURE & LUXURY

An Art Nouveau residential building in Passy 

The 16th arrondissement of Paris is best known to visitors for its great landmarks and museums, from the Musée Marmottan-Monet, the Palais Galliera and Musée Guimet, to the Place de la Trocadero and the Palais Chaillot,  affording dramatic views of the Eiffel Tower on the opposite bank of the Seine.  But the 16th also has corners of quiet, residential areas that feel worlds away from the big-ticket attractions and the bustle of the city.  The Passy neighbourhood is one such place.  With quiet streets lined with handsome residential buildings, small museums, smart boutiques, pleasant market streets abuzz with top quality fresh produce, patisseries, leafy squares and parks, Passy has a quiet, understated charm that makes it one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Paris.

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