The cobbled streets of Paris are starting to fill up once again. Tables and their guests spill out onto the roads, making the most of their newfound space.

The former French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced that cafés, bars and restaurants could reopen in the city from June 2. 

The city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, also allowed cafes and restaurants to use the pavements and parking spaces as temporary terraces. 

These open areas are authorised until the end of September, as long as they abide by certain rules.

The terraces are expected to close before 10pm so not to disturb the neighbours and the areas must still allow pedestrians to easily walk by. There are frequent checks by officials to make sure restaurants follow the guidelines. 

As it is now mandatory to wear a face mask indoors in public places in Paris, it is no surprise that people are embracing the relaxed dining available outside. 

Some parts of the city remain eerily quiet. But a feeling of community can be found in these outdoor restaurants, with their makeshift pallet enclosures on the streets. 

Here is where to make the most of outdoor dining in the centre of Paris.

Luiz Verde

In the ninth arrondissement on Rue Henry Monnier sits the taqueria Luis Verde. The tables are mostly based outside on a busy street, alongside diners from the neighbouring restaurants Buvette and Classico Argentino. The tables are all suitably spaced out, which makes the experience relaxed.

You will not regret selecting their homemade guacamole and tortilla chips to start, followed by beef cheek and chicken tacos. The service is quick and friendly. 

Le Ventura

Across on the next block is Cafe Ventura on Rue des Martyrs. The street is filled with boutiques and adorable florists, alongside the cafes and bars that spill out on the street. I, unfortunately, stop here only for a bière pression, but the French comfort food looks excellent. Their enormous dishes include a beef tartare and caesar salad. 

Kitchen Paris

Another outside dining option outside is the extremely popular organic restaurant Kitchen. Here you can grab the green juice of the day and a vegetarian dish, like their sourdough toast with hummus, avocado, sprouts and fried egg. A delectable brunch or lunch spot, but make sure you arrive early to avoid the long queues. 

Le Relais de L’Entrecote

I have to be honest. I have visited Le Relaise de L’Entrecote at least five times over the past few years and plan to return over the next few years. It is certainly a classic. But veggies, you will want to avoid. You can only get their steak and unique sauce, with a walnut salad to start. It is simple, but fantastic. The opened up terrace is a massive plus and it is especially quiet if you grab an early table at 6:30pm. 

As proof of my everlasting satisfaction, here I am visiting their London… and Paris branch in 2017. I just can’t get enough.

L’Abattoir Vegetal

The clever name (Vegetable Slaughterhouse) sold me on this spot. This cafe offers a small, yet enchanting, selection of vegetarian fare from their spacious spot on the pavement in Montmartre. 

Their ‘funky burger’ with beetroot and guacamole is an excellent choice, especially paired with their smoothie of the day. But I am equally as jealous of my partner’s dish of quinoa salad with grated carrots and pomegranate seeds. 

Where to stay in Paris

The Hoxton, 30-32 Rue du Sentier, 75002 Paris, France.

The Hoxton chain’s Paris hotel, based in the second arrondissement in a stunning eighteenth-century building, is the ideal spot for a weekend stay if you want to fill a little bit fancy. 

It comes as no surprise that the team behind Soho House are responsible for the decor, which is well-considered and gorgeous throughout. The airy courtyard terraces and adjoining bar and dining areas are great spots for a night cap or a long brunch. 

The rooms can be on the smaller size, particularly the ‘shoebox size’, but they are well thought out and designed. The soundproofing, blackout curtains and a bed you sink into mean it is very difficult not to have a solid night’s sleep. The toiletries, from Blank, and the fluffy white towels also leave you feeling luxiarated and glowing. 

The hotel now offers ‘Flexy Time’ for check in and out, so if you book directly and let them know 72 hours in advance, you can come and go as you please. The staff are thoughtful and are happy to look after your bags before or after check out. On the hottest weekend of the year, their offer of water for the journey is highly appreciated. 

The service was slow at Sunday brunch time, as their terrace was completely full. But it was not intentional by staff, with one waiter literally tripping up as he ran between tables. The luxury touches resolve this, including Earl Grey tea from Nunshen, and make your stay more enjoyable. 

Room rates at The Hoxton start at £121 per night. 

How to travel to Paris

The Eurostar service between King’s Cross St Pancras, London and Paris takes just over two hours. Eurostar are currently offering flexible tickets without an exchange fee, as long as you give them a heads up two weeks in advance if you need to amend your booking, which is a thoughtful touch at this time. 

It is a very easy journey compared to flying. The train is quiet, with just five of us in Business Premier, and the seats are therefore very spaced out. The check in is very fast and the journey feels no different to getting a train within the UK, except you arrive in the centre of Paris. 

Eurostar fares start from £39 each way and are now flexible on bookings made until the end of the year. There is no exchange fee up to 14 days before travel.

How travel on the Eurostar differs

  • You must wear a face mask at the station and throughout the journey
  • Eurostar are not providing their usual catering service on board
  • Every other seat is left empty to give everyone plenty of space

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