Visiting a big city on holiday can be daunting, and when it comes to finding somewhere to eat, it's hard to know where to start. Paris in particular can feel a little overwhelming at times, especially if you're contending with the language barrier.
Being French, my family and I like to visit France as often as possible, and Paris is a favourite destination of ours. Over the years, we have learned a couple of Parisian insider secrets, and where to get good, authentic French cuisine is one of them. It takes just 35 minutes to get to Calais with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, and it's then a short drive down to Paris, so there is no reason not to visit and sample the capital's culinary fare! Here are a few of my family's favourite restaurants.
Mariette is a rare gem in Paris in that not only is the food incredible, but it's right next to the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire, which means you won't have to detour too far from your sightseeing.
The Mariette restaurant is owned and run by a husband and wife team, so it really has that homely atmosphere. The food is superb, and a true representation of traditional French cuisine, which is complemented perfectly by easy going, relaxed service. The menu on offer is diverse, which means that there will be something to appeal to everyone's palette.
Mariette is a mere stone's throw from the École Militaire in Paris
They have a great set menu that is as appetising as it is affordable, which makes this a great little restaurant to visit with friends and family. And remember, if in doubt about anything, just ask and the charming staff will be happy to help.
Les Papilles is my favourite restaurant in Paris for a more intimate, romantic meal with my husband. It's located just round the corner from le Jardin du Luxembourg, and is the perfect place to head for a bite to eat after a leisurely stroll through the gardens.
The selection of wine at Les Papilles is incredible, with every bottle on the extensive list promising to be delicious. During the day, Les Papilles also serves as a sort of small delicatessen, before becoming more of a traditional restaurant at night.
Try the delicious medaillons de porc at Les Papilles
My personal favourite from the menu is the medaillons de porc, which I can't recommend highly enough, and the selection of desserts on offer makes for a very difficult decision come the end of your meal!
La Petite Rose des Sables
La Petite Rose des Sables is a little bit more out of the way than the other two restaurants, but it is worth tracking down. The friendly greeting from the owners ensures that the warm atmosphere here will make you feel instantly at home.
Take an after dinner stroll down the canal just down the street from La Petite Rose des Sables
The food on the menu is as traditionally French as you like, with the added benefit of being reminiscent of home cooked meals. There is nothing pretentious about this restaurant, and this is reflected in the very reasonable prices.
La Petite Rose des Sables is a great place to visit with the kids, but be sure to call in advance and head down early, as it fills up very quickly!
Driving to Paris with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
It takes just 35 minutes to cross the Channel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, and then the drive to Paris from the terminal in Calais terminal is quick and easy. You can either get straight on to the A16 from Calais, which will take you all the way to Paris. Or, you can follow the A26 as far as Arras where you can join the A1, which leads straight to the heart of the city. Either way, it won't be long before you're tucking in to some delicious French cuisine - bon appétit!