While strolling around the opulent 8th arrondissement and admiring its Haussmann architecture, I always want to plunge into the atmosphere of La Belle Epoque even deeper. Just like the character of Woody Allen's film Midnight in Paris who was romanticising the 1920s. And these are the moments when I am heading to the iconic Café de la Paix on the Place de l’Opera. It was designed by Charles Garnier, the architect behind the world-famous Opera Garnier. The restaurant has a rich history and represents the life of Paris since its opening. The restaurant welcomed its first customers on June 3, 1862, and it was part of the hotel, now called the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel.
The restaurant witnessed key moments in the history of the French capital. The proximity to the Opéra Garnier attracted countless celebrities, artists, writers and politicians. Among them were Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Oscar Wilde, Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, Emile Zola and Price of Wales.
The café is newly renovated, and it returned to its former glorious Napoleon III style. Its interiors now are listed as a historic monument. Parisians and visitors alike have made Café de La Paix a home away from home for the comfort food that just tastes like Paris - authentic onion soup, foie gras and beef tartare. Seafood is a feature at Café de la Paix, and their selection includes everything from freshly shucked oysters and caviar to roasted scallops and sole. The classic favourite French staples are well represented, including the famous frogs’ legs and escargot. And don’t get me started on the desserts!