The first time I went to the Mini Palais, I was in the company of some Brazilians who you might say have high expectations; true food lovers who have travelled all over the world. Luis Fernando Veríssimo (a Brazilian writer) and Lúcia (his charming wife), Flavia Mello (owner of two Relais Châteaux hotels), André Boccato (a famous chef and culinary writer) and I were at a table… what a group!
Everyone was very satisfied with their starter. For the main course, Lucy and I chose the same dish ‘Burger de magret et foie gras de canard et son jus truffé’… Although to be honest we were a little disappointed as it sounded very appetising but it in reality is was just a fancy burger. However the lively conversation, good company and dessert soon made us overlook this small disappointment…
Since then the Mini Palais has become one of my favourite places to visit on a sunny day. Not only because of the quality of the restaurant, which is typically open for lunch and dinner, but also because it provides a laid-back and relaxed environment in the heart of Paris.
When you are there, you can enjoy an ice cream, a salad or a cup of tea at any hour of the day after a browse around the shops or a visit to the Grand Palais, which is just a short walk from the Champs Elysées, and be at ease in the wonderful atmosphere in the Mini Palais. This was the concept of Eric Frechon, triple Michelin star chef, when he created the menu: a place where one is welcome at any time of the day.
I love to sit on the terrace, surrounded by the imperial columns, mosaics and bronze doors created by Alain-Charles Perrot, renowned architect who was responsible for the restoration of the Grand Palais in 1993, almost 100 years after it was opened at the Universal Exposition. The view from the terrace is breathtaking; in front of the Petit Palais with the Seine flowing gently under Alexandre III Bridge a few feet away…
This week I stopped by the Mini Palais for a salad and an ice cream in the middle of the afternoon… an uncommon option in France where lunch service normally finishes at 2.30pm. In the afternoon, the Mini Palais is peaceful and quiet. You can appreciate the magnificent buildings and design; particularly the contrast between the modern décor and the older building, which drew inspiration from the typical layout of artists’ workshops in France. A brilliantly executed concept! The Mini Palais is vibrant, animated, warm and relaxed. It’s a place where you are always at ease and somewhere you always look forward to revisiting.
Chic and unpretentious, a true mini palace in the Grand Palais!
- Mini Palais
- Le Grand Palais
- 3, avenue Winston Churchill
- 75008 Paris
- Tel : 01 42 56 42 42