The perspective has always been a dream: the dome of the Invalides, its classical façade, the green expanse of the lawns, then Pont Alexandre III, the crazy glass roof on the Grand Palais, and finally the Champs-Elysées, which can be seen on the other side of the Seine.
French style grandeur, this district offers a sumptuous example of timeless perfection. To own a little corner of it is to be part of the history of Paris. The apartments on rue Fabert and rue de Constantine have some of the most beautiful views of the capital. Close by, rue de Bourgogne is quieter, but it is one of the most elegant and coveted streets in the city. And then Place de Palais Bourbon, so pure in form and elegance, so Parisian, is also a highly sought-after address.
Behind the doorways on rue de Grenelle and rue Saint Dominique, there are many discreet gardens, the remains of former private mansions, side by side with embassies and ministries. Here politics as well as artistic genius arrives uninvited: at the corner of rue Varenne and boulevard des Invalides, Musée Rodin is a constant delight, and has the largest private garden in Paris - an exquisite place to relax in the spring, like taking a walk in the fields...
There is a lot to be seen in Les Invalides: fashion week models on the terraces of L’Esplanade; journalists plotting at Le Bourbon; members and ministers who sneak into Loiseau rive gauche or in the amazing Chez Françoise, under Les Invalides station; politicians who have their hair cut at Michel Caro, rue de Bourgogne; and the bibliophiles who guard their rare pearl in the remarkable bookstore au Dauphin, 55 rue de Bourgogne; poetry enthusiasts drink to the memory of Aragon and Victor Hugo at the Club des Poètes... Here past, present, and future meld together...
Paris is a mecca for the best restaurants in the world. But if there is one where everyone has to eat a least once in a lifetime, it is L'Arpège, rue de Varenne. Alain Passard does not offer a meal, but a journey. A journey of tastes, aromas, and flavours. He's not a cook, he's an artist.