Do you have the next great novel rattling around in your mind? Perhaps what you need is a little inspiration by paying a visit to some of Paris’ most notable literary haunts. These are the places where the giants of the written word shared a glass of wine, had an amazing meal and jotted down a note or two. Even if you’re not a writer, you’ll still appreciate these destinations as you set out to conquer the City of Lights.
1. There Is Nothing Miserable At Lapérouse
This is where literary luminary Victor Hugo author of Les Miserables frequently dined. Opened in 1766, Lapérouse instantly established itself as the top restaurant in all of Paris. It is in the second-floor private dining rooms where Hugo whiled away the hours. Full disclosure: An evening at Lapérouse is a costly affair but it could be your most memorable meal.
2. Quips and Cafe
Want a perfect Paris evening? Take in an opera at the Opera Garnier then stroll across the street to the Cafe de la Paix for a late evening repast. This is what Proust and Oscar Wilde often indulged in. A perfect spot for stimulating conversation.
3. Take Home the Prize
The Cafe de Flore is not only a classic literary haunt, but they also give out an annual literary prize. This establishment was a regular hangout for Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. By “regular,” we mean they would show up for breakfast and not leave until after dinner. High praise.
4. Escargots Backdrop
In Woody Allen’s homage to the Parisian literary scene, Midnight In Paris, his hero, Gil, travels back in time to meet up with Hemingway at the Polidor. Yes, it’s a real place and yes, they haven’t changed their menu in over a hundred years (except for the prices!). This means you can dine on the same escargots as Hemingway.
5. Putting on The Ritz
Speaking of Hemingway, Ernest spent a lot of time at the bar in the Paris Ritz. So much time, in fact, that they named the bar after him. For total immersion, read The Sun Also Rises while enjoying a drink at Bar Hemingway. The Ritz is featured in the novel. Who knows? It might be just enough to transport you back in time. Are you ready to follow the great writer’s path through Paris?