Saturday, June 13, 2015
What is the most beautiful restaurant in Paris?
If you ask me what is the best restaurant in Paris, in terms of food quality, I would be hard pressed to give you an answer, but if you ask me what is the most beautiful, I'll give you an answer straight away—Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon.
Our train from Geneva arrives and departs from this station and to finir en beauté, we treat ourselves to lunch at Le Train Bleu as the final parting treat before leaving Paris.
Built in 1900 by the PLM (Paris Lyon Marseille) railway company for the Universal Exhibition, Le Train Bleu is an historic landmark.
Forty-one paintings by the most preeminent painters of the day adorn the walls and ceilings with scenes representing the cities and countrysides PLM passengers would have seen from the trains, not only in France, but Northern Africa.
Every surface—including the ceiling—seems to be covered in gilt, moldings, carvings and frescoes. The original chandeliers are still in use.
It's just recently had a sprucing up; it was closed in July and August 2014 for restoration. You can see video showing what the restaurant looked like during renovation here.
It's such a beautiful restaurant you could easily go there just to gawk at the decor, but make no mistake, its food and service live up to its visual grandeur—it's French dining at its very best.
Exiting the restaurant, tummy full and looking forward to a nap on the train, we return to the current century and our return trip home.