I can’t remember how or where I first heard about Ralph’s restaurant Paris, but all I know is that before we went in December I’d wanted to go there for a very long time. Owned and styled by Ralph Lauren I’m almost certain I will have seen a photo on Instagram of the little courtyard, or possibly even a photo on their own Instagram, but I cant remember specifically. When I found out we were going to Paris I was all over the website and the menu, which I sent to Kieran. He was on board too after seeing the burger, so we agreed we’d go for lunch on our first day to fit in with our other plans.
On the week of our trip I rang up to book, and had the funniest call with whoever answered the phone. I gathered between my limited French and his limited English that we didn’t need to reserve a table, we could just turn up. The main point he kept saying over and over, quite forecefully was ‘NO CHILDREN!’. That suits me fine so I confirmed that no, we definitely wouldn’t be bringing children.
After we arrived in Paris early on, and had a walk around the Tuilleries and Louvre pyramids we were getting hungry, having been up since 4am. I put Ralph’s restaurant Paris in to apple maps, (there’s actually quite a lot of Ralph’s restaurants in the world, so it pays to be specific!) which showed it was only a ten minute walk across the river and through Paris Saint Germain. Keep in mind if you’re searching for it that there are also a good few Ralph Lauren shops in Paris, so it did involve some cross checking with google that we had the right place and postcode before we set off to find it. It’s located on Boulevard Saint Germain. Fancy!
The walk through PSG was really pretty, I like that neighbourhood especially the little art shops, and the park where the railings are used as an art gallery. It’s quite a trendy area, and there aren’t as many tourists. There were lots of posh looking women in fur coats. From the Louvre it was only a ten minute walk and we found the arched entranceway no problem. For some reason I thought it was attached to a Ralph Lauren shop, but it wasn’t, it was tucked away from the main street through the archway.
Going through, it seemed pretty deserted, but it was only just 12pm aka opening time. A waitress came out and got us, taking us through that beaut little courtyard I’d seen on Instagram. It was just as cosy and pretty as it looked on photos. Being winter it wasn’t open for dining, but we walked right through it and got a chance to snap the tartan cushions, and plush little chairs around the tiny little tables. I think with a few heaters it would be fine to eat outside, with a few blankets as well, and I was actually quite surprised they didn’t do this with it being Paris.
We were taken inside to a dark wooden bar area, with gold studded leather seats, and big gold framed paintings on the wall. It reminded me of a British stately home, or the Queen at Balmoral! It had a very wintery feel that you get in a countryside pub in England, with old school farming or hunting equipment on the walls.
They took our coats to be hung up, and walked us through to the inside dining room. It was very similar to the bar area, but with a definite Paris twist. There were little tables all along the back wall, again with the leather seats, and a mixture of tartan and leopard print cushions. You had to move the tables to get sat down, as they were so close to each other – typically Paris. Each table had a cluster of deep red roses in a glass vase, as well as Ralph’s signature plates. Verrrry plush and to be honest I was in my element.
There was a roaring open fire in the middle of the room, and more giant paintings and brass lights giving it a very homely feel. The white French windows each had a Christmas wreath hanging from it on the outside, but other than that there were very little Christmas decorations. It honestly reminded me of one of those country homes at Christmas that you see in lifestyle magazines, with some swanky lady quoted saying – ‘come and look at our expensive mansion with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms that I share with Hector darling!’ I half expected a beagle to come and plonk itself by the fire too.
We were the only people in there at first, so there was a lot of whispering about what to order from the lovely leather bound menus. It’s not cheap, as you might have gathered, but so what – when in Paris. I ordered wine, Kieran had a beer, and for mains he ordered the burger and I ordered the Ralph’s Club Sandwich. Not long after us two keenos sat down it did start to fill up with people who just looked expensive. Louis Vuitton bags everywhere! It was mainly women lunching, with the occasional table of men for what looked like business meetings. We were served breadcrumbed olives as an appetiser, which sound awful but honestly they were amazing, as well as fresh warm bread.
Our mains came with chips, and they were both delicious, even for just being a club sandwich! I tweet a photo at the time and someone replied saying ‘you went to Ralph’s restaurant and ordered a sarnie?’ – haha! Yes I did, I actually really wanted it as well as I was on the wine which was going to my head, and I didn’t want to feel stuffed for an afternoon walking around Paris.
The service was spot on you couldn’t fault it at all, they were attentive without being intrusive, and dealt well with how busy it got pretty quickly. They didn’t rush you out, or make you feel like you couldn’t sit an enjoy the atmosphere and your drink for as long as you wanted either. Sat by the fire with a glass of wine I could very easily have nodded off, it was that relaxing. After we had finished, we paid the bill (£90 or there about for two of us – pricy but worth it, and it was mainly due to the drinks we had) and went back through to get our coats.
The staff were so nice, and were asking where we were heading next and what we had planned for Paris. On the way out I snapped a few more photos of that fabulous courtyard as well. I will 100% be going back to see it in the summer, and I was straight on the text to Viv and Nige who would also really love it. I’m sure people will think its over the top for lunch, especially for the price, but there really is no point in going to Paris if you aren’t prepared to spend. It was a luxury weekend break that we saved for and I don’t begrudge a penny.
I’ve since seen that a new Ralph Lauren establishment has opened in London on Regent Street, but it’s more of a coffee place than full scale restaurant. Lucky me I’m heading to London this weekend..!
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