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Recommendations for a birthday in Paris!

Hello all,

My father is visiting me this August and we will be traveling to Paris. During on trip he will turn 65 and I am looking for something nice to do as a surprise.

I was thinking maybe a river cruise for a few hours but am open to suggestions!

If any one has recommendations for a cruise or another suggestion I would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
10298 posts

What are dad's interests and what sort of budget do you have in mind?
It's not really a cruise on the Seine, but a one hour boat ride.

You could do the boat ride before or after dinner at the less expensive Eiffel Tower restaurant--or the expensive Michelin starred one,, depending on tastes and budget.

Posted by
1340 posts

Look up BUSTRONOME. I was very impressed with it when I took a Christmas night tour, so pleased I bought my brother and his fiancee reservations for their honeymoon,.

Posted by
1806 posts

There are a few small yachts that cruise along the Seine and serve a full gourmet dinner, but they aren't cheap (like 200Euro pp). But then you get a view of the Eiffel Tower and other buildings along the river rather than being up on the Tower and eating there.

Another way to do it (and a bit less expensive) would be to get yourself a really good bottle of wine or champagne, get on one of the regular boats that do an hour up and down the Seine and enjoy having some drinks from the deck. Then head to Les Ombres for dinner right near sunset and get a table that has a great view of the Tower as it starts to light up on the hour after dark. If you book them ahead, get some tickets to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower when you are done with your dinner. If they are sold out, you could try to find some from one of the many groups that sell "fast pass/skip the line" tickets up to the top. Viator lists a bunch of those.

Something different would also be to have dinner at Le Vieux Belleville over in the 20th Arron. on one of the nights when they have live music. They have a couple Edith Piaf nights. I haven't done it, but have seen the place recommended here and it seems like something my Dad would like and the prices are really reasonable. Most Dads don't usually pine over going to 2 Michelin starred restaurants, so it probably doesn't have to be anything super fancy to be special to him.

Posted by
8173 posts

Here is what we did for an anniversary. We did lunch as we couldn't afford dinner.
https://janettravels.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/anniversary-lunch-at-la-tour-dargent/
I reserved 2 or 3 mos in advance (can't remember which, but it was as early as they booked) and we ended up with the best table in the house.

Another restaurant without the great view but a whole lot cheaper and very good is L'Initial near Notre Dame. Three places with spectacular rooms are Les Ombres (modern but view of Eiffel Tower through glass ceiling); Bofinger and Train Bleu both have ornate old fashioned rooms.

Drinks at the bar on top of the Montparnasse Tower would also be lovely with a great view.

Posted by
784 posts

Two ideas, both including dinner (or lunch).

Le Ciel du Paris - the restaurant at the top of the Montparnasse Tower. Fabulous view, including the Eiffel Tower. Dedicated elevator at no additional cost and no long line. Good food.

Le Calife - dinner cruise on the Seine. This is the only one where food is prepared on board, and it is quite good. The dinner cruise is timed to coincide with the Eiffel Tower's twinkling.

Both have a selection of menu plans with a variety of price levels, and we had good window seats at both even though we didn't choose the most expensive option. You can make reservations and see their menu on their websites. Le Calife has a reservation window starting 30 days prior to your desired date, and you do have to pre-order your menu selections.

IMO both provide a memorable experience and are good value.

Posted by
4062 posts

Agree with the Train Bleu suggestion. It is a fixture in Gare de Lyon and the huge room is memorably ornate. The food is not particularly memorable but it is competently prepared and served. Fixed-price menus make the choices easier. The décor definitely raises the cost but suits special occasions. http://www.le-train-bleu.com/uk/index.php

Posted by
8173 posts

Train Bleu depends on how sophisticated the diner is. I recommend it for teen birthdays because the place is so memorable and the food is fine. But if the 65 year old is a bit of a gourmet then L'Initial, or La Tour d'Argent or even Les Ombres are likely to be more satisfying on the plate. There are lots of other great places including many with Michelin stars.