It may not be easy to find a place on the terrace in the French capital on a fine sunny spring day, but with some planning ahead it is absolutely possible to spend a balmy day in comfort and inspiring surroundings.

Here follow five of the best terraces in Paris:

Plaza Athénée

Uber-chic. This luxurious hotel’s world-renowned restaurant, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, is a gourmet gem, where premium produce is prepared with flair to allow impeccable quality and exquisite flavours to shine through. A more minimalist menu than at the restaurant inside –  but no less delicious – is served on the hotel’s sheltered and exclusive La Terrasse Montaigne. For afternoon relaxation enjoy creative cocktails and sumptuous snacks. 25, avenue Montaigne, 8th arrondissement Tel 00 33 1 53 67 66 65


Country-chic. Situated in the heart of Saint Germain-des-Prés, luxury boutique Ralph Lauren and its restaurant Ralph’s occupy a magnificent mansion built in 1683. The restaurant embodies American style elegance combined with hunting scenes and leather sofas while the courtyard terrace is pure country chic with flowering plants and comfy pillowed couches, huge wooden umbrellas and charming lanterns. The menu: salads, crab cake, shrimp cocktail, grilled lobster, fish and chips with tartar sauce, and seared double RL ranch steak, for which the black angus bio beef comes direct from Lauren’s Colorado ranch. 173 bd Saint-Germain, 6th arrondissement Tel 00 33 1 44 77 76 00

Café Marly

Impressive location. Located under the arcades of the Louvre museum in the Richelieu wing, the Café Marly boasts one of Paris’s most enchanting settings with its Napoleon III dining rooms and a terrace offering stunning views of the Louvre pyramid. This chic venue offers a delightful, bold and innovative menu with elegant dishes and original flavours, perfectly matching the restaurant’s unique, sophisticated setting. Palais du Louvre, 93 Rue de Rivoli, 1st arrondissement  Tel 00 33 1 49 26 06 60

Hôtel Costes

Fashionably fab. The Hotel Costes is a unique establishment decorated by renowned architect Jacques Garcia and visited by the rich, famous and extravagant. At the heart of the hotel is the intimate and chic terrace. The menu features classic Costes fare, pricey but good. Costes terrace has a smouldering luxurious ambiance and is an excellent meeting place for an apéritif. 239 Rue Saint-Honoré, 1st arrondissement Tel 00 33 1 42 44 50 00

La Closerie des Lilas

Parisian legend. Rive Gauche institution La Closerie de Lilas is a simple flowery open-air café, yet the meeting place for artists from all over the world. In the late 19th century, La Closerie was frequented by Emile Zola who brought his friend Paul Cézanne, and  Théophile Gautier and the Goncourt brothers were also regulars. By the 1920′s La Closerie was one of American ex-pats’ such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Miller’s favourite places. Put yourself on its historical terrace and soak up the ambiance of yesteryear. 171 Boulevard du Montparnasse, 6th arrondissement Tel 00 33 1 40 51 34 50