Alexandre Besombes is used to being asked for recommendations. It is, after all, what he does. As the man who, along with partner Carine, leads Privé Concierge – P.S. Privé‘s personal concierge service – Alexandre knows Paris inside and out. More than that, he is constantly in search of the newest spots around the French capital, from restaurants to boutiques and other hot spots.
You might say that all of this is his passion. Alexandre left a very successful career with JP Morgan to follow his dream of sharing Paris with visitors and locals alike. And he gets to do just that with Privé Concierge, where he does everything from booking private shoppers, restaurant reservations and tours, to providing VIP access to exclusive events and behind the scenes tours of Paris attractions. Alexandre and Carine have even helped coordinate romantic moments, from proposals to weddings and anniversary celebrations. (Concierge services are available by the day or a la carte.)
Alexandre has been gracious in sharing some his favorite spots around Paris … places you know just have to be good!
Pigalle district. Crazy nightlife in this area with a lot of energy, nice restaurants in the rue des Martyrs, close to Montmartre, Abbesses and its hundreds of bars for locals.
Petrus on Pereire Place (17th arrondissement). A great gastronomic restaurant with mostly locals, quiet and high quality food. Please try the wonderful chocolate fondant ! I would go to hell for this one.
I love Japanese food so I would probably say Benkay, the best in Paris.
La Pasta Papa on rue Daunou in the 2nd. This is the typical restaurant for a quick inexpensive bite, with large portion and quality pastas.(There are Pasta Papas in various locations around the city.)
Would say la Ferme de Levallois near the American Hospital. It offers chic, expensive, unique gourmet items such as a really large range of wild boar saucissons.
Le Bon Marché obviously! The quality and service in this department store are immaculate, and you have space to move around, as it is not ever too crowded.
La Maison du Chocolat at la Madeleine. The manager there offers a great service and I love the quality of their chocolate
Gibert Jeunes: I love to look for second-hand books in the narrow alleys of this bookstore in St Michel district.
Savile House near the Opera. A great place for true lovers of luxury business suits.
Place for Cocktails
The Bar of the Plaza Athénée: it has beautiful clients, nice cocktails, and an amazing glass bar.
Le Motel in Charonne district. With inexpensive drinks, an original choices of bands, this is the recipe for a really great evening.
This is a tough one ! I’ll go for Gerard Mulot, I like the fact that even if his business is so successful, Mr. Mulot still works on a daily basis in his bakery and takes time to chat with his clients. Every product in this boulangerie is delicious, believe me.
I do not have time for long breakfasts during weekdays. But during the week-end, I’ll go for a brunch at The Kube Hotel in the 18th for instance.
The Buttes Chaumont. You feel well to be at some altitude in this park, there are not a lot of people here, compared to Luxembourg Gardens or the Parc Monceau for instance. Otherwise, there are a couple of incredible quiet inner-court gardens in the Marais but I will keep the addresses for me!
A pastry by Pierre Hermé for Sunday lunch. Every time I have one delicious pastry like the 2000 feuilles by Pierre Hermé, I know I treat myself well during the week-ends !!
Day trip from Paris
Honfleur. But only during the weekdays as it is too much crowded during the week-ends, and you may lose a half day on the road on Sunday nights. It feels like a great escapade far from Paris and it is so nice to have a lunch on the little harbor.