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How far in advance do we need to make restaurant reservations for an end of September trip to Paris?

How far in advance do we need to make restaurant reservations for an end of September trip to Paris?

Old Aug 28th, 2001, 08:10 AM
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How far in advance do we need to make restaurant reservations for an end of September trip to Paris?

Okay. Most of the guide books I read told me to book my hotel reservations "four to six weeks in advance" for Paris. As most of you are already guessing, this turned out to be a total "crock"--especially for an end of September trip. All of the "good" places seem to have been booked for months at this time of year.

Now I'm reading that I need to make restaurant reservations at least a month in advance: is this true? Or have I already missed the boat on this as well? Also, is this true for all, most or just some of the most popular places?
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 08:18 AM
Book Chick
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Generally it is for a lot of the more popular places. Jules Verne, for instance, is booking dinners into 2002 & I think someone here posted recently they've booked lunches through November of this year.

This isn't to say "don't reserve at all". Your concierge should be able to call a lot of places for a same day or next day dinner reservation for you. Luncheon reservations are usually only necessary at the really upscale places like Jules Verne.
Bon Voyage & Bon Appetit!
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 09:29 AM
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If you have a couple of special places in mind, in mind because you've read about them, then likely other people know about them too. Ask your hotel as BC suggested, to book those for you.
Have a couple of alternatives in mind in case your hotel tells you something is no longer available.
For the little neighborhood places, you can make reservations same day or the day before in most cases.
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 12:30 PM
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Please keep in mind that Paris is one of the most popular eating destinations in the world. Elaine and Book Chick are both right--you need mostly be concerned with only the most popular of restaurants. That said, however, you are going there during one of the busiest times of the year and the phrase "better safe than sorry" comes to mind. So, if you do have a few places in mind, by all means call them and reserve.

You've already learned that the hotels book much earlier than many books would have you believe: dont' make the same mistake with your favorite "boits".

Bon Apetit!

Rod (Rod and The Pods)
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 02:58 PM
John H
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Hi, David,

Sorry to hear about your misfortune re: booking hotels. September is a very busy month for travel to Paris. I tend to go to France during that month and make hotel reservations 6-8 months in advance. And, while I usually identify a number of restaurants in each city where I might want to eat/drop by on a whim, I also make certain to book reservations by fax, e-mail, or phone call at 2-3 really special restaurants each trip. These tend to be restaurants highly rated in guide books and/or Michelin-starred restaurants. Again, I don't think you can ever book hotels, flights or restaurants too early (so long as the establishments themselves are willing to accept such adavnce bookings. If they are not, ask them when is the earliest you could make a booking).

Have a great time in Paris.

John H
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 03:04 PM
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It all depends on the restaurant. For the top places (Taillevent, Grand Vefour, Alain Ducasse, Jules Verne, etc), several months is not too much. For local places a day or two before is usually fine. For the middle of the road places, a week or so should be fine. For the first couple of nights dining even in local places, I'll write a couple of weeks before for reservations, then confirm when I arrive. I can always cancel if plans change. Then I start making reservations for later in the trip. While it's not always necessary, I'd rather get the reservation locked in than be shut out. For more Paris information e-mail me [email protected]
Old Aug 28th, 2001, 03:06 PM
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I second (third) the others on booking now for the most popular of restaurants. If you want to go to some of the trendy and popular (but not expensive/touristy like Jules Verne, Tour d'Argent) I would book a couple days in advance - you can do it once you are there. I was in Paris in April and wanted to eat at a couple places I had seen in a magazine and they were booked for weekend nights the day before. even if you don't book anywhere there are lots of great places to eat you will find by wandering around.
Old Sep 1st, 2001, 06:31 AM
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I third/fourth everyone else. We tried to book one of the best for our honeymoon (two years ago). I tried three - yes, three - months in advance to no avail. My understanding is the farther ahead you book the better. Yes, six to eight months seems to be the norm - for the best ones anyway. Even our concierge couldn't get us a booking.

P.S. We found a lovely little restaurant across from the Hotel Louvre - Cafe Ruc. We'd recommend it (we went twice - once on the trip into France and the second on the trip out of France!)

Best of luck . . .


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