Paris with husband and 16 month old
Hello there- My husband and I are going to Paris in November with our 16 month old daughter. He and I have been there a number of times and have always had great dining experiences. We are stumped, however, how to eat in Paris with a small child. I don't recall seeing many children in restaurants. We don't plan on taking her to any high end places, but would like to be able to enjoy bistro dining.
Are Parisian bistros child-friendly? Could they possibly have a high chair available? Any suggestions on dining spots? We are renting an apartment in the 6th and plan on doing a lot of market shopping, picnics, crepes, etc... thanks for your help!
Mia -OK; I feel your pain. But....
We have hosted a 3 month old, two 3 year olds (at different times), a 7 year old and two 10 year olds (together) and learned a very important over-riding lesson - don't sweat it.
The French are brusque, rude, unkind to children and inflexible, right? Wrong! They love them. Normally, except for Sundays and holidays, it's true, one doesn't encounter a lot of French kids in places, they're in creches, schools or I don't want to know. But waiters have brought over salami, icecream and chocolate mousse; chefs come out to ask "what can we prepare", etc.
With our 3 month old we brought a pousette and one of those sit in a box things that sits on a table and people came by and coo'ed and ah ah'd etc. For a while (24 hours), I thought we should only go to McDo's or somesuch but quickly realized someone on the staff has a 3 month, 3 year, 7 year, 10 year old kid and they are cool.
Soup has some experience with this - Soup?
re: John Talbott
I agree that the attitude of the French is not the problem. The problem is the experience for you. This relates to my point in another thread that the French you see in Parisian bistrots are very well-off -- and their little kids, when they have one, stay home with the baby-sitter. 18 month old is a very difficult age that requires constant attention. 3month is often easy -- they just sleep through the meal. At 18 month, you probably need the stroller but the kid won't stay in there, and there's very little room in most Parisian bistrots. Some places have high-chair, like Chez Papa -- they have to be big places to be afford the room. I have a nine month old right now, and I wouldn't take him out, especially for dinner, not because of what others may think or do but for my own tranquillity. I did take him out a lot in his first five or six months when he just slept in his own vehicle. At le Cinq, they even had a present for him.
You know what, Mia? Leave the kid with me and I'll put him to bed at the same time I do Loïc -- 6.30 and you guys will have quiet dinners.
You are a good person Souphie! My mother is considering joining us for a few nights, so it looks like we will be able to have some tranquil dinners after all.
I'm new to this message board, and am thrilled to find great suggestions for meals. Thank you John and Souphie for your responses.