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Reservations for Paris engagement dinner

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Dear All,
I'm a regular Chowhound contributor in the US and UK boards but so's my girlfriend so I've had to change my username for this!

Like thousands before me I'm planning a surprise trip to Paris to propose early next year and want to book one of a select group of restaurants for either the Friday or Saturday.

The problem is that I'll be buying a ring/booking hotels/Eurostar and everything else well in advance but the reservation which is crucial will be coming later.

My question then is, if I'm on the ball will it be easy/hard/impossible to get a reservation at one of: Pierre Gagnaire, Le Cinq, Guy Savoy, Arpege for a specific Friday in April and should I therefore be building the whole weekend around it? Gagnaire is really my top choice and I'd be interested to hear the likelihood of getting it if you try one month in advance.

My spoken French is decent so I can ring places but in terms of setting out specific details will these places speak English?

Many thanks in advance, I appreciate this is on the food/admin borderline but any advice would be much appreciated.

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  1. This is pretty important so why not make several reservationsimmediately and cancel the lesser choices a month in advance. You'd be fast and hurting no one.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hychka

      That's a very good idea thanks. I'll go ahead and do that as the variance in booking time seems huge. Having spent a lot of money calling transatlantic trying to get a French Laundry reservation and never succeeding it's a bit of a sore spot.

      1. re: ihaveanewusername

        Get a cheap VOIP phone for this purpose or Skype. I use Vonage. This doesn't have to be expensive. Also, many (certainly not all) great French restaurants make internet reservations.