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Exploring Paris with Rémy Martin’s Baptiste Loiseau

This article is part of a guide to Paris from FT Globetrotter

I live in Cognac, where I work as a cellar master, but the sensory delights of Paris have me returning to one of the most inspiring cities in the world again and again. I lived in the French capital when I was younger, so its green parks, gastronomical delights and vintage markets evoke strong memories and provide inspiration for me each time I visit.

Jardin des Plantes

57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris

In a metropolis like Paris, with its magnificent architecture and historic buildings, you might assume that there’s little green space to enjoy, but take a visit to Jardin des Plantes and you will feel like you’ve been transported to an enchanting destination without leaving the city. Located in the Latin Quarter, where I went to school, Jardin des Plantes has 11 gardens where you can immerse yourself in a diverse array of trees, plants and flowers.

A path flanked by sunflowers, small trees and shrubs in Paris’s Jardin des Plantes. A historic two-storey building is in the background
One of the 11 gardens in Paris’s Jardin des Plantes © Geoffrey Taunton/Alamy

I like to stroll through the Rose and Rock Garden — if you go in May or June, you’ll experience an explosion of colours and wonderful aromas. Absorbing the fragrances of jasmine and saffron in the Garden of Useful Plants is marvellous too, and helped me to develop and refine my aromas and scent memories, which are essential for my work. (Website; Directions)

Rue Mouffetard

Rue Mouffetard, 75005 Paris

A fruit stall and Le Mouffetard  restaurant on Rue Mouffetard, Paris, France
‘A picture-perfect neighbourhood to drink in the sights, sounds and smells of old Paris’: Rue Mouffetard © Steve Tulley/Alamy

Although spoilt for choice in Paris when it comes to food, my favourite area to discover new cuisines is Rue Mouffetard, located in the fifth arrondissement, a bustling quartier with small cobblestone streets and alleys brimming with restaurants. Here you can indulge in the scents of various cuisines such as Greek, Italian or Japanese — or be tempted by the fresh baking wafting from Le Fournil de Mouffetard. It’s a picture-perfect neighbourhood to drink in the sights, sounds and smells of old Paris. (Directions)


4 Impasse Guéménée, 75004 Paris

Tables and chairs inside Paris’s Capitaine restaurant
Loiseau likes to discover small independent Parisian restaurants such as Capitaine . . .

 A fish dish on a plate, surrounded by cutlery and glasses, on a table at Capitaine
. . . where his children ‘are introduced to new tastes and flavours’ © Masayo Ogino (2)

Paris may be renowned for Michelin-starred haute cuisine, but I love to discover its smaller independent restaurants. A recent favourite is Capitaine, in the fourth arrondissement near Place des Vosges. I visited last summer with my family and met the chef — also called Baptiste — who was warm, welcoming and introduced my children to new kinds of tastes and flavours. They really enjoyed the beetroot starter and the chicken fillet with fresh green peas. It was delectable. The sommelier too was fantastic and provided a wonderful wine list. An after-dinner stroll through Place des Vosges and its manicured park makes a perfect finale to the evening. (Website; Directions)

L’Éclair de Génie

122 Rue Montmartre, 75002; 14 rue Pavée, 75004; and Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, 35 boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris

Three rows of colourful éclairs at L’Éclair de Génie
‘Truly edible works of art’: just a few of the offerings at L’Éclair de Génie © Samantha Ohlsen/Alamy

I have a real sweet tooth so I always stop by the famous L’Éclair de Génie by chef Christophe Adam. His traditional French pastries are visually stunning — they are truly edible works of art. With flavours ranging from salted caramel to pecan vanilla to raw chocolate, there’s something for everyone, though what I personally love are the eclairs with sharp and citrusy flavours such as the citron-yuzu meringué. (Website; Directions)

Marché aux Puces de Paris St Ouen

110 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen

A row of vintage goblets and jugs with human faces at Paris’s Les Puces flea market
Loiseau likes to lose himself in Les Puces, Paris’s largest flea market © Emeric Fohlen/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

For hidden treasures and a sensory overload, my favourite of Paris’s many markets is the Marché aux Puces de St Ouen in the north of the city. I love getting lost here and immersing myself in history among the vintage furniture and art. I also often wander through the Marché aux Fleurs, a historic flower market not too far from Notre-Dame Cathedral, for a riot of colours and scents. (Website; Directions)


Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles

An aerial view of the Orangerie gardens at Versailles
The Orangerie gardens at Versailles © Devis M/Alamy

For me, a day trip to Versailles is a must-do. Only an hour by train from Paris, it’s a breath of fresh air and a nature lover’s paradise. I’m particularly taken by the magnificent gardens filled with the bountiful aroma of trees and flowers from different regions of France. Many of the species were planted centuries ago. (Website; Directions)

Bar Les Ambassadeurs

10 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris

The exterior of the Hôtel de Crillon on the Place de la Concorde
The Hôtel de Crillon on the Place de la Concorde . . . 

The opulent interior of Bar Les Ambassadeurs
. . . is home to Les Ambassadeurs, one of Loiseau’s favourite Parisian bars

After a day of exploring, I like to wind down and enjoy a nightcap at the bar in the Hôtel de Crillon. It’s one of the most exquisite in the city. With terrace views overlooking the magnificent Place de la Concorde, Bar Les Ambassadeurs oozes Parisian style and elegance. Inside, I like to admire the painted ceiling and to treat my senses to the opulence and grandeur of my surroundings. (Website; Directions)

Baptiste Loiseau is the cellar master for Louis XIII Cognac

Tell us about your perfect day in Paris in the comments

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