The Restaurant at Saint James Paris

Virginie Basselot’s fresh and truly seasonal approach to food can be enjoyed within richly coloured walls, on red velvet upholstery and under vast oil paintings. The Saint James Paris is eclectic and whimsical, but without being kitsch, and enjoys a city location with a country house feel.

Saint James Paris is a country estate in the heart of a city and, notably, the launching point of the Montgolfier brothers’ first hot-air balloon. Such lofty aspirations still inform the hotel today, everywhere from the modern opulence of its rooms to the Michelin-honoured Flavours restaurant, where Virgine Basselot brings the artistry of a sculptor and the precision of a scientist to bear on her imaginative seasonal menu.

The moment du jour is our almost-silent inhalation of pudding: a peach cheesecake, a perfect finale to a meal

Gourmet credentials – Flavours is a haven of flamboyant cosiness: leopard-print carpet, red-velvet chairs and banquettes, boxy glass vases stuffed with fresh flowers, and some important-looking types painted in oils and hanging from the walls. Expect gourmet French classics, cooked and served with panache, from thrice-starred chef Virginie Basselot. Her airy take on seasonal cuisine shows hints of exoticism in dishes such as stewed rabbit in sage aspic, duckling breast with lemon verbena, and sweets laced with yuzu, tonka beans and bergamot. 

Top tipple – Sommelier Micaël Morais oversees the Flavours wine list, which is carefully crafted to match the menu. After dinner, drift through to the hotel bar (once the library and still lined with 12,000 books) to sip on classic cocktails, or ask the bartender for one of his imaginative signature muddles.

Highlights

– Playfully opulent dining room

– Triple Michelin-starred chef

– Imaginative French menu

Rates from £326.04 per night

To book this hotel visit mrandmrssmith.com

Recipes from this chef