Birthday in Paris - Plans and questions

I am so happy I found this board, after being a long term follower of CH Paris, which I used extensively for trip planning and its so nice to see many of those, that helped shape my trips here and I was delighted with wonderful meals and moments at Septime (2013), Sola, Les Enfants Rouges, Les Déserteurs, Le Rigmarole, L´Arcane, Au Vieux Chêne, Will and a few more.
After a long travel pause, and with my upcoming birthday in sight, I will eventually travel to Paris again, and arrive this saturday (Because Paris is always a good idea, or as we say: Its better in Paris;)
As always we stay around rue de charonne, at the border of 11th to 12th, because its our favourite area for many reasons.

Restaurant choices are mostly set, although a bit difficult this time, because my birthday is on monday, which limits choices obviously. We have reseravtion for dinner at Bistro S and at Pétrelle, and lunch at Montée and (finally) Abri on the other days.
Monday I start into the day with a visit to Galerie Dior (for some glamour, haha) and will most likely have dinner at l´ebouchoir (on my list for ages), or Massale (have been to a few years ago).
So now i am looking for a light lunch or small plates place (after Galerie Dior) preferably on a nice terrasse or rooftop (hope the weather plays out) around 8th, 7th or 15th. We have bikes so a bit of distance is no problem, but we will most likely stay the afternoon in the Museum Corner. I had a look into Les Petites Mains, but its closed on mondays. I like the terrace of la Suite Girafe a lot, and my love for Audrey Hepburn made me look into Hotel Raphaëls rooftop, but i am only looking for ambience and not for attitude (and a not so pricey menu;) I am very intrigued by Le Gentil Restaurant, but it has no terrasse it seems. So any advice on this?

Other concerns are:
We will arrive saturday afternoon and then head to the Aligre quarter. Any recommendations for a late lunch or bite in that area? Was thinking about a crepe or similar (Krügen sounded nice, open all day, but other direction)

Sunday a sandwich place for a pique nique either around charonne or Marais (where we get our bikes)?

And lastly, do you have recommendations for a nice rooftop, sundowner place without dinner and reservation?
Thanks a lot!

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For your first day in the Aligre quartier, it depends on how late your late lunch will be because some restaurants and shops are closed from 2:30 or 3 to about 6pm on Saturday.

I have a vague memory of a tiny crêperie on place d’Aligre (between, roughly Chez Camille and Aux Merveilleux de Fred) …. not a conventional sit-down place with the usual menu of Breton crêpes but a mix of surprisingly good Lebanese and French crêpes… few tables and mostly takeaway. Not sure of the hours but probably has a late-afternoon hiatus.

If before 3pm and If you can suppress your desire for crêpes, Paris Pêche poissonnerie has a very good snack/ resto annex, Sea Bar on the corner of rues d’Aligre and Crozatier for well priced platters of oysters and fruits de mer as well as a good soupe de poissons and other fishy dishes. There is also a carnivore equivalent Boucherie Les Provinces on rue d’Aligre… butcher shop with a small resto/canteen inside the shop… you can order anything from a light meal to a huge côte de boeuf for four.

If after 3pm, the continuous hours Le Chat Bossu on rue Faubourg St Antoine @ rue de Cotte and Le Square Trousseau on rue Antoine Vollon don’t have great food but good enough for a light meal… and very pleasant vibes
Not sure if you can find a light lunch or an affordable rooftop bar in the rarified 8th. L’Oiseau Blanc rooftop restaurant on top of the The Peninsula Hotel in the adjacent 16th does have a very nice rooftop bar with some bar food. Expensive but not as outlandishly expensive as the Hotel Raphael rooftop.

On other days, plenty of less expensive rooftop bars in Paris. Just depends on how mobile you want to be. The Perchoir group, which started out as an off-the-beaten path hipster-haven rooftop in the Oberkampf about 10 years ago, now has 3 rooftops and 2 or 3 very trendy bar-restaurants. For you, Perchoir Ménilmontant (the original) and Perchoir Marais are the most convenient.

I am also particularly fond of the rooftop bars of the Hotel Rochechouart (also very good restaurant but not rooftop) in Montmartre and of the Grand Hotel des Arts-et-Métiers in the 3rd. and

You can also come down to earth. Since your last visit, many of the lower quais of the Seine have been turned into riverside parks that include bar-restaurants, usually moored in the Seine. The stretch from the Port de l’Arsenal/ place Bastille to the Pont Neuf on the Rive Droite is particularly popular with Parisians And, formerly a roadway, the paths are paved and much better for cyclists than the hodgepodge of surfaces on the more tourist-pleasing Rive Gauche stretch from the Pont des Arts to the Tour Eiffel.

Lots of choices for finding food for a Sunday picnic. The high-quality covered market on the place d’Aligre, the huge but more mixed-quality Sunday market on boulevard Richard Lenoir just a hundred metres or so north of the place Bastille.

Re Girafe. It’s part of the Paris Society group which has other properties that could appeal to you. Their restaurants are triumphs of style over substance. But what style… wow ! Keep it quiet but the shallow and superficial side of moi sometimes enjoys the terraces at Girafe, Mun, and Coco a lot. The group’s online reservation system is, however, exasperating (to say the least). No matter what date you choose there is almost always no room at the inn. Yet, if you telephone or make the rezzie in person, you can usually snag a table.

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Oh, thanks @ParnParis for that wealth of information and pointing me to some places I had fogotten about completely. Le Chat Bossu was my introduction to Paris, when we arrived the first time, and I rember enjoying the vibe a lot. It will be around 3pm when we will have settled, so this might do the trick and be a lovely repeater.
I also liked the atmosphere of sundays Bastille market a lot, and wandered there nearly every time, just before we left Paris (usually on sundays)

Maybe I skip my wish for a rooftop lunch on monday then, as you´re surely right about the 8th, and rather have that lunch at Le Gentil. Or do you maybe have a recommendation for some raw fish in that area? (Thats why Girafe also appealed with their Ceviches and Crus, and Sushi restaurants are usually are closed on Mondays)

And BTW thanks for the information about The Paris Society Group. I have come across some of that places in my trip research and was blown away by the decor and style, but wasn´t aware of them being linked, but it makes sense now of course.
I could definitely imagine myself on one of those terraces with a nice glas of bubbly, immersing in that beauty of style, especially as a resident;) With only a few days though I might not be able to look over snotty service, expensive underwhelming food or the likes.
As Paris in itself and as a whole is the most beautiful city in the world for me, having a sit by the Seine sounds picture perfect for matching my yearn for a stylish and intimate Paris Birthday moment and we’ll rather have some drinks on one (or more) of those rooftop bars you recommended.
I have been to Paris always in winter, so I reckon spring will be a whole new experience I am very much looking foward to that.

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The cocktail bar on the terrace of Le Tout-Paris at the top of the Cheval Blanc Hotel (right by the Pont Neuf) is quite spectacular. No reservation or meal required. They were very friendly when I was there. :slight_smile:

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