Paris is a beautiful expense; expensively beautiful. They say the best things in life are free and the second best are very very expensive!
After my wander about Rue Royale and Rue Saint Honoré, streets laced with Chanel, Dior, Miu Miu and the like, and after getting my fair share of pricey window-shopping in, I regrouped with my aunt for lunch. As I wanted to see everything in Paris we decided to combine sightseeing with lunch by having lunch at the iconic Madeleine church.
This beautiful church was built in the 1840s and is surrounded by grand columns on every side. Before we could get distracted admiring the architecture, we were ushered into the side entrance for lunch.
Lunch? At a Church? Is this a typo? I hear you cry!
La Madeleine has a three course lunch service offered between noon and 2pm on weekdays right inside of this beautiful piece of history. I’ll let you in on an even bigger secret… It’s only 8 euros for a starter, main, dessert and bread! For culture vultures and backpackers on a budget this is your solution!
Entering felt a little bit like joining a big supper club, you share tables with whoever else is there and seat yourself. There are certainly no frills! Volunteers from the church come around with big trays of starters to choose from, then a choice of two hot mains, followed by lots of choices of puddings, fruit and cheese!
By no means is this fine-dining. No, not even! But it’s sure to give you some happy memories of hearty tasty Parisian food in an unrivalled location. The highlight is definitely the cultural experience, this is metaphorically miles away from the tourist craziness of Paris as you eat with only those in-the-know. I found it absolutely amazing to eat with locals in an incredible building filled with history and culture.
A close second highlight for me were the desserts. We had a duo of a dreamy desserts – rich chocolate ganache tart with juicy pears delicately topped with soft fluffy meringue (gobbled before it was photographed) and a true french classic of apple tarte tatin. Seriously dreamy and a steal of a meal!
La Madeleine Church is located at the Place de la Madeleine, and the entrance for lunch is sneakily hidden on the right-hand side of the church as you face the main entrance! If you go, please do let me know what you think!