Valentine's Day: a romantic getaway on the Ile Saint-Louis
Published on 4 February 2016, dans Visit Paris
Paris will always remain the romantic city par excellence, and Valentine’s Day a magical time. That’s all the reason you need to enjoy a stay at the Hotel Royal Cardinal! This month we invite you to discover love on the Ile Saint-Louis, accessible by a short stroll from the hotel, via the elegant Pont de la Tournelle.
An oasis of timeless calm amidst the bustling city
The Ile Saint-Louis is the site of some of the most beautiful mansions in Paris. In the 17th century it was known as the Ile des Palace, and its most famous buildings are the work of two architects; the brothers François and Louis Le Vau. Examples of their distinctive work include the Hotel Lambert, now owned by a prince of Qatar.
Strolling through the narrow streets, there is the feeling that time has stopped, and you almost forget that the capital still pulses with life at the other end of the five bridges connecting the island to the banks of the Seine. To get to the Ile de la Cité and admire Notre Dame Cathedral, take a stroll over the Pont-Saint-Louis. On the right bank, the Louis Philippe, Marie and de Sully bridges offer unique perspectives.
At the end of the Quai de Bourbon, on the downstream tip of the island, the Place Louis Aragon overlooks the Seine. This small cobbled square, shaped like the bow of a ship, offers one of the best views of Paris. On a plaque can be found some verses by the poet after whom the square is named. One stanza translates as, ‘Do you know the island / in the heart of the town / where everything is quiet / forever.’
Two unmissable gourmet stops
The Ile Saint-Louis is home to two significant stopovers for gourmets, both situated on the Rue Saint-Louis-en-l'île. Berthillon has been a local institution since its opening in 1954. Not a celebrity or a statesman visits Paris without sampling its exceptional, locally made ice cream. Proof of popularity is in the long queue outside. Get in line, though; it’s well worth it! Berthillon has about thirty flavours on offer at any one time, from a selection of nearly 70. The most famous has to be the strawberry, made with fruit imported directly from Malaga. The company swears by family and artisanal values and remains untainted by any hint of internationalism.
Finally, later in the same street, the Sorza restaurant is also a must. This restaurant is located in the heart of a beautiful listed historical building. It claims its love of Italian cuisine with pride. In an intimate and historic setting, favourable to get closer, enjoy a meal of the most romantic. The quality of reception is unanimously welcomed. Their passion for food is contagious. The products are all obviously fresh and seasonal. You'll certainly be able to impress your lover!
Hotel Royal Cardinal, a 2-star hotel in Paris, in the heart of the Latin Quarter