Paris is a city of charming cafes, chic bars and luxurious restaurants. However, if you are planning an accessible Paris holiday it is important to find out in advance which eateries are adapted to suit wheelchair users. Unfortunately, many Parisian dining options are not yet accessible. There is no need to miss out on the action however, I have put together this list of three luxurious dining options ideal for wheelchair users.
Tourisme & Handicap
My top three recommendations have been stamped with the Tourisme & Handicap seal of approval. The Tourisme & Handicap label is a nationwide initiative in France which highlights the companies working hard to make their facilities welcoming and accessible for handicapped tourists.
All locations with a Tourisme & Handicap label showing a wheelchair have the lifts, ramps and sanitary facilities wheelchair users require to enjoy their visit.
For a true Parisian experience, head to La Coupole. Along with offering delicious traditional cuisine, the restaurant is steeped in history. It was opened in 1927 in a glitzy, celebrity-filled evening which set the scene for the restaurantâ€™s future. Famous figures, such as the painters Picasso, Derain and Matisse and the writer James Joyce, were regulars. The stylish art deco interior retains old-school Parisian charm, pay particular attention to the fresco created by the ‘Ã‰chelle’ painters. La Coupole still has many famous regulars from the word of art, literature and music.
Le Train Bleu
Another stunning interior, this time found inside the luxury brasserie called Le Train Bleu found on the first floor of the Gare de Lyon. The restaurant is over 100 years old and is most famous for the 41 paintings decorating the walls and ceilings. Past diners have included Coco Chanel and Brigitte Bardot. It is easy to imagine these chic women dining against the glamorous backdrop of Le Train Bleu. On offer is a range of traditional dishes and some excellent wine.
Accessible River Cruise
For dinner with a difference, why not book an accessible dinner cruise? Boats are equipped with wheelchair ramps, making embarking and disembarking a smooth process. Enjoy meandering down the Seine whilst eating a traditional 3-course meal and listening to live music. This is a great way for wheelchair users on an accessible Paris holiday to take in the sights lining the Seine without having to navigate busy streets. The boats pass the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Louvre. Accessible tables face the river.
Of course, the way to make sure you are not missing out on anything the city has to offer during your accessible Paris holiday is to get in touch with a specialist disabled travel tour operator. A specialist company has all the insider knowledge you need to eat and drink in style. They can also help you book accessible hotels and plan the ideal itinerary for your Parisian experience.
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specialising in worldwide holidays for handicapped individuals and groups. With over 31 years’ experience organising long and short breaks to France for disabled travellers, Philip has built a reputation for helping his clients select hotels and accommodation that offer high standards of accessibility, to ensure that those with special needs can experience a truly relaxing and carefree accessible Paris holiday.
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