I’ve been blessed with some pretty amazing birthdays in some pretty unique places. I’ve celebrated with a hot air balloon ride over the Moroccan desert, at a massive outdoor concert in Budapest, at Kate Middleton’s hair dresser in London, and on the back of a moped in Sicily, to name a few. So Greg knew the bar was set very high when it came to planning this year’s birthday celebration!
He whisked me off to Paris, where we woke up very early on my actual birthday for a photo shoot around the city (more on that later). Then we spent the day exploring, finally heading to the Eiffel Tower in the evening.
But we weren’t there just to look at it. Rather, we were eating dinner at Le Jules Verne on the second level of the Eiffel Tower!
You check in at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and then a private elevator whisks you up to the restaurant.
There you’ll be greeted with floor to ceiling windows offering stunning views of Paris. And we were lucky enough to have a table right along the window!
You can make reservations at Le Jules Verne 90 days prior. I recommend putting a reminder in your calendar so you can make your reservation at exactly the 90-day mark. Then, once your reservation is made, contact them asking for a table on the window, since those are allocated on a first-requested, first-served basis. It wouldn’t hurt to let them know if it’s a special occasion!
Paris is an absolutely beautiful city, especially when viewed from above.
We started with champagne, of course. What better way to begin a celebratory birthday dinner?!
Then we set out to decide what to order.
As it turns out, the restaurant makes it easy for you to decide. For dinner, you can either choose a 5-course meal for €190 each or the 6-course meal for €230 each. If you’d like a wine pairing with each course, that’s an additional €95 or €120 each, respectively.
We wanted allllll of the food, so the 6-course meal was a easy choice!
Before the courses began, we were given these cheese puffs as an appetizer. We ended up eating a lot of them in Paris, since it seemed like every restaurant would invariably put them on our table before our meal. Not that I’m complaining – they were delicious!
We also ate an unmentionable amount of bread, which I blame on the fact that Le Jules Verne has the best butter I’ve ever tried! It had the perfect amount of saltiness to it and I just couldn’t get enough!
In the summer I recommend making your reservation for 9pm. If you dine during a different season, then you should make your reservation for 30-45 minutes before the sun sets. This way you’ll arrive during the daylight with clear views of Paris, and as you eat you’ll see the shadow of the Eiffel Tower stretch out over the city. Then as the evening goes on, you’ll watch Paris begin to light up as darkness falls. Finally, you’ll be right in the middle of the action when the Tower begins its light show! In the summer the 5-minute show happens every hour on the hour beginning at 11pm.
And if you’re wondering how the timing works with a 9pm reservation, French meals are lengthy occasions! So you will absolutely still be there for the 11pm light show, and likely the midnight light show too, as we were!
But I’m getting ahead of myself!
The first course arrived, the Marinated Sea Bream with courgette and lime.
Then we had Duck Foie Gras with cherries and fresh almond.
Followed by Warm White Asparagus in a maltaise sauce.
As we ate the sun continued to set, casting a lovely pink light over the city.
Then our next course arrived, the Seared Large Langoustine served with early vegetables and a shellfish reduction.
Followed by the Roasted Pigeon Breast accompanied by a white and green Swiss chard.
Each course was brought out in a leisurely manner, so we weren’t rushed at all and instead were given the freedom to continue to stare out the window as darkness fell.
That is until the darkness was illuminated by a birthday candle and a surprise dessert!
Just as we were finishing my birthday dessert, the clock struck 11pm and the first light show of the evening began. This is what it’s like to be inside the Eiffel Tower during the light show:
And here’s another look, showing the entire restaurant lit up with sparkly lights.
At this point it was time for our scheduled desserts, and the waiter brought out these charming utensils to eat with. Ladies and gentlemen: the spork is back!
We were given a selection of sweet treats that we absolutely devoured.
As well as a crispy nut and chocolate confection.
Is eating in the Eiffel Tower touristy? Yes, of course. Most of our fellow diners were American, and we heard very little French spoken. However, the food was surprisingly good and the views can’t be beat. So as long as you include more authentic French dining experiences in your vacation too, you should absolutely eat at Le Jules Verne while you’re in Paris.
After our meal we reluctantly boarded the private elevator and headed back down to reality.
And Greg captured this video showing how stunning the journey is at night!
It’s not easy by any means to get a taxi near the Eiffel Tower. On a different night when Greg and I tried to find one we ended up just walking an hour home. So this is where the staff at Le Jules Verne really set themselves apart with exemplary service. They not only called us a taxi, but a gentleman walked us, with a flashlight, through the Eiffel Tower grounds and right to the waiting taxi. It couldn’t have been easier to get home, and we so appreciated how much they went above and beyond.
We stole a few glances back as we walked, marveling at how moments ago we had been dining inside the iconic structure. And when the Eiffel Tower’s light show began again, we knew what it was like to see it from both the outside and the inside!
You should absolutely incorporate Le Jules Verne into your Paris dining plans. To find out more information, and make a reservation (remember: 90 days ahead!) click here. And because the restaurant offers the same menu (at the same cost) for lunch and dinner, you may as well go in the evening, so you can see Paris both by day and by night.
It was certainly a birthday celebration I’ll remember for the rest of my life! Merci beaucoup, Greg!
(You can find all of my France travel posts here).
P.S. My dress is by Likely. You can shop the brand here.