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Viewfinder Travel


 Discover A New Point of View

The New Tour d'Argent, Paris

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View from the new Tour D'Argent Rooftop

On every trip to Paris, I try to visit a rooftop; there is something magical about peering out over the dark blue toiles, drink in hand, the last rays of sun warming your face.  On my last trip, I had read about the revamped Tour d’Argent, an institution in its own right, its new rooftop with an unbeatable view of Notre Dame cathedral.... and I had never been.


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Eiffel Tower and rooftops of Paris

The Tour d'Argent boasts a rich history dating back to the 16th century. It was originally established as an inn, nestled along the banks of the Seine. Over the years, it evolved into a renowned restaurant where (according to Joseph Wechsberg, writing for Gourmet Magazine in the 1970’s) it was not unheard of for a cavalier to get off his horse, challenge a diner to a duel, and kill him to take his place at a table.  It has garnered mention in the writings of Hemingway and Proust; Balzac, Sand and Dumas were habitués. It has attracted dignitaries, celebrities, and discerning (read: wealthy) food enthusiasts, including Salvador Dalí, Charlie Chaplin, John F. Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe. And there is a scene in “Thunderball “(1965), where James Bond orders a meal at the Tour d'Argent.


Today, Tour d'Argent is no less a symbol of prestige, frequently featured in literature, films, and pop culture. Its storied past and commitment to culinary excellence make it a destination for the elite and those seeking a memorable dining experience (it holds a * Michelin).  It is known and loved especially for its wine cellar of over 15,000 bottles, and its signature dish, Canard au Sang (pressed duck), which involves a complex preparation process, and a tradition of serving each duck with a certificate of authenticity.


The pièce de résistance of the newly revamped Tour d'Argent is undoubtedly the rooftop experience.  In addition to an escort to the roof, exceptional personal attention, and an eye-popping list of wines (and yes, that includes the prices), it offers patrons an unparalleled panoramic view of the City of Lights.  Set against the backdrop of the iconic Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral, the rooftop provides an intimate and romantic setting.  


My personal experience was one of wonder and delight to be sitting where so many of note had gone before me- and yet I was one of the first to experience this place from its new roof.  I am sorry that I was not able to dine, as the menu looked divine. 


I will note, sadly- as I have read often about the refinement, care, and style of the staff over the years, that the attitude of the staff at our welcome and depart was off-putting, dripping in haughty (even denying a trip to the restroom for adherence to their strict seating schedule). But once we were seated and swept up by the view and the company, little else mattered.


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On the Tour d'Argent Rooftop, photo by Pia Gedeon2023

A few of my other favorite rooftops in Paris (without the "haughty" or the price tag):

·       Hotel Raphael

·       Le Perchoir (360 view)

·       L’Oiseau Blanc

·       Kimpton St Honoré Paris (360 view)

·       Galeries Lafayette

·       Pullman Paris Montparnasse



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