Explore Paris with Franka Holtmann
German by birth but French at heart, Franka Holtmann has been our general manager for Le Meurice since 2006. Now a true devotee of Paris, she shares with us some of her favourite things that this wonderful city has to offer.
What do you love most about your hotel?
I love the friendly and relaxed ambience of Le Meurice, especially at Restaurant Le Dalí where all our guests feel like part of the family. Everyone can be comfortable and at ease here, whilst surrounded by great beauty and splendour.
What’s your recommendation for first time visitors to Paris?
Choose three areas to explore, such as Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Le Marais and the first arrondissement then walk around to get a real sense of Paris. Saint Germain offers dining gems like Café de Flore, Les deux Magots and Brasserie Lipp, a favourite with writers and artists including Sartre, de Beauvoir, Gainsbourg and Miles Davis. Enjoy a croque-monsieur with a glass of good wine and you’ll soon feel like a local. Le Marais is a historical place with a contemporary approach, featuring an array of pop-up stores, galleries and hip restaurants. When it comes to the first arrondissement, this represents the beating heart of Paris with the famous Tuileries Garden, Place de la Concorde, Place Vendôme and the Louvre. What’s more, all of these are just a short walk from Le Meurice.
Favourite dish at the hotel?
I love the new dish in our fine-dining Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse. It’s an inspired creation of Roscoff crab, yellow celeriac, egg yolk and caviar, paired with a wonderful Condrieu wine. Trust me, it’s delicious.
If you were to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Bon vivant, determined and curious – a good mix I like to think.
What’s your favourite hobby, book or film?
I have been in love with France from a very young age and I’m particularly passionate about French movies by Claude Sautet, François Truffaut and Claude Lelouch. This country has produced so many wonderful actors, including the great Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider, Karin Viard and Jean Dujardin. One of my favourite movies is Un Homme Idéal, a gripping thriller starring the talented Pierre Niney.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
It depends on the day but what makes every morning special for me is not having a routine. Every day is different, from new adventures with my team at work, to taking a long stroll and getting lost in Paris, seeing the latest exhibition or preparing Sunday lunch for my family – no two days are ever the same.
I look forward to meeting you when you visit Paris and would be happy to share more ways to make the most of your time in the City of Light.
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