Hotel La Tamise
La Tamise or The Thames is a delightful four-star boutique hotel squirrelled away in a luxurious, 19th-century hôtel particulier (stately mansion) across from the pea-green lawns of Jardin des Tuileries. Rooms are elegant and comfortable, and service is black-jacketed, personal and impeccable.
- Nicola Williams, Destination expert
Footsteps from the Louvre and neighbouring Jardin des Tuileries, on a very quiet side street with little passing traffic. Rue Saint-Honoré and the so-called Golden Triangle, with its bevy of world-famous fashion designers, are also right next door. Tuileries (line 1), the closest metro station, is literally around the corner and across the street – less than a minute’s walk.
Style & character
Guests are wrapped in the timeless, old-world elegance of a historic Parisian mansion from the moment they set foot in the intimate entrance hall with fabulous floor-to-ceiling 19th-century mirror and original cement-tiled patterned floor restored by Italy’s Salvatore Abramo. Built between 1840 and 1850, the townhouse belonged first to the Noailles family and became a hotel in 1878.
British aristocrats dropped by on their grand tour of Europe and all too soon, La Tamise – French for The Thames – was a fashionable address to stay overnight at when in Paris, darling (alongside The Brighton just around the corner). Models and photographers from fashion houses on nearby rue Saint-Honoré followed in the 1970s, Twiggy included. To get a real sense of place, take a slow walk up the gorgeous original staircase to the fifth floor – its restoration is exquisite. La Tamise belongs to the exclusive Esprit de France hotel collection.
Service & facilities
Exemplary. As attentive and caring as one would expect of one’s butler at home – nothing is too much trouble for Georgie, the general manager. There is a business corner with a couple of iMacs and printer, and guests can rent a pocket Wi-Fi set at reception to ensure internet access when out and about in the city. Find international and French newspapers in the lobby, and don’t hesitate to use the concierge service for booking theatre tickets, taxi reservations et al.
- Room service
Only the finest fabrics and fittings are used in the 19 rooms, each dressed in their Sunday best of velvet, tweed and wool. Colours schemes are soft and sophisticated, with soothing taupe and aubergine, cream and chocolate, setting off period furnishings to perfection. Sound-proofing is naturally excellent (the original, internal wooden shutters are adorable), but request a room overlooking the interior courtyard anyway. Modest bathrooms are cream marble, with bathtubs and hook shower, separate loo and luxurious Sothys bodycare products. The courtesy tray with Parisian-chic Mariages Frères tea, Fauchon hot chocolate and Nespresso coffee machine provides a touch of home.
Food & drink
Breakfast is served in the small dining room with original red-marble fireplace, stained glass windows and glossy fashion books to browse. A simple coffee-and-croissant petit dejeuner guarantees speed, or indulge in a more copious Continental, Detox or La Tamise breakfast menu that includes a mix of freshly squeezed juice, yogurt, gluten-free muesli and cereals, eggs cooked to order, charcuterie and fruit salad.
French cuisine (mains €15-20 or £14-18; lunch only Monday to Friday, closed August) is bistronomique: dishes such as braised beef with cabbage, truffle raviolis and aubergine gâteau with parmesan-dusted cherry tomatoes enjoy some lovely wine pairings. End on a sweet note with aromatic vanilla rice pudding and strawberry jam, silky-smooth crème de citron (lemon cream) or a simple seasonal fruit salad.
For dinner, reserve a table well in advance at Balagan, one of Paris' relentlessly fashionable addresses across the street at No 9. Cuisine is an on-trend mix of Lebanese, Middle Eastern and Israeli; service is spot-on; and the club-like vibe and adjoining cocktail bar are both irresistible. Alternatively, for traditional French bistro fare partaken on a summertime pavement terrace, walk 10 minutes to Café Mademoiselle.
Chocoholics, do not leave Paris without sampling the legendary hot chocolate and signature Mont Blanc cake at Angelina, a tea room dating to 1903 a few doors down on rue de Rivoli.
Value for money
Double rooms from €200 (£183). Breakfast excluded (€10-20 or £9-18). Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
One Deluxe room on the first floor is wheelchair-accessible.
The hotel provides baby cots at no extra charge and there are connecting doubles for larger families.