Café Parisien a Belfast Restaurant Review
We stumbled across the Cafe Parisien after wandering around Belfast’s beautiful City Hall for a few hours. It looked gorgeous from the outside and hubs was dying for a good coffee after surviving on tea for a week. The lower floor or the first floor as it is called here is the Creperie and there is a brasserie on the second floor. Café Parisien, whose name has been inspired by the café on-board the Titanic has only been open less than two months and is already a great hit with both tourists and natives alike.
The building which is located right across from Belfast’s City Hall involved a £750,000 investment and refurbishment and as a result the building looks pretty authentically Edwardian.
The “Real” Café Parisien
The Café Parisien was one of the luxury innovations aboard the Titanic and we don’t know a great deal about it but apparently it was located on B Deck just off the Grand Staircase. It was a replica of a Parisian sidewalk cafe that was painted all in white with trellises and English ivy hanging from them and it had a long green carpet that ran the length of the room. It was the first of its kind on a British ship.
On April 14, the night Titanic struck an iceberg, the menu included oysters, salmon, roast duckling, sirloin of beef, pate de foie gras, peaches in Chartreuse jelly and chocolate and vanilla éclairs.
Another new feature on Titanic was the “Café Parisien,” which was adjacent to the À la Carte Restaurant. Passengers seated here could choose meals from the À la Carte menu, but in the café large picture windows afforded a view of the sea while dining–something that had never been done on a British ship before. This room also had its own distinctive china.
If the weather cooperated, the windows could be rolled down and passengers could dine al fresco – another Titanic first. On her first and only voyage, the Café Parisien proved to be particularly popular with the younger set traveling in first-class.
From Belfast News Letter, February 26, 1999:
Surviving menu from 1st class Café Parisien “last supper” of the Titanic, featuring cream of barley soup, is set to fetch up to 8,000 £ at a Christie’s auction. This only such menu to survive the sinking is believed to have been pocketed by Adolphe Saalfeld, who dove into the sea after donating his life jacket and unexpectedly found room aboard a lifeboat. Upon his return to Engliand, he framed and hung it in his Manchester office. In 1953, it was given away to an accountant as a retirement gift. It is this accountant’s son who will profit from his dad’s retirement.
Café Parisien – Bon Appétit
La Creperie on the first floor offers a great selection of sweet and savoury crêpes. We decided to have the Saumon Fumé crepe which contained oak smoked salmon, red onions, capers and a dill Creme Fraiche. Not a speck of cream cheese to be found thank god. Hubs had this and although neither of us are fans of dried dill you could absolutely tell this was real fresh dill and the flavour combination was superb. The cost of this crepe was £8.
I had the Forestiére Crepe which contained beautiful sauteed mushrooms, combined with a fantastic cheddar cheese and caramelised shallots – heavenly and the price was only £6.50. We accompanied this with an absolutely brilliant huge mug of coffee.
Café Parisien’s second floor contains the brasserie which serves as they say a French menu with a “modern twist”. From French classics such as Canard à L’Orange to French Onion Soup. There is an A La Cart menu for lunch or perhaps you fancy an Afternoon Tea complete with lots of boulangerie and beautiful petit patisseries. Prices range from 2 courses for £21.95 to £26.95 for 3 courses.
If you love exploring new food venues, deli’s check out this fabulous little Irish Deli when you visit Indie Fude, they sell foods from all over Ireland.
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