Located on the ground floor of the InterContinental Doha the City, West Bay, La Parisienne café seamlessly transports you away from the hustle and bustle of the country’s metropolis. Walk through the doors and you will suddenly find yourself on a side street in Paris, with the aroma of freshly baked bread lingering in the air.

As you step inside, admire the authentic French décor, with everything you would expect to find in a traditional Parisian salon de thé. It really is as if you’ve stepped through a magic portal and found yourself in France! There must be a café in Paris somewhere missing some furniture … But seriously, it is comfortable and cosy without looking pretentious or cliched.

We had been invited to sample a new French experience on offer at La Parisienne every evening. L’apéro à la Française is available daily from 6 pm to 8 pm and promises to give les clients a chance to relax and unwind in French style while enjoying a few drinks and carefully chosen snacks.

We were shown to banquette seating which afforded us a full and proper view of the café, and overlooking the vast array of savoury and sweet treats available – my word, they looked magnifique! We also watched the constant stream of people popping in to purchase bread and cakes – clearly, the café was on to something here.

In the name of research, the café kindly provided us with a selection of the boards to choose from during L’apéro à la Française – they comprised a fantastic selection of Mediterranean cold cuts, patés and cheeses, and there is also a vegetarian platter. You can choose any one of these options, while any extra boards cost just QAR50 extra. Plus, there is a huge breadbasket to devour as well!

Executive Chef Remi came over to chat with us about the concept, something he obviously feels passionate about. His idea was to create a genuine French café experience here in Doha, and he has personally sourced fresh meats and cheeses from France, including some products from his hometown. His patissier is also from France, and the whole teams’ passion is evident in the food on offer. From what we had seen so far, I would say that Chef Remi has done exactly what he has set out to do!

I remember enjoying lazy days in France, lounging around having been to the local boulangerie and then whiling away a few hours eating the delicious local produce, and this is something you must remember here at La Parisienne – this is a time to slow down. So do as the French do – sit, relax, have a nibble of this, take a bite of that… and savour every mouthful. The soft background music will only add to the atmosphere, it was audible but not intrusive and definitely the correct volume to allow for conversation. My partner and I took our time talking about everything and nothing, and eating some of the best meats and cheeses we have had in Qatar – it was really quite apparent that some good consideration has been taken over the food selection.

After a couple of très bon hours, it was time to leave. We *may* have been seen in the queue purchasing some of those deliciously tempting macarons and fresh baguettes before we left though!

Food facts:

Daily 6 pm – 8 pm. QAR190 per person for free-flowing selected beverages and one food board of your choice. Selected beverages include vino, ouzo, pastis, and more; additional boards are QAR50 each.

Call 4015 8888 for reservations

Author: Sarah Palmer

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