The totally-rebuilt Café de Paris has opened to the public and the response, unsurprisingly, has been very positive.

Now on two floors, the design allows for many separate areas, and on the first floor, with views of the Casino and Hôtel de Paris, even in the winter there are plenty of opportunities for taking the sun on the front-facing terrace.

On the ground floor, despite its spaciousness, there is an ambience that comes very close to cosy. Given time, the space will mature into a familiar and welcoming venue along the lines of the American Bar. There has been great attention to detail. The many mirrors have been artificially aged as if they’ve been in place for the past hundred years.

To sum up, the new Café de Paris is a temple to many of the joys that wealth allows, fine food, exquisite wines, and in the right company perhaps a promise of other joys to come. It is unashamedly romantic. It will serve the wealthy residents of Monaco very well indeed.

It is important to remember that the Café de Paris is not a restaurant, but a brasserie with a brasserie’s busyness and bustle. It is also a place to linger.

However, it is not inexpensive. Two courses for a couple, with a glass of wine each, will average in the region of 200 euros. We should not be surprised.

Importantly, there will be a huge difference between winter and summer. As an iconic Monte-Carlo venue, I predict that during the summer months, which now start earlier and finish later, the place will be packed to the gills with long lines of tourists trying to get in.

The biggest problem for the Café de Paris – and its devotees – will be its own success.

PHOTOS: Ian Brodie

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