· By Herb Lester

Le Train Bleu, Paris

Extract from Paris for Pleasure-seekers.

There are two entrances to this restaurant that sits above the platforms of Gare de Lyon, neither of which will prepare the first-time visitor for what awaits them. LE Train Bleu is immense, an extraordinary example of la Belle Époque in all of its wild, dizzying pomp. It occupies a sequence of rooms, their walls and ceilings decorated with paintings depicting destinations that trains departing from this station would visit, studded with sculptures, florid light fittings, leather-covered bench seating and hat racks that take their cue from those found in 19th-century first-class railway carriages. The menu is as rich as the setting – heavy French cooking of a kind that requires a long train journey to sleep off its effects. It is far from cheap, but for sheer spectacle this is hard to beat.

Le Train Bleu
Gare de Lyon, Place Louis Armand
Daily: 1130am-2.45pm; 7pm-10.45pm