They are as much a symbol of Paris as a croissant with a cup of coffee. Café terraces are part of the DNA of the Parisian art of living. And now for the first time, the municipal authorities of Paris have decided to honour them through a competition. By Travel + Leisure
When Parisian café and restaurant terraces reopened following pandemic lockdowns, they were the symbol of newfound freedom after long periods of restrictions. And in the first phases of the pandemic, restaurant owners were particularly attached to their terraces because they presented an opportunity to welcome back customers when enclosed, and interior dining rooms remained shuttered.
Authorities in Paris to host a competition to find the best terrace cafe
This unusual, exceptional period gave rise to a system of summer terraces, which enabled cafés and bars meeting the required conditions to set out tables and chairs on the sidewalks or parking spaces during the summer months. The operation was once again relaunched this year through October 31, with a limited number of authorisations — something that has caused anger and disappointment among many restaurant owners. Because, there’s no doubt about it, café terraces are a genuine issue in daily Parisian life.
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Paris’s City Hall has therefore decided to support this strong symbolism with the introduction of a new competition. First mentioned by an elected official in 2021, the project has now become a concrete reality. Restaurants, bars and food shops with a terrace have the opportunity to register for a title which seeks to select “the most beautiful terrace in Paris.” Registrations are open until August 31.
At the end of September, a jury made up of professionals and residents of the capital will select the winner. The top prize will be awarded to a space that is well integrated in the urban landscape, with aesthetics playing a key role as well as quality of the materials. Its installation will also have to meet environmental standards. Other criteria include respect for the neighbourhood and its position in the public space.
This story was published via AFP Relaxnews.
Main and Feature Image Credit: Photography Christian Mueller / Getty Images©
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