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I am a new parent looking to book a stay in Paris and am worried want a pleasant dining experience that does not endanger my 10 month old. Since the Madeleine McCann story I don't think it is reasonable to be leaving a child unattended in a hotel room and there is always the danger of a fire, which is not really resolved by having a video monitor.

So what I want is a hotel with a family friendly restaurant that opens a bit earlier, say about 5pm, so we can dine out together - without attracting looks from other diners who expect to dine in silence.

Or is there another solution to this problem? How do you approach dinner time with a baby in a hotel?

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    It's now a criminal offence to do what Maddie's parents did in most European countries. – Gayot Fow Apr 8 '15 at 17:29
  • Parenting.SE might have been more useful for you, just so you know for next time – Mark Mayo Apr 9 '15 at 6:18
  • Paris is the best city in the world for small children, you would have had no trouble! – Fattie Aug 1 '18 at 12:50
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I have raised three children and know the problem intimately. This answer is about bringing the baby along (you asked: "is there another solution to this problem?")

At the Northern end of Rue Mouffetard, you'll find a covey of small restaurants, all of which provide a venue for comfortable, family-friendly restaurants. There's about a dozen of these within 100 meters of Place de la Contrescarpe. These are very 'local' and reasonably priced (if anything at all in Paris is reasonably priced).

enter image description here Source: Google, fair use

The Mouff' is really narrow at the Northern end, if you head south on the same street, there are outside tables with the same atmosphere.

NOTE: you should try to clear out by about 20:30 because the neighbourhood can get quite "lively" after that and no place for an infant. Not dangerous mind you, just spirited (De nuit, c'est la partie la plus touristique et active).

You may find this link from ParisInfo helpful : http://en.parisinfo.com/where-to-eat-in-paris/info/guides/restaurants-with-the-family

NOTE: Hotels are all over the Mouffetard neighbourhood, especially near the south end. Having to walk 10 - 20 meters is a great proxy for a hotel lobby.

NOTE: My last time through with an infant was at the Paris Saint Cloud Hôtel near the Bois de Boulogne. Per the usual I asked and got and isolated room just for that purpose. We took breakfast at the hotel and he screamed and threw food. As did all the other children. Nobody gave it a second glance.

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    I am glad my kids don't cry when they are out, they just break things, which is much less embarrassing than crying IMO :/ – Nean Der Thal Apr 8 '15 at 19:08
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    @MeNoTalk, one of mine broke an ice cream dish in the Alsace, the waiter went 'Awwwww' and that was all. But they did NOT bring another. – Gayot Fow Apr 8 '15 at 19:18
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    @GayotFow I always ask for "plasticy" dishes or cups (or the ones for take aways) for the kids to avoid these moments.. when two little boys fight over a dish or a glass things happen because kids usually order something but then they like what's the other one has... – Nean Der Thal Apr 8 '15 at 19:24
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    @pnuts true, especially when it comes to ladies... – Nean Der Thal Apr 8 '15 at 20:00
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    @MeNoTalk, once at Fiorello's in NYC my eldest screamed and screamed as hard as she could. And when they brought the food she threw up! And the waiter offered to hold her while we cleaned up, and she threw up on the waiter!!! I still tease her about it :) – Gayot Fow Apr 8 '15 at 20:05
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In general, most restaurants in Paris will accept childs/babies with no particular issues, except maybe in the expensive ones. A good way to check the restaurant acceptance is to ask for a 'siège enfant' (child seat), many restaurants have one or two ready for customers. If you intend to keep your baby in it's trolley, just be careful not to disturb other customers or waiters movements. You should look for a restaurant where tables are not too close to each other.

Most restaurants in Paris will not be open for service at 5 PM, they usually begin around 7 PM. This means you will need to look either for 'brasseries' type (the kind depicted by Gayot Fow), or all day service restaurants, which restrict your choice, especially if you're looking for typical french meal. You will find a lot of asian shops where you can get hot meals about any moment in day.Also in touristic areas, you have more chances to find an all day service place, but that might not be the best bargain ....

I will therefore suggest that you go for a nice walk around your hotel (depending on it's location) and keep your eyes open to find a place that suits your need. Having your baby with you can sometimes be an opportunity for social exchanges ('how lovely ! how old is he/she ?').

Extras : if you have a feeding bottle or some prepared food for the baby, most restaurants will happily warm it for you in their kitchen. Although public breast feeding is commonly accepted in France, it is more subtle to feel whether a given place is fitted for it.

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    Walk around your hotel at (normal Paris) dinnertime and read menus and if you like the look of the place, step in, talk with staff and book a table for later in your stay. Having been in Paris recently I have seen many a table booked that way, both same and later day bookings. And I have seen babies in restaurants as well as restaurant staff happy to chat with parents about the kids. – Willeke Apr 11 '15 at 13:26

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