50Best Accolades
  • Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award 2024

Exquisite sauce-led cuisine delivered with relaxed precision overlooking the Seine


On the Pass

Arnaud Donckele

Pastry Chef

Maxime Frédéric

Setting the scene: Plénitude is on the first floor of the LVMH-owned luxury boutique hotel, Cheval Blanc Paris, which inhabits the historic La Samaritaine building overlooking the famed Pont Neuf in Paris. The split-level dining room affords dreamy views of the River Seine and various notable Parisian landmarks from every table.

On the plate: Chef Arnaud Donckele is one of France’s most accomplished cooks, with a laser focus on sauces as the centre point of each dish. The seven-course tasting menu might include sardine served with a piquant green Eden sauce, while plump langoustine comes with an airy sabayon, but it’s the vegetable, seafood or meat accompanying the sauce more than vice-versa. Donckele’s exquisite bouillons, consommés, sabayons and vinaigrettes – and their ingredients – are detailed in written form for guests to take home with them.

Delivery service: The choreography of the meal, orchestrated by restaurant director Alexandre Larvoir and his young team, is dynamic: guests visit the cellar on arrival; one course is taken in the kitchen; at another point diners are invited into a ‘secret’ cheese cave adjacent to the dining room to select vintage plateware and their chosen fromages. Precise service is combined with relaxed engagement, with team members encouraged to bring their personalities to the table. This results in an exceptional – and sometimes emotional – dining experience, which has earned Plénitude the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award 2024.

Bonus point: The desserts, petit fours and extensive bread selection are all overseen by acclaimed pastry chef and chocolatier Maxime Frédéric, who is rapidly building a reputation as a master of his craft in a city renowned for its love of pâtisserie.


Cheval Blanc Paris 8, Quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France

+33 (0)1 40 28 00 00 Visit Plénitude's Website Visit Plénitude on Instagram