What’s the best way to reclaim an iconic Parisian street from the clutches of foreign tourists and a wealthy minority? With a great big meal, of course! 

On a Sunday lunchtime at the end of May, 4,400 people sat on a 216m long chequered tablecloth and tucked into a gastronomic picnic on the world-famous Champs-Élysées, with offerings from iconic Paris eateries such as Ladurée and Le Fouquet’s. 

The lucky guests were chosen at random out of 273,000 people who’d applied to settle down for the lunchtime feast (which chefs had begun preparing at 3am) right in the heart of Paris, between the Arc de Triomphe and Avenue George-V. 

The aim was to show that the famous thoroughfare is “not only an avenue for shopping but also an avenue for gatherings”, said Marc-Antoine Jamet, president of the Champs-Élysées committee, the group of local traders which organised the event. The group wants to see ordinary Parisians return to  the street and has produced a hefty report with 150 suggestions on how the street can be reimagined for the benefit of Paris. These include reducing the number of lanes to two to make the avenue more pedestrian-friendly, planting 160 trees and creating meadows and flowerbeds, as well as ‘plant lounges’ with seating, shade in summer and a fountain. The committee also wants to see the Champs-Élysées become home to “the world’s most beautiful jogging route”. 

Latest Posts:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here