In the context of steady CFD computations, some numerical experiments point out that only a global mesh convergence order of one is numerically reached on a sequence of uniformly refined meshes although the considered numerical scheme is second order. This is due to the presence of genuine discontinuities or sharp gradients in the modelled flow. In order to address this issue, a continuous mesh adaptation framework is proposed based on the metric notion. It relies on a L control of the interpolation error for twice differentiable functions. This theory provides an optimal bound of the interpolation error involving the Hessian of the solution. From this estimate, an optimal metric is exhibited to govern the adapted mesh generation. As regards steady flow computations with discontinuities, a global second order mesh convergence should be obtained. To this end, a higher order smooth approximation of the solution is reconstructed providing an accurate and reliable Hessian evaluation. Several numerical examples in two and three dimensions illustrate that the global convergence order is recovered using this mesh adaptation strategy.