Destination: France: Paris
15 Cent 15
So many Paris bars seem aimed at iPod-wearing twenty-somethings, making the more mellow 15 Cent 15 at the Hôtel Marignan a welcome addition to the scene. The brain child of young designer Olivier Gagnère, the two-room bar is fitted out with cushy sofas, a herringbone-parquet carpet, chocolate-brown velvet walls and funky objets, like a wall-mounted stag’s head. The centerpiece is an inset circular ceiling lined with gold leaf and containing two Murano glass chandeliers. Popular with thirty-somethings and creative types, including many who work for nearby fashion houses. Best of all, the background music remains just that. The tapas menus are fun—order savory nibbles before dinner or go afterward for dessert. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Métro: Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Order the Meurice Millénium at Le Meurice hotel’s comfortable bar. A blend of Cointreau, liqueur de rose and pink Champagne, it was created to celebrate the property’s reopening after an extensive refurbishment in 2000. Métro: Tuileries.
Hôtel Le Bristol Bar
This plush hotel bar at Le Bristol is a good place for a civilized cocktail in a serene setting. Open daily. Métro: Miromesnil.
For the best cocktails in Paris, swing by the Ritz and ask Colin Field to design a drink especially for you. Métro: Tuileries.
La Terrasse d’été
Though it’s not technically a rooftop bar, the newly opened summer terrace inside the Shangri-La Hotel boasts one of the best lofted views of the Eiffel Tower. Accessed through grand reception hall on the second floor of the hotel, this secret garden (usually reserved for private events) decorated with dark rattan furniture, gauzy white curtains, and trellised flowers will be open to the public from 5 – 11 pm during the summer months (July 5 – September 8.) The pop-up Bollinger champagne bar serves bubbly by the glass, bottle, and in cocktails (try the appropriately summery “swimming pool,” made with champagne, pear vodka, lime juice, and curaçao.) There is also a small menu of savory and sweet snacks like Iberian ham and melon or fresh strawberries and cream. Every Thursday and Friday evening throughout July a DJ will add summer tunes to the garden party atmosphere.
Le Bar du Plaza Athénée
Chic Parisians and in-the-know visitors meet for specialty cocktails at the Plaza hotel’s glowing glass bar, designed by Patrick Jouin. Open daily, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Métro: Alma-Marceau.
Le Ciel de Paris
The soaring Tour Montparnasse is often bemoaned as an eyesore, but the skyscraper undeniably offers some of the best views over Paris. There’s really no better way to take in a romantic sunset or—after dark—a magical view of the Eiffel Tower’s sparkling lights, than from the 56th floor with a glass of bubbly. The Bar à Champagne in the newly redesigned Le Ciel de Paris is open until 1 a.m. every night. In addition to a delectable selection of Champagnes by the glass or bottle, the bar also serves up heavenly cocktails—such as the signature Le Ciel de Paris: St. Germain liqueur, Campari and Champagne.
Located just across the street from the Louvre, this lounge, with a bar from a onetime Philadelphia speakeasy, is owned by the Costes brothers who have Café Marly and the Hôtel Costes, so it attracts the beau monde. Interiors are libraryish with leather couches and booklined walls. Enjoy a drink in the library or on the pleasant terrace out front. Open daily. Métro: Louvre Rivoli.
Open everyday from 5 – 11:30 pm, the small rooftop bar and restaurant atop the Philippe Starck-designed Mama Shelter hotel gets the summer-in-the-city vibe exactly right. With hammocks, daybeds, umbrellas, even a ping-pong table, this urban retreat in the newly trendy neighborhood near Père Lachaise is a delightful place to chill out. In addition to refreshing cocktails (try the cucumber-mint martini), the restaurant (open for dinner) serves fresh summery fare like grilled fish and seasonal vegetables. To insure a seat at one of the long picnic tables, it is essential to book ahead—though the atmosphere at Mama Shelter is relaxed and casual, with only 18 seats, this alfresco restaurant is a hot ticket during the summer months.
This glamorous, discreet place is a favorite with stylish young Parisians for drinks after dinner. If you want to join them, gents should wear jackets, white shirts and jeans, and ladies the proverbial little black dress. Closed Sunday. Métro: Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Murano Urban Resort Bar
The lounge and bar area at the chic Murano hotel is open all day for tea and light snacks but it becomes a gathering spot for the ultra-trendy in the evening. Open daily, 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Métro: Filles du Calvaire.
The spacious rooftop bar and restaurant on top of La Cité de la Mode et du Design’s striking apple-green headquarters on the Quai d’Austerlitz opened to great fanfare in the spring of 2013. In addition to a great view overlooking the Seine, Nüba’s vast outdoor space offers deck chairs for lounging, communal picnic tables for eating (organic burgers and Belgian fries are the stars of the menu), and a foosball table for playing. Live concerts and DJ-sets turn up the heat on the dance floor in the evenings, but afternoons at Nüba are made for pure R&R. Between the palm trees, the tiki bar, and the river breeze, you’ll feel as though you’ve slipped away to the tropics. The terrace is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11 am – 3 pm and 7 pm – 11 pm. Sunday hours are Noon to 5 pm.
One Place Vendôme
Michele Bonan, the Italian interior designer responsible for the divine interiors of JK Place, on Capri, has just livened up the restaurant at the Vendôme Hotel, making it the most fashionable drink spot in the 1st arrondissement. Forget the Hemingway Bar or Hotel Costes. In-the-know sophisticates come here for lunch or cocktails and relish being the first in on a special secret.
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