No whinning, just wine!

I recently attended a little soirée with my friend Kasia Dietz, at a cozy boutique hotel in the 8th arrondissement. The newly renovated hotel has added a wine bar, and most importantly…a wine specialt who goes by the name of Judith. In addition to being witty and fun, she also has her wits about her when it comes to wine. And she doesn’t hold your wine ignorance against you in any way! (I was relieved about that, because although I can appreciate it and I know what is good and what is mediocre and what is not good, I am at a loss to tell you anything intelligent about wine). She hosted a fun wine tasting, greetings us with a glass of champagne to open our palettes and offering a spread lots of delicious things to munch on. Once we were well lubricated from the champagne that she poured rather liberally, she announced that we would be having a wine tasting challenge where we would have to guess the wines that we were tasting. The only clue we had was the color of the wine in our glasses. Some, no, most of use, quite immediately admitted to knowing next to nothing about wine tasting, but Judith put us all at ease by saying that there were no rules to describing wine. It’s a very personal thing, she said.

One of her best feats of the evening was the tricky difference between the first two wines. Both white. VERY different flavors. We were throwing out all sorts of (wrong) answers when we tasted the second one. Choosing regions of France far away from the first wine we had tasted. Well it turns out, it was the same exact wine, only aged in oak barrels instead of steel barrels. We were all floored.

Two glasses of champagne and four glasses of really good wine later, I was ready to attempt the metro ride home.

Check out this friendly cozy place. You don’t have to be a client of the hotel to go and have a drink and talk wine with Judith!

31 rue de Surène, 75008 Paris

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The Best Cocktail Bars in Paris

Photo : Cosmopolitan by Ralph and Jenny

Photo : Cosmopolitan by Ralph and Jenny

 

Guest post from Bonny Baily :
Paris is well known for its classy bars serving up fine wine and sophisticated champagne. However with the opening of a handful of New York-style cocktail bars in recent years, the mighty cocktail has blossomed in popularity. Nowadays cocktail aficionados don’t have to look too hard to find a great bar in the city, but neither do holidaymakers just looking for a good drink somewhere with a view. Here are three of the best bars in the city:

Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Hotel

This bar contains so much history that it just had to be included. Not only is it situated in one of the best Paris hotels, but the bar itself has seen some shenanigans. The bar was named after Ernest Hemingway who lived in the Ritz for years alongside other famous residents, such as Coco Chanel. The Hemingway bar is alleged to be the birthplace of the Bloody Mary – a drink invented for the great man himself. It is also the bar in which Audrey Hepburn was talked into stealing an expensive statue by Peter O’Toole in the film How to Steal a Million. Nowadays, the Hemingway Bar is famous for being home to the World’s Best Barman – Colin Field – whose exotic, original cocktails have earned him the accolade.

Experimental Cocktail Club

The Experimental Cocktail Club is a speakeasy situated on the Rue de Saveur – just keep your eyes peeled for a non-descript black door in need of a paint job. Once you enter the building you’ll come across a small room with chandeliers, exposed brick-work and room for 40 people in-the-know. This fashionable bar has attracted celebrities from director Quentin Tarantino to designer Phillippe Starck. Not bad considering that the bar was initially considered to be a failure because – as the New York Times reported – no one in France typically drinks cocktails. Well, they certainly drink them here and the bar’s signature cocktail, Experience 1 – made with lemon grass, basil, and elderflower cordial – is extremely popular.

Le Bar Du Plaza Athenee

If Le Bar Du Plaza Athenee looks familiar it’s because it featured on the final episode of Sex and the City. Of all the hotels in Paris, this contains one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower and Carrie was lucky enough to benefit from this backdrop by staying in the hotel’s Eiffel Tower Suite. These incredible views of Paris’s most famous monument extend to the bar and Sex and the City addicts will be pleased to know that bartenders here can make a mean Cosmopolitan. Those that are neither keen on Cosmos or Carrie shouldn’t be discouraged. The cocktails are varied and creative – with black Cosmopolitans and Mojitos offering up a unique spin on the original recipe. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights after 11pm, the bar changes from a calm blue to a rock-ready red and electronic rock music pumps out of the speakers.

Le Yono
Le Yono in the Marais District is the perfect place for those that like their cocktails with a side of dancing. Pumping out thumping electro music, this bar is seriously cool and patrons take to the cave-like space to dance the night away under the gaze of the city’s best DJs. The best thing about Le Yono is that the cocktails are quite reasonably priced and the cocktail menu is fairly comprehensive. Their mojitos are perhaps the most popular drink on the menu and mixed to perfection. The bar’s happy hour is between 6 and 8.30 and beers are also available at happy hour prices. Tapas dishes can be enjoyed as bar snacks, which friends can enjoy together hot or cold.

For those who prefer fine wine…
Le Baron Rouge
Finally, for those traditionalists who prefer a nice glass of wine over a zingy cocktail, Le Baron Rouge is the venue to visit, as it excels in fine French wines. Inside the bar the back wall is lined with barrels full of wine, this is one of the few places in the city where people can stock up on wine and buy it by the litre – which many of the locals still do. Of course, they still sell wine by the glass and the prices are reasonable enough that this place is packed most nights. In addition, customers can buy small plates of food to accompany their wine such as cheese and charcuterie, and on Sundays oysters are sold.
This is just a small selection of some of the many great bars that visitors can discover and enjoy in Paris. There may have been a time several years ago when Paris was considered to be seriously lagging in the cocktail stakes. However, the opening of many new cocktail bars show that Paris’s cocktail revival is in full swing. Whether you prefer cocktails or fine wine – you’ll be able to find a great bar in the city catering to your taste buds.

Vogue Fashion Night Out Paris 2011

Vogue Fashion Night Out 2011, Paris

From 6pm to 10pm September 8th, Vogue threw its now annual bash for fashion in Paris, London and New York.

FNO Paris 2011

Avenue Montaigne, Paris

Avenue Montaigne in Paris was awash with the trendiest crowd imaginable, and all the boutiques open until 10pm, champagne flowing and little petit fours and macarons being passed around by smiling waiters.

FNO Paris 2011

…Madame Alt, the new Vogue Paris editor, pranced up and down the avenue followed by models and a mini film crew, trailing a swarm of crazed fashion fans, bloggers and by standers in the footsteps. And from the looks of it (see photo just below) even the smallest of fashionistas were out!… Check out my friend Milla’s post for great shots of Emmanuelle Alt!

FNO Paris 2011

That's fashion baby!

…I had a great time just checking out all the trendy looks, but it will be nice next year when the event expands to other parts of Paris, because standing in line for half an hour should be banned to people attending Euro Disney! Ha! Let us know what your experience was like!…

FNO Paris 2011

The chic androgyny look

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FNO Paris 2011

Bloggers out in full force.

FNO Paris 2011

Chloé threw a dance party on the street!

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FNO Paris 2011

Gracious glamour at Gucci!

FNO Paris 2011

Bags and "rags"...these Parisians look très trendy!

FNO Paris 2011

The lurking Cavalli crowds

Friday en Français : Fête Foraine qu’on Aime

Le concept : traduire un ancien billet et français, déjà pour pratiquer mon français à l’écrit mais aussi pour faire un geste envers mes lecteurs et lectrices francophones! N’hésitez pas à me corriger mon français.

The concept : translate an old post into French, first in order to practice my written French, but also to be a bit more welcoming to my francophone readers! Don’t hesitate to correct my French.

Read original post in English here

(Original post published August 4th 2010 / Billet d’origine publié le 4 août 2010 )

La fête foraine…

Oh la fête foraine, cet événement d’été que nous attendions, enfants, avec une anticipation surexcitée. L’odeur des pâtisseries frites et les cornets de glaces, le bruits des enfants criant avec joie tandis qu’ils sont projetés par ces grosses machines (ou bien des cries de fatigue dans un dernier effort de se faire enlevé de la poussette), la vision des lumière pulsantes et les couleurs brillantes…

 

Cela vous manque-t-il l’enfance? Ou détestez- vous la foire foraine? Peu importe! Vous y avez accès, à Paris! Vous pouvez au moins faire quelques tours de la grande roue fabuleuse. Si vous la montez vers 22h00, 23h00 ou 00h00 vous aurez la chance de voir pailleter la tour Eiffel!

Quelle vue!

Cela vaut la peine de la monter. Tout Paris est à vos pieds, beau et brillant comme seulement Paris peut l’être.

La Fête Foraine des Tuileries 2011 :

Infos Pratiques :

Lieu : Jardin des Tuileries, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris. Metro Concorde, ou Tuilleries.
Date : La fête foraine au jardin des Tuilleries est ouvert du 24 juin au 21 août 2011

Heures : De 11h à 23h45pm en semaine, et de 11h00 à 00h45 Vendredi et Samedi.
Entrée libre et gratuite, la nourriture et les jeux et animations sont payantes.
Tarifs des attractions : entre 2 & 10 € par personne

Yelp France : 1 year old!

I love Yelp and so should you!

They threw their one year anniversary party for Yelp France/Paris on June 9th 2011, where there were foodies, bloggers, Yelpers and fans a-plenty, as well as food and drink! It was fun and fabulous and delicious!

I nibbled on oriental cookies with almonde paste (marzipan) that were lactose free!!! *happy face* from Diamande, enjoyed a cool Paris brand beer from the guys who revived Demory, made my own DIY ‘food porn’ at Norton of Paris’ hard to get to table (everyone wanted to have a go. LOL!) , sipped a DELICIOUS cocktail from Candelaria, drooled over Lola’s cookies (but couldn’t eat them…butter.) *sad face*, gobbled down a plate of yummy mexan specialties from El Nopal (chéri said that their guacamole was almost as good as mine. Aww!), got my picture taken by Lomography on their retro cameras that use…gasp…film! And I watched chéri taste some  very poten whisky proposed by Julhès which were accompanied by various delictable items to eat that brought out or married well with the different whisky flavors. (I’m not a big whisy fan).

To see what else was proposed for people to test, taste and drink that night check out Yelps description of the soirée here.

And here is their fabulous video! They caught me camera taking their picture! LOL!

Yelp – soirée sur mesure from Maxime de Pommereau on Vimeo.

Oh and a special shout-out to Forest of 52 Martinis who in my opinion wins the prize dor the cutest shoes of the night!
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52Martinis, I Heart Paris, Prête-Moi Paris

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Demory

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Julhès

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LR make-up corner

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Tartes Kluger

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Emperor Norton

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Candelaria

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I heart Paris at the Curio Parlor

16 rue des Bernardins 75005

Kim Laidlaw Audrey of I Heart Paris, did her little DJ thing at the Curio Parlor tuesday June 14th 2011, with a small mob of her fans and friends. The motley crew of bloggers, Parisians, expats and socialites, sipped cocktails in the sweaty “sous-sol” of the bar while swinging their hips to 90’s pop music.

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The bar is cozy, and a sort of hide-away place for a select crowd that dabbles in fashion, movies and generally just being bobo-fabulous.

  • Mal-Aimé gave a launch party for their fashion brand last October.
  • More recently Parisian Gentleman threw a bash there that attracted twice the capacity of the club!
  • The founders of the très bobo blog Les Archivistes celebrated their 1 year anniversary there in April
  • Frenchie singer Alizée has been spotted behind the DJ table
  • Last June En Mode Fashion invited itself to have a blast there too.

It’s the “it” place to have your soirée these days. Check out the site and calendar blog of the artistic director of the Curio Parlor : http://www.buvezmadison.com/

Personally I lOVE the 1920’s-1930’s inspired “smoking-club” décor style, and the exposed stone in the upstairs (ground level) bar, and the goregous nostalgia bar that is set up in the “cave” (that’s french for celler). A lot of bars in Paris have cellers where you can party, it keeps the noise out of the the neighbors eardrums and let’s the oiseaux de la nuit party as late as they please!



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Among guests at the I Heart Paris soirée there was…

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celeb journalist Rebecca Leffler & moi

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Forest C. of 52 martinis and Shannon V. of Je Ne Sais Quoi

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Lindsey of Lola's Cookies (left), Nikki (center), Jenny of Jennyphoria (right)

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Kim Laidlaw Adray (right)

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Rebecca Leffler, Joy Melki, Laëticia Cérou

Adam R. of Invisible Paris (left), Anne D. of Prête à Voyager (center), Sion D. of Paris Imperfect (2nd from right)