There are lots of big news stories in Paris this month. The EUFA Euro 2016 is happening in France, which means soccer fans from all over Europe have descended upon this beautiful country to drink too much alcohol and streak through our streets. The summer labor strikes have begun, resulting in epic traffic jams and massive piles of rubbish along every curbside. And most importantly, the Ritz Paris has reopened at the Place Vendôme.
For me, two things happen in June every year. I celebrate the anniversary of my birth, and then I cry into my pillow when I realize another year has disappeared without a fucking novel to show for it. So what’s a birthday girl to do? Spend hours on her keyboard, or have cocktails at the Ritz? In honor of these momentous June occasions, I present:
The Swankiest Hotel Bars in Paris (Alternate Title: Procrastinate Writing Your Novel by Drinking Stupidly Expensive Cocktails in Fancy Bars Designed for Traveling Rich People)
112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris
Yes, this is the famed lobby bar of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Offering impeccable white glove service, top shelf liquor, and superb snacks, Le Bristol embodies everything that is classical yet subtle about Paris. Bask in the pink marble solarium while sipping Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie’s perfectly chilled Miraval rosé. Sit back and observe the socialites and celebrities who enjoy uninterrupted conversations with their loved ones, because here, no one would dare ask for autographs or selfies. Although I’ll admit, I did sneak a pic of the quirky gentleman sitting to my left, who nibbled on a gold-flecked cloud of pink cotton candy and vaguely resembled… could it be… Quentin Tarantino?
228 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
This is The Hubs’ favorite bar in Paris. Of course! Patrons actually sit on stools and chat up the bartenders, who expertly mix classic drinks like Old Fashioneds and Rum Swizzles. The enormous mirrored shelves behind the bar contain a rare array of Kentucky bourbons and Japanese whiskeys, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll sip on a velvety port and wish you wore your flapper dress.
Paris Marriott Champs Élysées
70 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
This isn’t a traditional hotel bar, but rather a massive marble lobby fitted with cushioned chairs and couches surrounding tiny cocktail tables. Sit anywhere under the 7-story glass dome, and bartenders will bring your drink of choice along with an excellent assortment of bar snacks. The hotel building was the original atelier for Louis Vuitton, and despite its touristy location, it’s quite exquisite, I assure you. I sipped my margarita mere meters from Arab royals. Stay for one glass of champagne. Then you can say you enjoyed bubbles on the Champs-Élysées, because after all, that’s why people come to Paris.
19 Avenue Kléber, 75116 Paris
After a massive renovation project, the Peninsula reopened a few years ago to critical acclaim and all kinds of dramatic hoopla. There’s no doubt about it: this is an obligatory watering hole in Paris. While the rooftop bar does offer fabulous 360 degree views, skip it for the uber cool lobby bar instead. At street level, you’ll get chic, young DJs spinning jazz-inspired techno and sip signature cocktails in fancy glasses garnished with feathers. You’ll be the envy of every European backpacker trekking down the Avenue Kléber.
17 Avenue Kléber, 75116 Paris
Here’s your rooftop bar, my friends. It’s strategically located right next to the Peninsula and offers equally fantastic views of the Paris skyline. This quiet, romantic location allows you to gaze at the Eiffel Tower while you sip. Does it get any better?
George V Four Seasons Hotel
31 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris
Yes, it gets better. The George V may indeed be THE swankiest hotel bar in Paris. Most importantly, you can sit right down on a stool at the bar and immediately strike up a conversation with the friendliest mixologists around. Scan the room for celebs, because yes people, they are here. Have you recently cashed out your tech start-up stock options? Then drink to your heart’s content. Otherwise, do like moi and hit the George V last, then order a nice port to enjoy… sloooooowwwwly.
The Ritz Paris
15 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris
* coming soon *
Yes, I have enjoyed cocktails at all of these locations (except The Ritz) during June this year, instead of writing my novel. No wait, I did re-write my opening chapter. Guess what else? Tin House rejected my short story Quittin’ Time not once, not twice, but three times in a row. Hey thanks, Tin House. Glimmer Train rejected Snakeheads, to which I was like, Huh. Well, I’m in good company, because my youngest son also received a literary rejection from the American Library in Paris. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.