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The Ritz, 15, pl. Vendôme (1st Arr.)
(33) 01-43-16-33-65 | www.ritzparis.com
AMBIANCEClassic Clubby Luxury
DOOR POLICYRelaxed, but must be appropriately attired
PRICE (COCKTAILS)EUR 30
YEAR OPENED1898 (renovated in 2007)
SIGNATURE DRINKHemingway's favorite single malt whiskeys; cocktails; international beers
BARYes - intimate, clubby bar
FOOD SERVED?Yes - light bar snacks
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?No
During the 1944 liberation of Paris, as Allied Forces and Nazis duked it out on the streets, Hemingway and a merry band of followers made history by popping by to “liberate” the Ritz with an order of martinis. In honor of his brave deeds (and decades of loyal patronage), this tiny clubby bar was rechristened in his name and carefully restored to the way it was when he first discovered it: richly paneled walls, elegant leather armchairs, and cocktails that knock your socks off. Although it’s eminently classy (to the point where “correct attire” is mandated), there’s a deliciously cozy, intimate feel here–the perfect spot to sip a martini while you ponder the plot of your prize-winning novel.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
According to Ritz policy, semi-formal dress is required (this translates into no jeans for the ladies and a jacket and tie for guys). We’d go with a Hepburn-esque look of a little black dress and flats.
GO HERE WITH
A date; colleagues or clients; parents; yourself
A mix of the Ritz’s deep-pocketed guests, Paris’s “ritziest” crowd, and a smattering of tourists and literature lovers looking to connect with the Hemingway lore.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Where to start…the surrounds offer the perfect mix of elegance and relaxation, the service is impeccable (they even nail details like bringing you a slice of cucumber to cleanse your palate pre-cocktail), and the drinks are definitely some of the best in Paris. (If you’re here in the summer, try the ice-cold Picasso Martini–it’s made with chilled gin and a frozen cube of vermouth.)
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
It’s quite a splurge–the cocktails are rumored to be among the priciest in Europe, and we believe it!
GOOD TO KNOW
Bartender Colin Field is legendary. Not only can he whip up a cocktail to suit your mood, but he can also carry on a scintillating conversation (in several different languages!) while he does so. Also, while Hemingway looms large, this was actually a favorite hangout for many early 20th century writers, including Sartre, Greene, Joyce, and Fitzgerald. (The Ritz even still maintains its policy that any writer can have his or her mail addressed to the Ritz.) On a more practical note, if you enter the hotel from the Place Vendome side, don’t be surprised if you have to trek down seemingly endless corridors to get here (have fun scoping the priceless artwork on the walls as you do). Also, should you have the chance, it’s worth checking out the outrageously opulent restrooms.
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!