Whether you’re looking for romance in the City of Light or already found it and looking to celebrate it, you’ll need a little black book of Paris’ most romantic bars. To help you hone your list of the perfect spots for seductive sips, we turned to the Queen of the Paris cocktail scene, Forest Collins.
Forest is the founder of 52martinis.com, a guide to cocktailing in Paris and has recently released the complimentary bar guide iOS application, Paris Cocktails. Paris Cocktails locates the closest, coolest bars, cafés, hotels or restaurants for the best cocktails in Paris, in seconds no matter where you are in the city. The app includes lots of useful search filters, like ‘happy hour’, ‘good for groups’ or ‘rooftop terrace’.
But what we wanted to explore more are her recommendations for romance. If you download the app (which is free to download here until 25 December) you may recognize a few sexy spots that have already been featured here on our site like Maison Souquet or Moonshiner. But there are many more to inspire a little intimacy… So, in celebration of the launch of the Paris Cocktail app, Forest shares a few more of her favorite places for flirting over cocktails with our readers.
If you’re looking for serious wow factor, head to the bar in one of Paris’ jaw-droppingly gorgeous palace hotels. Le Meurice is all about old-school elegance, including service with attention to detail worthy of this 5 star stop. Head there in the evenings to enjoy sophisticated music. Or, better yet, they’re open from noon, so stop in during the day – because nothing’s sexier than a spontaneous glass of something sparkly in the afternoon.
Looking for something chic but accessible? Stop into Le China where heavy red velvet drapes, warm leather sofas and the crisp black and white tiled floor provide an elegant backdrop. Lighting is just the right level of low to allow for a bit canoodling. And bonus: daily happy hours run from 5 to 9pm – because being romantic doesn’t mean you have to bust your budget.
So Holiday Inn may not be the first name that spring to mind when thinking of romantic escapes. But judge nothing until you step into their rooftop bar which offers one of the more spectacular views over the city. Order up a glass (or bottle!) of bubbles while you watch the sun set over a landscape of postcard-worthy Parisian rooftops. Take note: this spot is reserved for summer romance only as they close in winter months.
Just past the friendly doorman, you’ll find a whimsically miniature red door – though guests will slip into this seductive space via the normal sized door to its left. With a discrete attitude, LRD sticks to a winning combo of style, service and superior cocktail. Arrive early enough to grab a seat at the bar, which are not so much stools as impossibly comfortable armchairs. Dim lighting, various levels and intimate groupings of chic chairs and sofas make it a sexy little space for a quiet night à deux.
Hidden behind Il Professore, a large, lively and sometimes loud trattoria, is the very sexy little bar Gocce. Here, it’s all low lighting, book lined walls, candles, sofas and cozy nooks that make it hard not to slip into a seductive mindset while sinking into their soft armchairs. The menu is full of fun things like sprays, infusions, hot cocktails, multiple ingredient recipes, homemade syrups, wines and waters, and wide range of spirits. So you and your partner have plenty to explore together… or plenty of conversation starters if it’s a first date.
Located in the reopened 4-star Hotel Bachaumont, Night Flight is a petit little cocktail lounge that pays homage to the novel Vol de Nuit by the Antoine de St-Exupéry (whom many of you will know as the author of le Petit Prince) and the space was created for “night voyagers” with an ambience that is both light of heart but sophisticated. Night Flight is one of those hip addresses that manages to remain warm and put clients at ease, exactly what you want when you’re planning an evening of romance.
While not hidden, the entrance isn’t entirely obvious. Once inside, it’s dimly lit and sexy with a New York in the noughties sensibility. Two floors of space mix warm and weathered (exposed brick and wood) with cool and modern (glass, marble & fashionable speakers suspended from the ceiling.) It’s not just a bar but a full restaurant where you can make a meal of small plates to share with your date after a drink. It’s also located in the Bermuda Triangle of bars that is SoPi so you’ve got lots of options to keep up the momentum with visits to other cool bars all crowded into this trendy pocket of Paris.
The Ciel de Paris on the top floor of the Tour Montparnasse once claimed to be the highest restaurant in Paris. While newer spots have taken that title, they are still up there. So, when in a bar that’s reaching for the stars, what better to order than a glass full of them? Of course you can also order a cocktail in this Champagne bar with its futuristically retro feel and breathtaking view and either way you’ll enjoy watching the city sparkle below.
Merci beaucoup for your amazing tips, Forest!
Forest Collins is “Queen of the Paris cocktail scene” and the founder of 52martinis.com, an online guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris and other small batch boozy news, and has recently released the complimentary bar guide iPhone application, Paris Cocktails. As a freelance drinks writer, she has written for Drinks International, Serious Eats, World’s Best Bars, and PUNCH drinks about the Paris cocktail scene. She regularly judges cocktail competitions, sits on the jury that selects the worlds 50 best bars and especially enjoys carrying out interviews with interesting industry personalities for her audio show/podcast, Paris Cocktail Talk.