In the second (official) version of the “Taking on” series, I was lucky enough to spend the evening on a crawl of the SoPi area with visiting blogger Girl Seule from Australia. We connected over the blogosphere early 2013 and quickly became virtually friends, instantly relating to each other woes with our romantic misadventures. I was eagerly looking forward to meeting her in person when she told me she’d be passing through town for a few days. I had a feeling she’d like SoPi… a Saturday night to remember! Let our adventure begin!
It’s no secret that SoPi (South Pigalle) has been the hipster headquarters of Paris for over a year now. Nevertheless, the once completely seedy red light district, still retains an edge with escort girl bars serving up sexy cocktails instead of sexy… well you get what I mean. I live just above and so venture down there on the occasional night out, but I hadn’t managed to make it to some of the trendiest hotspots, it would be the perfect chance to give them a try… and I thought that the area would be racy Girl Seule’s style. In between deciding what to wear and trying to tame my newly re-acquired bangs (rocker bangs as my hairdresser called them, fitting for out night!), I jotted down some of my favs of the area and a few bars I’d been meaning to try. Almost arriving at our meeting point, I realized that I’d forgotten my quickly scrawled list. Rats. Oh well, we’d wing it! And here is how our night turned out!
8:00 pm: Le Sans Souci
La Tigresse: I thought we would have some wine, before going to some trendy cocktail bars, so it made sense to start at the Sans Souci. I love this place. A former neighborhood dive-ish bar, it’s now packed with the cool Saturday night crowd. The night was getting off to a good start, firstly because our waiter was actually friendly in addition to being cute, secondly because I had the most amazing eye candy out the window with the particularly adorable handful of garcons who slipped outside for a cigarette… and lastly… getting to know Girl Seule!
Girl Seule: There is nothing like seeing a city with a local, so I was very excited to be heading out on the town with La Tigresse. She told me she had blonde hair and bangs so after awkwardly walking up to one blonde lady and smiling only to have her look at me funny, I was happy to see the real La Tigresse walking towards me. We kissed on both cheeks and I felt very Parisian.
First stop we headed to a bar she knew full of funky, young people out for the night. It was a great start, swapping stories of our lives over wine and a cheese platter. We hit it off immediately and I knew I was in for a good night. There were so many good looking guys in the bar, I thought to myself, “Oh, I am going to love this city”.
9:50 pm: Le Mansart
La Tigresse: Time flew by so quickly at the Sans Souci (well its name means “no worry”, I guess we were of that spirit!) and so we ordered more wine there. On this good wine “roll,” I chose to take us to Le Mansart before the planned cocktails. Ideally we’d still be able to grab a table on the terrace, but it was jam packed, though we did manage to score seats at the bar, a perfect perch for two reasons: we got to watch the adorable (but very young) barmen at work and in the other direction, this incredible sexy guy playing baby-foot. His short-trimmed beard and loose white shirt made us swoon.
We devoured these lovely sights (in addition to a huge bowl of crackers, we’d found their stash of them), before contemplating what to do next. The cocktail bars were ousted for an earlier trip to the Bus Palladium. My friend Francois who does their PR and has a special guest list was out of town, so going on the earlier side was probably better since the doormen have started getting pickier about who they let in (not like we were cute enough… but still). Plus, it was the Kararocké night, and I was thrilled that Girl Seule was a rocker at heart like me.
Girl Seule: The second bar had even better looking blokes than the first, maybe that was because we had already had quite a few wines, but still. The place was packed and it was wonderful for people watching. I would have been too nervous to just waltz into a bar full of cool young Parisians if I were on my own, so I was glad to be with La Tigresse.
11:45 pm: Le Bus Palladium
La Tigresse: En route to Le Bus, I noticed the door to Le Carmen was already opened, hmmm, maybe they were already open? This former mansion of Georges Bizet-turned ultra-cool bar would have been the perfect next stop. When we got up close we were joined by a couple of other girls were peering into the blackened entrance. Darn, no luck. Off we went to Le Bus. No problems getting in, soon we were beer in hand cheering and thrashing about to live music karaoke of 80s and 90s rock tunes. It was nice having such a fun going out partner… though I soon proved I was not the best side-kick!
After about an hour, this cool looking guy in a jean-jacket, longish short hair and no hipster beard (fine by me) started trying to talk to me, the screaming AC-DC was preventing me from understanding anything. He pulled me over to the side to the entrance up to the stage. We exchanged a few sentences and then he was the next to go up on stage. I went back to dancing with Girl Seule pretty much forgetting about him. He came back to find me a little while and pulled me over to the corner again, pleaded me to leave with him. I think it must have been all that wine, or possibly the vodka caramel shot, that made me think that it was a good idea, yet saying the whole time as he was pulling me towards the door, that I couldn’t just leave Girl Seule there… but I guess it’s in her name (seule = alone), though it seemed a little too early for abandonment!
Girl Seule: This is where a good night turned into a freaken awesome night. The band were so fun and we rocked out to classic tunes and drank beer and danced. It is a little bit hazy but I had a ball. I always think I am the greatest dancer of all time when I am drunk though video footage from peoples Iphones tends to prove otherwise. When some swing type tune came on I decided to put those 8 weeks of rock’n’roll dance classes I did when I was 24 to good use and grabbed a guy to dance with me. He picked me up and spun me round and I like to think we looked awesome, but the reality is I think I may have accidentally kicked a girl.
La Tigresse told me she had got talking to a guy so I was like, “go, go I’ll be right.” I was having a blast dancing with a bunch of randoms so I was ok!
2:00 am??: Glass Cocktail Bar
La Tigresse: I got to go to a new cocktail bar after all! Glass was on my list along with the Dirty Dick and the Fox Club. Fitting for the location I made Mr Jean-Jacket get me a fancy cocktail, which was divine. It turns out that he’s an actor, an actual real one. Not such a bad catch, but would we be a real catch for me? Let’s see if there is a “take two” with him first.
Girl Seule: I left the club having no idea where I was or how to get home so I figured the easiest thing to do was hail a cab. My feet hurt so I ended the night the way I usually do, drunk and barefoot. Like most cities, cabs aren’t that easy to hail on a Saturday night (or Sunday morning by now) but I had fun chatting to a bunch of random people while I waited. I went home alone, so no love for me in the city of love, but I had an absolutely fantastic night. Thank you La Tigresse for showing me how much fun Paris nightlife is!