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I love the Ritz and the Place Vendôme where it sits so majestically. It would be heaven to stay in the suite where Coco Chanel lived and changed the habits and ideas about the dress of modern women (even if she consorted with Nazis).
The Hemingway Bar is my kind of place with its icy martinis, even if they're a little silly with flowers in them. What would Papa say about that? Fish them out. (Here is the previous blog I wrote about my favorite Paris watering hole.)
The salty cocktail mix and olives are the perfect accompaniments along with the other little hors d'oeuvres that one can order or that sometimes magically come your way, as if the Cocktail God has bestowed a great gift on us for being in such a hallowed hall. And Colin, the bartender, is a Hemingway Bar icon as well as a poobah in the world of cocktail mixing. In my opinion, it's only proper to give him a respectful nod if one is ingesting his artful libations.
The only sadness about the Hemingway Bar is that doesn't open until 6:00 P.M. What kind of real bar waits so late in the day when drinking can start so much earlier? You will notice here that the website states that the Hemingway opens at 10:30 A.M. I don't know if the time could be seasonal, but I will tell you from personal experience that once when the Lone Wolf and our friend Katherine arrived about 5 o'clock (when cocktails could be drunk with one's held high anywhere), we couldn't get in. We were forced to retreat to our boardroom at Harry's Bar at the Sank Roo Doe Noo (5, Rue Daunou), which is a short walk away. Be sure to have a Bloody Mary there.
I bring the Ritz and the Hemingway Bar up because Linda Donahue, Editor-in-Chief of ParisienSalon.com, recently asked me to fill out a questionnaire about some of the places I love in Paris. For an indecisive person such as myself (which I prefer to think of as open-minded, curious, and appreciative), making choices like this can be like deciding which of my children I'm leaving at home while I go on vacation. But with her category of "Place for Cocktails," I had no such qualms.
Part of the fun of going to the Hemingway Bar is what I lovingly call the "Walk of Shame" (as in shameful excess), the long hallway one marches along to reach the back of the hotel where the bar is. And along the way, one can find some very elegant and expensive as well as over-the-top tacky-ish items to lust over, buy, or snicker about.
So here is a photo essay from the last time I walked through. Enjoy the lovely Walk of Shame. And to read about my other favorites I wrote about for Linda, go to ParisienSalon.com.
One emerald necklace and earrings for me, please.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by Beth Arnold.
---Beth Arnold in Paris