Located deep inside the Ritz Paris, on the über chic square of Place Vendrôme, Bar Hemingway is without doubt the classiest establishment I have ever drank at. After a seemingly never ending journey through the corridors of the Ritz you arrive in a small and cosy bar decorated with photos and memorabilia dedicated to the eponymous Ernest Hemingway. A keen staff of smartly dressed bartenders, under the direction of Colin Field, serve a menu that mixes classic drinks and newly created libations.
The staff were keen to push the newer cocktails on the menu but I stuck to the classics with a French 75, and in a disappointing nod to modern trends when ordering I was asked whether I wanted vodka or gin. After confirming my preference (can you guess?) I quickly received an eloquent drink complete with freshly cut garnish. The cocktail was very well made, with the champagnes dryness working perfectly with the citrus and sugar to create a nice balance and very fresh taste.
Unfortunately things went downhill fast with the next drink. I ordered a Dry Martini, specifically naming a gin and requesting plenty of vermouth in the knowledge that I might otherwise end up with a cold glass of vodka. The barman disappeared in to the back room and returned with a cocktail glass which turned out to contain pure gin which had been sat in a freezer. I did at least get the choice between olives or a fresh lemon twist for garnish, but given the prestige of the bar and the previous drink I really expected better.
I would have liked to try a few more drinks but unfortunately by this stage we were in danger of being late for the opera, so I left Bar Hemingway with mixed feelings. My first drink was great, the surroundings were pleasant and the bartenders keen and attentive. However, my Martini was a big disappointment, and at around €30 ($45) a cocktail I really did expect more…
Bar Hemingway is located at Ritz Paris, 15, Place Vendrôme, Paris 75001 and open 5pm to 2am. Semi-formal dress is required.
Tel: +33 (0)1 4316 3365
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