Bar Hemingway

June 21st, 2008

French 75 cocktail at Bar Hemingway

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.

Dry Martini cocktail at Bar Hemingway

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
Web: www.ritzparis.com

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Posted in Out and about, Paris

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6 responses to “Bar Hemingway”

  1. Anita Anita says:

    lordy, I know the exchange rate’s against me, but $45 for a single cocktail? I’ve paid less than that for nice dinners. :D

    If I got a glass of zero-degree gin and paid 30 euro for it, there would be violence.

  2. Camper English Camper English says:

    I had a similar experience there. My friend ordered something like a lavender martini and it was a cold glass of lavender-infused vodka. Umm, really? Yet still I have the menu for framing and got Colin Peter Field to sign my copy of the cocktail book while giggling like a schoolgirl.

  3. Stevi Deter Stevi Deter says:

    Vodka.

    In a French 75?

    The mind boggles.

  4. stephen stephen says:

    I also had such a disappointing visit there… Drinks were, at best, so-so. Colin Field has a fantastic reputation but his colleagues are sorely lacking in talent.

  5. Jay Jay says:

    You’re right Anita, I probably should have said something. British politeness took over I guess. The place was so fancy I was just glad they let us in! ;-)

    I’m glad Camper and Stephen confirm my disappointments, and I wasn’t just being fussy.

  6. Charlotte Charlotte says:

    It is Place Vendome, not Vendrome.

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Photography by Jay Hepburn
Artwork by Craig Mrusek

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