Drink Plan for the Gal Pals

by Weekend In Paris


Cocktail Queen Forest Collins

I love planning trips.  I love planning them almost as much as I love taking them. So, what’s the next best thing to planning and taking my own trips? Helping someone else plan theirs, of course!  So, I was tickled when Priscilla asked me to step in for a guest post on where to find fabulous drinks for the upcoming Girls’ Weekend in Paris. Priscilla let me in the general restaurant schedule, so bearing in mind locations and opening times, here’s my suggestions for the Gal Pals:


View from Ciel de Paris

It’s Andrea’s first time to Paris, so give her a dazzling view of the city that includes the Eiffel Tower.  Start the evening with a drink in the Ciel de Paris at the top of the Tour Montparnasse.  Cocktail hour is a great place to stop in because – if timed right – you can catch both a bit of daylight and then watch Paris light up and twinkle once the sun sets.  Cocktails are not their strong suit, so go for a glass of wine.  Or get even more festive with a glass of something bubbly to celebrate your first night in town.  Just don’t over indulge in the tasty bar snacks because you’ve got a nice dinner ahead of you!

On the first night, I tend to stay up way too late when I’m traveling with the girls.  There’s so much to catch up on and a lot of laughing to get in.  So if (like me) you find it hard to put the brakes on first night fun with the girls, head to the nearby Hotel de l’Abbaye for a nightcap. This charming hotel is a perfect spot for a drink with the ladies.  And, in January it will still be cool enough that they should have the fire going.  So, settle into one of the cozy overstuffed chairs or sofas with your digestif, and stay up past your bedtimes!

Just for Elizabeth!


I know you’ll be doing a bit of wine tasting during the day, so mix it up with some cocktails tonight.  I hear that Elizabeth is a girl after my own heart and appreciates a good martini, so a stop at the Experimental Cocktail Club is a must. If you like Hendrick’s gin, try their martini with it.  If you get in just at opening, you can grab a cozy corner of this speakeasy style lounge before the inevitable evening crowds descend. The Experimental (or ECC as many call it) has been a notable force in bringing the craft cocktail movement to the mainstream in Paris, so you can trust any drink on their menu. (And, Lisa, if you like this spot, bear in mind that the boys have recently opened a bar in London under the same name, which promises to be just as good.)


It’s Tweetup night, so you’ve already got this one covered.  But, if you have a bit of energy after your meal and you still want to try the Bar Hemingway at the Ritz, this might be the night – also convenient because it’s open and many other places will be closed on this night. It’s not in the same arrondissement as your restaurant, but not too far, so a cab ride shouldn’t be too much. The way to get the most out of a drink at the Ritz is to sit up at the bar and have them make something specifically for you – and if Colin’s working, he seems to have an extra special knack for this!


I understand Christine is recently married so she might get a kick out of going to long-standing Paris institution, Lapérouse, where antique mirrors still bear scratches from courtesans testing their diamonds on them back in naughtier times.  So stop in the grandly decorated bar for a taste of racy Paris past.  Cocktails here are handled competently, but really what better place to sip in real French style with a coupe de champagne? So raise a glass to a fabulous girls weekend coming to an end and to Priscilla for her top-notch organization!

Rest up, ladies! You’ve got some serious eating and drinking fun ahead of you.

All photos courtesy of Forest Collins

Forest Collins,  self acclaimed cocktail stalker, opinion foister & things-happening maker searching for the best cocktails in Paris. (and sometimes other places too) is the author of a blog appropriately named 52 Martinis which can be found on the web at:  http://52martinis.blogspot.com/ Forest also tweets under the Twitter name @52Martinis where she gives advice on the best places to find the perfect cocktails.

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Suzanne McDonald December 23, 2010 - 8:21 am

5 o’clock Paris time is … oh wait, it’s only 9 a.m. in Newport. Another great post! :)

forest December 22, 2010 - 12:31 pm

hope you ladies have a fabulous time! Thanks for letting me share in the planning fun! bon voyage!

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