Gintime City Guide to Paris

We begin our occasional Gintime city guides appropriately for the time of the year with the most romantic of the lot: gay Paris!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the best part of your life, you can’t help but know V Day is a comin’. Paris on Valentine’s Day may be a cliché but we don’t need any excuse to celebrate that crazy little thing called love. Here are our top picks of amorous bars and romantic things to do a deux.

The Experimental Cocktail Club
37 Rue St-Sauveur, Paris, 7500
With Neo-Baroque décor and more than a touch of whimsy, this elegant bar offers luxurious intimacy and delectable cocktails. Petit and tres chic, you need to arrive early to get a table. (Visit website)

The Bound Bar
7500849 Avenue George V, 8th Mº George V, Paris
The ever so sexy name says it all! This stylish bar is well known for excellent cocktails and being the spiritual home of hip young Parisians. They offer cocktails that are either ‘mischievous or classic’. Mischievous all the way, baby! (Visit website)

The Bar Hemingway at The Ritz Paris

15 Place Vendôme, Paris
Imagine being such an appreciated regular they name the bar after you. It can’t be long in coming! Sure, visit The Hemingway for its exquisite, classic décor but linger to sample Colin Field’s cocktails. He was voted the number one cocktail shaker in the world. Yes, the whole world: nuff said. Guess what music they have playing on their website? Go on, click the link, you know you want to! (Visit website)

Harry’s New York Bar
5, Rue Daunou, Paris
Sure, it’s a bit odd going to an ‘ex pat’ bar but when the previous visitors include Humphrey Bogart and Rita Hayworth, not to mention local lass Coco Chanel, it can’t be that shabby. Harry’s was dismantled in Manhattan and relocated to Paris in 1911. Eventually owned by Harry MacElhone, a barman from Dundee, who used his considerable shaking skills to turn Harry’s into a Parisian landmark and global star of a bar. Of course there are now ‘Harry’s Bars’ everywhere but the original is not to be confused with the Edinburgh version, which is more grab a granny than grasp a Gimlet. (Visit website)

Musée Rodin
77 rue de Varenne, Paris
Although there are more than enough beautiful museums and galleries to keep you occupied of an afternoon, the Musée Rodin houses The Kiss, possibly the most romantic sculpture ever. And one of the funniest, if you’re a Monty Python fan
(Visit website)

Cupcakes are so last year, ma cherie! The sweetmeat on the chicest lips is Le Macaron and the home of these delectable babies is the legendary Laudrée. This delightful salon de thé is the perfect place for a little afternoon delight and their tasty morsels are so very light and dinky, you’ll have no trouble squeezing into your favourite lingerie afterwards. (Visit website)

226, Rue de Rivoli, Paris
Some like it hot, particularly when it comes to chocolate. Angelina’s is renowned for the richest hot chocolate in Paris and Marcel Proust himself remarked that their Madeleines reminded him of his youth. Well, there’s nothing like feeling a few years younger to get you in the mood. (Visit website)

34 Boulevard Saint Germain, Paris
Purveyors of all things delectably smelly, this perfumerie will have you wafting feminine floralness all the way home on the Eurostar. Diptyque candles grace the most stylish of homes and will be a lasting reminder of your romantic break. (Visit website)

Le Mur des Je T’aime
Buttes Montmartre, Place des Abbesses, in the Square Jehan Rictus

The wall of lurve! Created by Frederic Baron, who collected the words, and Claire Kito, whose calligraphy graces the lava tiles, this thoughtful wall is inscribed with the words “I love you” in 311 languages. If you click on the link you’ll find a tutorial of how to convey your romantic feelings in each language, so you’ll never be short of those three special words ever again. (Visit website)

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