Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Watering Holes

Watering Holes
One dark night in February my dear self and another member of the ULIP Student population were meant to be working on our Dragons’ Den project but we got a little distracted by several bottles of wine and the Time Out website with its vast list of bars, clubs and other vendors of inebriating spirits. I cannot take full credit for finding all of the establishments I am about to describe but I most definitely have drunk in all of them so I think that’s just as good. Isn’t it?
Dirty Dick
This unusually named bar on rue Frochot looks rather bizarre with its wooden exterior amongst all of the sex shops in everyone’s favourite trendy area SoPi. When we made our first trip the delightful bouncer (said with no sarcasm at all) asked us for our ID because he didn’t believe we were as young as we said we were – a new experience for me as I recently got asked if I was a friend of the 13 year old I look after not the person who was in charge of her safety. But I digress. With their Tiki themed interior including puffer fish for lampshades and fishbowls which arrived in conch shells containing floating halves of passion fruit on fire, I can’t deny the strangeness but brilliance of it. It isn’t massively cheap but they do a rather interesting coconut concoction for 6€ for lovers of all things a little bit Malibu. Overall a triumph of a find.
Le Cristal  
A personal favourite of mine not only because it is a 2 minute walk from my flat but because I’ve never had a bad night there. Found at 163 Avenue de Suffren it looks rather unsuspecting during the day but is usually rammed most nights of the week. Despite it often very hard to sit down in the cramped conditions especially when it’s raining and all of the people from the smoking area cram themselves in to. With Kronenbourg sold in plastic cups, it isn’t the classiest of places but it has a certain charm. The bar staff ring a bell each time the get a tip which causes more and more people to cheer the more time passes and the more alcohol gets consumed. The atmosphere is very friendly and if you want to go and talk to French people in a non-forced environment like a speed-dating type thing then I’d recommend it. I must finally add a disclaimer though if anyone does decide to go. The loos are horrific but it definitely has character.
Now before I write about here I must admit that I’ve only ever had an actual drink here once because each other time we’ve been there has been nowhere to sit. A sure sign of a quality establishment I think you will agree. The one time I did manage to grab a pew there I had a cocktail called an Aretha (insert pun about giving them RESPECT etc), so it can’t be bad at all in my book. Hidden away at the end of Rue Saint-Andre-des-Arts it is very handy for a cheeky kebab from Gyros on the way home. Need I sell this place to you anymore?

Whether these three haunts of mine are unknown to you or your regular drinking dens – I hope they give you as much pleasure as they have given me but hopefully it is in the form of a stiff drink after a hard day picking up children/despairing about French bureaucracy/celebrating the arrival of your student loan in your bank account. 

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