“I have come to liberate the Ritz.” – Ernest Hemingway
This week, we’ll continue our series “We’ll Always Have Paris” focusing on the history of tourism in France. I don’t know about you, but after all this history, I could use a drink! Luckily, I know just the place. This week, we sneak behind the bar to learn about the antics, escapades and espionage of the Ritz Paris bar. Salut!
Episode 25: “We’ll Always Have Paris: The Ritz Paris Bar”
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The Hotel Ritz Paris bar in 1961, towards the end of its golden age.
BEFORE: Coco Chanel’s suite at the Hotel Ritz Paris.
AFTER: The newly refurbished Coco Chanel suite at the Hotel Ritz Paris.
Left: Head bartender of the Hotel Ritz Paris, Colin Field. Right: a genuine Ritz Sidecar (pretty old picture – at $1,700 apiece, they aren’t ordered very often!).
The Hotel Ritz Paris bar in the 1930s – after the ban on women was lifted, thank you very much.
Colin Field raises a glass in the newly-restored by still very cozy Bar Hemingway in the Ritz Paris. Sources:
The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris – Pilar J. Mazzeo
“This Legendary Bartender Served Hemingway and Aided the Resistance Against the Nazis” – Alexis Ferenczi, VICE
“The Ritz and the Mirrors of Social History” – Mary Blume, The International Herald Tribune
“Bar Icon: Frank Meier” – Difford’s Guide
“A Legend As Big As The Ritz” – A.E. Hotchner, Vanity Fair <— If you read only one article about the Hotel Ritz bar, make it this one. I couldn’t fit all of the crazy adventures into the episode!
– Donald Kladstrup Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure
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