Episode 25: “We’ll Always Have Paris: The Ritz Paris Bar”

“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”

The Hotel Ritz Paris bar in 1961, towards the end of its golden age.
The Hotel Ritz Paris bar in 1961, towards the end of its golden age.

 

BEFORE: Coco Chanel's suite at the Hotel Ritz Paris.
BEFORE: Coco Chanel’s suite at the Hotel Ritz Paris.

 

AFTER: The newly refurbished Coco Chanel 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.
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.
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!

 

Further Reading:

Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure – Donald Kladstrup

LET’S TALK PARIS! You can see my own recommendations here, but don’t forget to talk about it on the show’s Facebook page!