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Paris is Not Just For Lovers!

Here at DrinkUp – we love a mini-break. In the wise words of Bridget Jones - mini-breaks mean true love. And where’s more evocative of love and romance and whatnot - than Paris. But what if you’re travelling alone? Is Paris suddenly not for you? Are her languid lunches and lazy lie in’s suddenly off limits?! How rude. With or without a date - Paris is a wonderful place to take yourself for a day, or two and simply indulge.

The Eurostar is a joy. That is a given - though a reminder to anyone with optimistic notions of a deliciously crisp glass of fizz at Searcy’s before you depart – that bit is pre check in. Once you’re through security… there’s a Pret and some uncomfortable seats so time flashing your passport wisely. However a few charming hours on the train with a book and glass of something nice and those delicious mini saucissons from the buffet car et voila – Paris! 

With basically 24 hours in the city - we chose to stay in the nostalgically seedy part of Paris – Pigalle, which is a short stroll from Gare Du Nord (just so much more convenient than flying).
The walk takes you through an increasingly fashionable part of Paris past some very enticing little shops full of things you want but don’t need until there - like a beacon - is the glowing red neon of Le Pigalle – a tongue in cheek reminder that this was once the red-light district of the city. The hotel has a characteristically French vibe; laid back, cool, slightly disinterested – and the ground floor is full of nice looking people drinking coffee at any given time of day. Reception is fairly indistinguishable in the midst of all the said mini-Lou Doillan’s – but the staff could not be more helpful or more welcoming.

Forty rooms, all completely different but all very grown up and very comfortable. Our room was under the eaves and had the added luxury of including a bath tub. Bliss. The walls are covered in a mishmash of artwork – an imposing still from Nymphomaniac sits just as comfortably with crayon-etched portraits or abstract photographs of Paris, and somehow the overall look becomes slightly retro. Add in some fifties light fittings, a turntable with curated collection of vinyl and a teak, panelled mini bar stuffed full of goodies (expect a GREAT spirits collection and some delicious pre bottled cocktails) and the whole thing feels decidedly decadent.

The beds are king size, and the mornings are deceptively quiet. We slept well.

The restaurant-café-bar on the ground floor of the hotel is a bit like a tiny version of the Ace on Shoreditch High Street – so finding a seat unoccupied by a Macbook can be challenging. However once sat - the coffee is strong, the croissants delivered in daily from the bakery around the corner and the space looks and smells great (Le Labo created their room scent especially). In the basement there’s a nightclub complete with blood red walls and poles for dancing around, though we didn’t descend the stairs on our overnight stay – we were out across the street… 

Dirty Dicks - A great example of a Tiki bar done well – the rum flows freely in this Polynesian themed drinking den. Huge Volcano Bowls, Zombies, fire aplenty – it’s exactly what we know and love about Tiki-culture and Scotty – the owner is a king amongst men. Stick your head in for sure.

Lulu White Drinking Club - Priding themselves as purveyors of Absinthe and Dancing, Lulu White is the naughty sister to other Parisian hot spot Little Red Door (which if you’ve not been – you should). Literally a stone’s throw from the hotel and with a 4am license on the weekend, we wish this bar existed in London. There’s live music inspired by the soundtrack of New Orleans so expect jazz or blues and some fun, tasty cocktails to keep you well-oiled. Dance on the tables. It’s basically expected.

We travelled to Paris on the Eurostar – from Kings Cross International direct to Gare du Nord. Rooms at Le Pigalle range from £140-£180 depending on the size of the room.