85, de Bercy
Tel: 01 43 42 30 00
Forest fact: I have a soft spot for average, bog standard, budget chain hotels you find scattered along the freeways of middle America. You know the ones I mean: they always have sufficient strip mall & General Dollar Store action close by, there’s all you can eat breakfast buffets and a fine selection of Bigelow teas on tap all day long in reception. I totally get into it and use all the amenities possible. I’m the one who actually uses the 3 machines in the empty fitness center & skips down the nappy, brown carpeted hallway to visit the hot tub room. And, the ice machines…ah, the ice machines, don’t even get me started.
So, the Novotel Bercy, while a slight step up from a Holiday Inn and with no strip malls in site, reminds me of the cheesy, brightly lit, average businessman’s hotel. But, for as much as I love these places, the Novotel Bercy: not so much. I’ve been sitting on this post for several weeks with a bit of a ‘why bother’ attitude. But I’ve decided it merits a little shout-down to prevent others from following in my footsteps. Back in January, Kate come up from Geneva and took me to a concert at Bercy for my birthday (thanks, Kate!) The concert fell on a Wednesday, so tried to squeeze in a quickie cocktail adventure prior to the show. I didn’t have any ideas for around Bercy & the few I came up with didn’t work (temporary closures, etc.) So I thought a hotel bar is always a semi-safe bet.
I was wrong. Although Gin and Tonic is the first featured cocktail on their list of 6 cocktails at 6.95, there’s no gin in the house. There’s actually not much at all to choose from in the house. I took a cuba libre. Unusual for Paris: the barman was very heavy handed with his pour. The general vibe is a bit depressing even if the barman was friendly enough. So it was a great concert, but crap cocktails. And, I’m still on the lookout for cocktail spots in the area…so share if you’ve had better cocktail luck around Bercy!