Hotel Concorde Lafayette
3 Place du General Koenig
La la, la la la la, la la la, la la.
10 points to anyone who guesses what I’m singing right now! Who knows what those points go to, but if you’re competitive like I am, you’ll give it a try anyway. I’ll get into why I’m singing that later.
t’s Christmas time – I want fun and festive and fancy! So, this week we decided to visit the panoramic lounge of the hotel Concorde Lafayette hoping that might fit the bill. Sure, I couldn’t exactly see all the Christmas lights strung up throughout the city from the 33rd floor of this hotel, but I could see Paris twinkling beneath me.
I arrived to find Matt already ensconced in one of the cozy seats in this surprisingly busy bar. Every row of banquette style seating facing the window wall was full of Eiffel tower-watchers. Incidentally, the new light show for the tower isn’t very interesting. (Melanie pointed out that perhaps we were getting the backside of the show?) Démodé décor aside, I liked the private feel of the undulating long booths. Everyone gets their own little curve in which to congregate. And, in a different mindset I might have totally dug the cheesy feel of the 70’s style of this hopping hotel lounge.
Matt had already started on a so-so sidecar and after a glance at the menu, I took my usual. My Bombay Sapphire martini was very light on the vermouth and came with a twist in an icy glass. I was slightly suspicious at first, but pleased enough by it. I pretty much singlehandedly ate all of the mixed nuts and marinated olives that came with our drinks.
We had a good turnout of newbies, regulars and occasional visitors all coming for holiday wishes and pre-vacation check-ins. That means we got to sample several things off of the cocktail menu, which run about 14.50 Euros a drink.
But here’s the problem: all the drinks pretty much seem the same to me. They’re served in the same glasses with the same garnishes and the same colors. Violaine started with a Princesse (rum, coconut milk, banana juice, grapefruit and red Curaçao.) I won’t even bother describing the rest of the drinks ordered because they all tasted like a riff on that.
I was feeling a bit adventurous, so instead of sticking with another martini, which was not bad, or trying something I know I would like for my 2nd round, I decided to go with one of the “Concorde Cocktails” which seemed to be a mélange of whatever wasn’t selling behind the bar.
My “Hello Paris” arrived (with further nut and olive reinforcements) and I was immediately in love with the colors: but for fun, not for drinking. This mix of rum, banana liqueur, coconut liqueur, banana juice, grapefruit juice, strawberry syrup, and blue Curaçao was about as bad as it sounds. We decided the way to go would be to mix this crazy rainbow up.
The finished product was an extremely blue drink with a layer of red at the bottom. It looked like someone had taken Papa Smurf, thrown him in a blender, put a pineapple slice on the mix and served it to me. (Hint: here’s where the “la la” comes in). Matt tasted it and said “I can’t believe you’re drinking that disgusting drink!” And, I’m much pickier than Matt when it comes to drinks.
We were all happy to see each other and I was happy with my martini, but for the rest, we were all somewhat non-plussed. Melanie was the winner with her order of the Chicago 1934 (cognac, grand marnier, lemon juice and ginger ale)Even the view is a bit obscured by the lights reflecting off the window panes.
Maybe stop in for a martini if you’re in the area and dying for a view (or just missed your bus to Beauvais, which I’ve been known to do). But, otherwise, skip it for serious cocktails. So, next week, I’m letting Matt (who has been my longest standing partner in crime for Wednesday drinks) choose the bar. It couldn’t get much worse. I just drank a Smurf.