5, Rue de Presbourg
Tel: + 33 (0)1 40 67 17 37
Sir Churchill was no teetotaller. Stories circulate of his martini recipe involving cold gin and a mere bow towards France. After our mediocre drink at Mon Hotel, we made the short walk over to this big and busy bar- named after the man – to find out how they handle their martinis.
“The Winston” goes beyond English pub decor taking things to a Colonial Indo-Brit level with ample, cozy armchairs and sofas, exotic touches and intricate wood work accents. The two levels and outside tables are generally packed with a solid crowd looking to chat, socialize and escape the higher priced fare generally on offer in this area.
My martini (listed on the menu) was a cold stirred Bombay Sapphire & Martini Dry and a couple of olives. While these two are not my top choice ingredients for a martini, it seems par for the course in a bar of this nature with a less cocktail demanding crowd.
The menu is large and offers a selection of specialties, martini cocktails, champagne cocktails and cointreau cocktails. Although I wasn’t so crazy about the “Do You Mojito?” (basically a mojito spiked with Red Bull and Absinthe). In general, for what they are doing, they’re doing a fine job of it. They’re offering better than average cocktails for Paris with sufficient and appropriate use of ice and a selection stretching beyond the usual mojito menu. And just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe where you often pay a lot more for a lot worse, at 10 to 12 Euros a cocktail the price is right.
They’re open every day and stay open late. The menu has plenty to offer beyond cocktails with an extensive selection of whiskies, soft drinks, tea and food.
No, I won’t make it a regular cocktail destination. But neither will I turn up my nose when someone suggests stopping in. Basically, wanna-be Buddha Bar clients might like the laid back, chill-out vibe here with lower prices and less pretension.