Cheers to Europe: tips for drinking in Paris

Posted by Shelley Pembroke on 3 May 2012

Où est la bibliothèque? I can’t answer that, but why would you care about the location of a library, when you can care about the location of your next drink? Moving on from drinking in England, the land of my pale, pale forefathers, it’s a mere hop, skip and a ferry ride over to Paris, the city of lights.

Nothing says sophistication quite like Paris: between the glamorous fashion, the magnificent architecture and the centuries of history, you can’t help but improve your posture and look down your nose slightly just by being in the city. You can spend the days shopping up a storm, or pretending to understand the abstract expressionism at the Louvre. You can spend the nights taking in the breathtaking illuminated Eiffel Tower, or giving the middle finger to skinny people everywhere by over-indulging at one of the many world-class restaurants. Either way, you can’t help but feel just that little bit more posh when in Paris.

Over and above their sophisticated ways, the French are also known for their disdain for the English language. So here’s a handy sentence to get you started on your French travels: “Je voudrais un verre de vin, s’il vous plait.” Basic translation: I would like a glass of wine, please. If you’ve lived under a rock for a fair amount of years, you may not be aware that France is world-famous for its wine. Therefore, you simply cannot drink in Paris without drinking wine. It’s science. Thankfully, due to the high standards, you’ll find something fantastic to compliment your meal, no matter your budget. Any house wine that you get will be of a more-than-decent quality and you can also splurge with a bottle of award-winning wine from Burgundy or Bordeaux.

Enjoying your meal with a bottle of Merlot or Ugni Blanc is a great way to spend your evening, but to truly give yourself the Parisian experience, enjoy it with a meal AND a show. The Moulin Rouge is one of the most sought-after nighttime experiences that Paris has to offer and for good reason. If you’re into great food, fantastic entertainment and, well, topless women, it’s a night out that you won’t want to miss. If that’s not enough to convince you, the Moulin Rouge also has over 25 000 bottles of wine stored in their personal cellar, ranging from the reasonably priced, to the ridiculously extravagant.

If nipples and naughtiness aren’t really your scene, head out onto the streets and simply enjoy the beauty that the city has to offer. Seeing as Paris is considered the most romantic city in the world, you’re going to want to find a special someone to share the moment with. If you’re from the same school of thought as I am, having a bottle of wine on hand will not only enhance the experience, but also lower your standards enough to ensure you get a passionate smooch from someone that you will always remember as being “French and good looking”.

Drinking in Paris: accomplished.


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