Last year Parisians went into crisis mode after a well-publicized petition claimed that Paris nightlife was on the verge of a slow death. They even coined the expression, “City of Sleep.” L’horreur!
While we may have been facing a party downturn in recent years, Petite Brigitte is happy to report that Paris nightlife is still going strong and 2011 is shaping up to be a year of crazy fêtes (starting with Kate Moss at Raspoutine in February).
Here are your top 5 hottest clubs du jour, but keep in mind: if you aren’t on a list and are going it alone, keep your finger’s crossed and arrive before 11:30. A few attractive girlfriends can’t hurt either.
1. Bagatelle: Built as a hunting lodge on a bet between Marie Antoinette and the Count of Artois, the elegant Bagatelle Chateau and Gardens in the Bois de Boulogne hosts the wildest parties of the summer, such as the notorious Eurotrash Disney party (you’ll never look Mickey in the eyes again). It is a hike getting out here to the western edge of Paris, but well worth it on a warm summer night, especially if there is a good guest DJ. Arrive for dinner or near 11pm to avoid the crowds. Costumes are commonplace, and leave your Louboutin’s at home- it’s a jungle out there.
2. Chez Raspoutine: This red-velvet cocoon of Paris’ most posh noctambules is located just off the Champs-Elysées. The music isn’t great, the dancefloor is petite, but it’s the place to see & be seen, and weekends see a smattering of Europe’s top models mixing with heirs of the luxury industry. Dress to kill.
3. L’Arc: This club near the Arc de Triomphe may not be as classe as the chichi Raspoutine, but the music is better and the lovely outdoor garden is a welcome addition in the summertime. The management have a Riviera sense about them when it comes to partying… not surprising as they are from Cannes! It’s a steamy club with a long bar, and a decent restaurant on the top floor. Great for groups of friends as other clubs tend to turn away larger groups. Opt for tables in the VIP section.
4. Le Baron & Montana: These sister clubs are so exclusive you probably won’t get in unless you are with Karen Mulder or Sean Lennon. With their quirky music, film industry clientele, and celebrity walk-ins, the Baron and Montana are the havens of cool for the right and left bank, respectively. Don’t dress to kill here because looks don’t matter. In fact, the hairier and more unkempt the better. Flannel shirts welcome.
5. Cirque du Bonheur: You might have known this location as the Mandela Ray, but forget all of that because now it is the ‘Circus of happiness’. Think fire breathers, midgets, acrobats, and guest DJ’s from Ibiza like Tim Rustow mixing among a thousand youthful Parisians. This was the hot club of winter 2010/2011 but will close down in mid June as most of this party crowd heads to Bagatelle.