Best Clubs in Paris 2012

club

Tis the season to recap the best clubs in Paris for this year, 2012. Santé!

5. Titty Twister (above): A new club for your black leather nights. Inspired by the Rodriguez/Tarantino biker bar in From Dusk Til Dawn, this is the perfect club to bust out that Hell’s Angels look.  Right in the heart of club district at the end of rue Ponthieu, its one of the few clubs in Paris to offer a pool table in the spacious fumoir. Scantily clad employées also dance on the bar, but that’s the only place you’re likely to see much dancing as there is no real dance floor just roomy tables. Viva americana.

4. VIP Club: This big club is nothing very original, but the space is huge and there is a festive ambiance with a lot of highrollers you might see again during the summer in Saint Tropez. If bling is what you are looking for, VIP and its impresario Jean Roch have that covered. You might catch a spontaneous concert by the Black Eyed Peas, Busta Rhymes, or FloRida.  Dinner in the restaurant, Gioia, is a surprisingly nice experience for kicking off a night of partying.

3. Matignon: Whether you are finished your meal or not, the restaurant at Matignon turns up the music to club levels around 11pm, and from then on, expect lots of champagne popping, sparklers, and dancing. Thursday-Saturday, this place is booked, especially during fashion week. Downstairs the club is small but hosts regular tables of fashion models and chic Parisien types.

2. Raspoutine: A club for all ages. A rare mix of the fashionable and accomplished, the ancien regime and the new. Kate Moss drops in during fashion week, and Mick Jagger parties there until 4am on a Thursday night. Raspoutine is decadent, fun, and ‘members-only.’ Once a club of ill-repute, its now the place to see and be seen in Paris.

1. Cirque de Bonheur: A little bit of Ibiza in Paris. This giant space (formerly the Man Ray) is home to guest DJ’s and elaborate parties. It attracts equal parts posh and bohemia, and is known for it’s ecclectic themed parties and sideshows featuring fireblowers and midgets. At the helm of this club is Danish impresario, Rasmus Michau, who’s creativity and enthusiasm (and Viking good looks) have helped reinvigorate Parisian nightlife.

Best clubs in Paris – 2011

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.

La Villa: Best bar near Champs Elysées

Between shopping excursions on Ave. Montaigne and business lunches on rue Faubourg St. Honoré, Petite Brigitte is no stranger to the enigmatic neighborhood of the Champs-Elysées. It’s a quartier littered with tourists, banal shopping (except for Montaigne and “le 66“), overpriced restaurants, cheesy clubs, and yes… les marcheuses (prostitutes).

Having tired of the usual places to get some bubbly in this neigborhood–  Café Chic, l’Empire du 8ème, Pershing Hall, etc —  a recent outing to La Villa came as a welcome suprise.  Situated a short walk down from l’Arc de Triomphe, the bar/resto, open since 2009 yet still largely undiscovered by many Parisians,  boasts a hip piano bar frequented in equal parts by local residents, international businessmen, and trendsetters.

Cocktails are pricey (13-20 euros), the staff is beautiful (especially the ruggedly handsome ex-model DJ who plays between piano sets), and it is the perfect place for a fancy springtime drink on the ample sidewalk terrasse.

Don’t worry, the only marcheuses on this corner of the Champs are wearing Louboutins.

La Villa
37 Avenue de Friedland
75008 Paris
01 82 28 75 08

Jack’s back to Costes

jack.jpg

Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman dropped in on Paris this week to promote their new film called “The Bucket List,” in which they play two old geezers who meet in a hospital room and decide to take the road trip of a lifetime on Jack’s private jet.

Jack hung out at Hotel Costes on Thursday evening, where he was surrounded by heavy hitters in the French social scene— like Yves Saint Laurent and Gilles Lellouche, who were both dining with separate parties at the hip venue.

50cent in the 75

50.jpg

The rapper 50-cent graced Paris with his presence last night and hosted a private party celebrating the end of the French leg of his European Tour. 50 played at Bercy earlier this week, and then returned to Paris after making a tour of France. His party was at 22 Place Vendome, where he apparently keeps an apartment (and otherwise known as the outpost of Van Cleef & Arpels).

50 made the headlines recently for breaking his vow to “retire” if Kanye West’s album went number one over his new release. When calls came for him to follow through on his promise, he responded, “Hey man, I’m the number one album in Europe!”

21st century Ritz

ritz-bar-bd-2.jpg
A photo of the new Ritz Bar (with the lights on).

It’s the most exciting thing to happen at the Ritz in a long time. The new Ritz Bar (formerly the Cambon Bar) opened its doors this month to a surprisingly hip clientele, and Petite Brigitte is becoming a fast fan.

Extremely dim lighting (it takes a few minutes to adjust it’s so dark– perfect for an illicit rendezvous) and some innovative lounge music give this bar a modern vibe, but the decor keeps in tune with the luxurious comfort synonymous with the famed hotel. Decadent red velvet and black lacquered tables are set against oil paintings and ornate glass trees. The feel is a bit 1920’s gentleman’s club, with antlers adorning some walls, but if it brings in George Clooney then PB is all for it! Cocktails by world-class bartender Colin Field round out the chic spot.

Famke hot at Costes

famke.jpg

Dutch-born actress and former model Famke Janssen enjoyed dinner at Hotel Costes this evening in the company of her longtime boyfriend, Cole. Lets hope we all look like her at 42 years of age!

Looking casually chic and absolutely stunning, the Bond girl visited the famed eatery/bar while in between filming schedules— she just wrapped production on The Wackness, starring Ben Kingsley and Mary Kate Olsen.

Earlier this week she took her  Boston terrier, “Licorice,” for a walk in the Jardin des Tuileries, and managed time to get frisky with her boyfriend in the boxwood maze.

fam2.jpg