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La Vie Apéro in Paris

October 2013

By Stephanie Wells, Paris

The “apéro” – early evening drinks with friends – is a sanctified moment in every Parisian’s day. With a flute of champagne in hand, Parisians are now inundating trendy pop-up apéro bars and watering holes. This trend is proving to be not only ironically stubborn, but also appealing to patrons with varying buying powers. Five-star hotel bars, like the St James and the Pullman, are opening their velvet ropes to sponsors like champagne brands Taittinger and Veuve Cliquot for a limited time only. Even hipster meccas, like the art-house and concert venue the La Bellevilloise, located in the gentrifying Belleville / Ménilmontant neighborhood, are partnering with the Grolsch beer brand to accompany DJ sessions during the warmer months.

The pop-up drinking and dining trend is taking to the banks of the Seine River. A spanking new boardwalk, called Les Berges, was opened to the public in June 2013. It features several al fresco cafes and bars where young, beautiful Parisians congregate by the hundreds for an apéro on summer evenings. Trendy take-away hamburgers, from Faust’s vintage airstream trailers, and bagels to-go, from gastronomy publication and global wunderkind Omnivore, are sold along the banks of the Seinein addition to typical, spontaneous riverside picnics.

After months of gray skies, canotiers, or straw boating hats, are becoming fashionable amongst this set. While the Panama hat is “so 2012,” the straw canotier, with a black band, is the preferred headwear amongst the hip. Canotiers can be bought on the cheap in tourist shops and pricier department stores like Printemps alike.

Having personally clinked glasses more than once at both the Pullman Hotel’s 180 and also on Les Berges, I hope that the trend expands to cities around the world with a bit of Parisian joie de vivre.

Retail & Dining
Liquor, Beer & Wine
Food & Drink
Fashion & Style
Veuve Cliquot's Le 180
Les Berges' pop-up café
Faust Café, sponsored by Martini

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