Legally, for a sparkling wine to be called Champagne, its grapes must come from the Champagne region of France, and the way it is produced must adhere to the rules of the appellation.Therefore, drinking champagne in France is a rather special treat. If you aren’t able to make it to the Champagne region for a taste, the next best thing is to grab a glass of bubbly in Paris, where you can find several special places to enjoy it, straight from the source. Here, we’ve discovered a few extraordinary Parisian venues to live out your Champagne dreams, outside the box of the traditional bar scene!
The Bubble Suite at the Hilton Opera
Conveniently situated next to the Saint Lazare train station, the Hilton Opera is an easy destination for both locals and visitors. For a limited time, the ground floor of the hotel has opened up the Bubble Suite, a pop-up champagne bar exclusively serving Maison Collet, a luxury niche champagne brand founded in 1921. Paying homage to the twenties, Maison Collet’s Bubble Suite's art-deco aesthetic takes you back in time. According to Managing Director Bertrand Glory, the aspiration of Maison Collet is to reintroduce champagne as a type of wine or aperitif that can be enjoyed regularly, not just for celebrations. “In the same way that the English has tea time, we want to introduce ‘Bubble Time’, a special time in the afternoon to enjoy a 'coupe de champagne',” he says. The Bubble Suite opens Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 5 to 10pm and will run until the end of 2018.
Tucked in a small, charming street in between Saint Germain des Pres and the Latin Quarter, Champagne Dillitentes is a cozy cellar entirely dedicated to the art of champagne. Dillitentes discerning selection is composed of top-quality champagnes often cultivated on family-owned estates, grown and produced by passionate artisans and introduces to the public at reasonable prices. When visiting Dillitentes, one can schedule a tasting to not only taste the product but be educated on the art of drinking champagne by a resident expert. Each flight is accompanied by a card that describes the characteristics of the wine, as well as information about the maker.
Bar Le Dokhan’s
Nestled inside Hotel Le Dokhan near Trocadero, this is the oldest champagne bar in Paris. Taking you back in time, the green and gold décor is set in an 18th century baroque scenery, accented with velvet armchairs. Le Dokhan’s bar offers the largest champagne menu in the capital with 240 choices, but don’t fret - if you don’t know where to start, a team of specialized sommeliers is here to help. Tasting options include pairings with light snacks such as caviar, foie gras, and smoked salmon. The bar also holds a jazz concert once a week.
Canard & Champagne
What is more French that champagne and foie gras? Well, a restaurant that combines the two, of course. At Canard & Champagne, expect a menu exclusively dedicated to duck and champagne pairings, demonstrating the most quintessential French fare. The restaurant is located inside the nostalgic Passage de Panaromas, the first covered walkway in Paris and a precursor of today’s modern mall. The founders are young restauranteurs Jean Valfort - founder of Blend, Paris first gourmet burger chain - and Pierre Dutaret, whose family is known for producing foie gras in France's southwest region. Their accessible lunch menu is set at 17,50 euros, which includes a starter, main, and dessert featuring duck confit and magret de canard. They also offer both a dinner and a brunch menu, topped with mimosas and bottomless champagne.
Now that you know where to take your champagne in Paris, the only thing left is to learn how to say ‘cheers’ in French as clink those glasses: Santé ! (To your health!)
Writer: Ruby Veridiano