Royal Monceau: Stark Designed Paris Cocktail Bar

Royal Monceau
37 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris
01 42 99 88 00

Wedding syndrome: Unrealistically high expectations unattainable in reality. Only One day. Only one chance. Everything. Must. Be. Perfect. I was recently in London for a wedding where the bride suffered none of that and as a result it was one of the most enjoyable and lovely weddings I’ve attended. However, I think I personally may have experienced a bit of wedding syndrome on one of my latest bar visits.

I’d been hearing über-buzz about the prestigious Royal Monceau bar since long before its Starckified recent reopening. With all the hype, perhaps I was expecting too much: cocktails made from joyful unicorn tears of gin that would transport me to faraway places on cotton candy clouds. But what I got instead was simply really well made cocktails.

The over-all hotel revamping has been met with both positive and negative criticism. For such an enormous redesign undertaking, Matt and I found the bar to be surprisingly understated. I dig the long, glowing counter and the pretty multi-colored glass displays. The space feels open and airy without sacrificing a warm and welcoming ambience.

Highly competent Greg, formerly of le Secret, manages the tight bar team and knocks out some damn fine drinks. I had a Beefeater 24 martini, which was excellent and Matt had a Sidecar, which in our opinion was the best Sidecar we’ve had anywhere, ever. Drinks were accompanied by bar snacks of classed up breadsticks and nuts or olives. (I can’t remember which one)

Spirit selection is impressive and the prices – at around 20 Euros a drink – are entirely reasonable for a hotel of this caliber. However, I was slightly less impressed with our second round of drinks, which were house creations. Unfortunately, I am very behind on my blog posts, so I can’t remember which ones we took – I only remember not being as wowed by them as I’d hoped. So, excellent marks for the classics and I’m staying open minded about the house concoctions.

The unfortunate reason for my slowness and lack of notes is that I lost my camera at the wedding in London. So, I’m working from my brain only without drink and menu pictures as back up. I pilfered the pics for this post off Adrian and you can read his review of the bar here. You’ll also find some picture on this site.

Overall, I’m happy with the price, quality, selection and service at the RM bar. I think any kinks I might have experienced are teething pains and that Greg & Co will do an outstanding job of it. And, I will happily go back to make sure.

8 thoughts on “Royal Monceau: Stark Designed Paris Cocktail Bar

  1. I want to move into Le Royal Monceau! I adore the balance of opulence and casualness. That said, I agree: it's a little uneven. I've been twice and the first experience was exquisite; the second, everyone and everything seemed a little amateurish. So what to do but give it a third try!

  2. thanks for the input! It's hard when you just hit a place once to make a judgement call. But, on the other hand, for places that are pricey, i do want them to be good all the time. But, i will definitely be going back to see how things pan out!

  3. 1) is this the real reason you didn't come to my wedding? 😉

    2) your iPhone takes great photos (in a pinch) & has a note pad on it- :p

  4. ha ha…yes, Wendy, i totally can't deal with Wedding Syndrome! 🙂 Seriously, yours is one that I'm still sad to this day I missed! 🙁

    I know about the iPhone and I'm using it now…but when i took pics there, I actually had my camera. Now I'm thinking every time I go out I better take back ups on the iPhone! (and the next couple posts WILL be iPhone photos) going to try and get myself to the shops for a new camera tomorrow.

  5. Sounds like a place worth revisiting.

    I'm glad it's not only me who forgets to take notes and can't remember a few days later!

  6. If I had two cocktails I would not remember if I was Martha or Arthur so I will cut you some slack about not remembering…
    No one turned in your camera? What a drag – I have an iPhone and think that it's very challenging to take good photos with it. Keeping still is required or your image will be blurry so I am glad you are purchasing a new camera.
    Love all your posts!
    Keep writing and making us readers smile!
    Can't wait to meet you in person January 23rd in Paris!

  7. I've just got back from the RM.

    I was a bit compelled by this place with no real bar counter. However I began to feel the ambiance of the place when I sat on the central bar table with two groups of good looking Parisians socialites surrounding me. It's a pity they were having the usual mojito or champagne.

    After looking into the cocktail carte I picked up a rum based old fashioned which tasted great.
    Meanwhile I had a nice chat with the barman about how to take full advantage of Tanqueray No Ten gin.
    I was surprised when he showed me two unusal bottles of tonic called Fever Tree and Fentiman.
    He also offered me to taste the Monkey 47 gin, made in Germany, which was rather a unique experience (Forest you must try this!).

    This little exposé made me pick a Marilou's Martini for the next round. Cucumber, citronnella, St Germain, lime liquor, lime and Hendrick's Gin.
    This was a fantastic drink and will certainly become a MUST have at the Royal M. Bar (I'm waiting for your final cut on this one).

    Overall, the staff was very nice (they offered to
    do some more drink when my friend poured half of his on the bar) and open to discussion.
    Only one caveat : it's a pity you can't really see how the drinks are made…but this (new) hotel bar is definitively worth the experience!

  8. Hub:

    Thanks for the thorough feedback! I'm definitely planning on another visit there soon…as soon as i can manage a free moment! 🙂

    I agree that it would be nice to see the drinks being made, but I do think it was an interesting choice on their part to make the bar set up like that.

    I'll let you know when I get that Marilou's Martini…so many bars to try!

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