Le Bar
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major_rawls
By major_rawls
The historic art of eavesdropping
There were only blokes in Le Bar as we walked in. A tv crew had been doing some filming outside and seemed to be wrapping up for the day. The two blokes, one American and one French, I assumed must have been with the tv crew. Eavesdropping can’t be new in Le Bar. I wonder how many others eavesdropped Oscar Wilde when he held court here over a 100 years ago. On this occasion the American and his impressionable young sidekick dropped so many names I thought the floor would collapse. Some of their sentences weren’t even sentences. Just name after name. And after a few minutes of being her it had long ceased to be eavesdropping, their volume so high they was impossible to ignore. A few drinks later their conversation turned to general sexism. The American, we guessed, was the director from the tv crew, and from the pre-#Metoo age. Oscar Wilde died in this hotel. You probably know that. The American though, was very much alive. He was as much annoying as he was sadly entertaining. His lack of self-awareness was just about enough to save him from assault. The only weapon I had close by was a porcelain bowl of rosemary cashews, which came free with our drinks. I looked at the bowl and looked at the American. “Steve McQueen, Jon Bon Jovi, hey this girl just opened her shirt on Sunset Boulevard, Bruce Willis, Coppola, yeah Coppola...” Thankfully I could see a sadness in his eyes - a career unfulfilled. Even his impressionable sidekick looked bored by now. He was still talking and namedropping. We all knew that this was unstoppable. And relaxed as it turned to background noise. Le Bar has fabulous decor, quality drinks, if a little pricey, and I can highly recommend a trip to the toilets just to see the basement and the amazing old French dungeon style architecture of this historic spot. And yes, it also a good location for the historic art of eavesdropping. A pleasure that can’t be underestimated.

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The area
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Neighborhood: Saint-Germain-des-Prés
In Saint-Germain-des-Prés, life is effortlessly chic and all things are beautiful. The main boulevard is dotted with famed terraced cafés, haut-couture shops, ivy-covered railings and fine-dining restaurants. Antique dealers and art galleries surround the fine art school and small museums hide in unassuming squares. The neighborhood’s namesake church is the oldest in Paris and is the backdrop for talented musicians every weekend. The Luxembourg Gardens house the national senate, splendid lawns and flourishing flower beds. Famous faces and bourgeois Parisians frequent Saint Germain accompanied by the students of Rue Saint Guillaume and Rue des Saints-Pères. This is a neighborhood where afternoon people-watching from a café or playing cards in a brasserie are a key part of the daily fabric.
How to get there
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés • 5 min walk
  • Mabillon • 5 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
3 reviews
Excellent
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PubliusSyrus
New York City, NY22 contributions
Sep 2016 • Solo
An intimate, exquisitely decorated haven in the famous L'Hotel on the Left Bank. A place to quietly exchange confidences, spend an hour with someone you adore, or simply loaf, sip a drink and bask in the atmosphere. You'll feel transported to another era and emerge inspired. Wear an elegant outfit.
Written September 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

major_rawls
London, UK669 contributions
There were only blokes in Le Bar as we walked in.

A tv crew had been doing some filming outside and seemed to be wrapping up for the day. The two blokes, one American and one French, I assumed must have been with the tv crew.

Eavesdropping can’t be new in Le Bar. I wonder how many others eavesdropped Oscar Wilde when he held court here over a 100 years ago.

On this occasion the American and his impressionable young sidekick dropped so many names I thought the floor would collapse.

Some of their sentences weren’t even sentences. Just name after name. And after a few minutes of being her it had long ceased to be eavesdropping, their volume so high they was impossible to ignore.

A few drinks later their conversation turned to general sexism. The American, we guessed, was the director from the tv crew, and from the pre-#Metoo age.

Oscar Wilde died in this hotel. You probably know that.

The American though, was very much alive. He was as much annoying as he was sadly entertaining. His lack of self-awareness was just about enough to save him from assault.

The only weapon I had close by was a porcelain bowl of rosemary cashews, which came free with our drinks. I looked at the bowl and looked at the American.

“Steve McQueen, Jon Bon Jovi, hey this girl just opened her shirt on Sunset Boulevard, Bruce Willis, Coppola, yeah Coppola...”

Thankfully I could see a sadness in his eyes - a career unfulfilled. Even his impressionable sidekick looked bored by now.

He was still talking and namedropping. We all knew that this was unstoppable. And relaxed as it turned to background noise.

Le Bar has fabulous decor, quality drinks, if a little pricey, and I can highly recommend a trip to the toilets just to see the basement and the amazing old French dungeon style architecture of this historic spot.

And yes, it also a good location for the historic art of eavesdropping. A pleasure that can’t be underestimated.
Written December 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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