When it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve, I’m usually torn between staying in with friends and a bottle of wine and, oh, I don’t know — jumping on tables at one of Hemingway’s favourite bars? Ordering cocktails by a pirate ship? Sounds about accurate. You see, when it comes to offering up an eclectic array of New Years festivities, I realised that if you’re not a local, finding any trustworthy suggestions on the net might seem impossible.. From Rockabilly bashes to masqueraded parties, these are the places I’d bet on for a good time…
Disclaimer: Paris is no exception to the New Years Eve scramble. Taxis, bars and restaurants have been known to overcharge people on NYE!
1. Burlesque on a Boat
La Nouvelle Seine is anchored right below Notre Dame where one can eat, drink, and take in a cabaret burlesque show in the barge’s secret theatre.
2. Balkan Gypsy Bash
For the more adventurous party crowd, La Java is a nightclub nearing a century old, hidden inside an art deco arcade in a less glitzy part of town. This underground dancehall is where Edith Piaf and Django Reinhardt played some of their first gigs in the ‘20s.
Fast forward to present-day Paris, this now uber-kitsch nightclub hasn’t exactly decided what it wants to be as it approaches its hundredth year. Sometimes it welcomes a live tango night, or an electro-centric rager. This NYE, it’s transforming into a Gypsy Balkan themed party from 11:00pm-6:00 am where attendees are expected to come with nothing more than a bohemian spirit. Oh, and for €20 for entry, which can be purchased here. (105 Rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75010)
3. Make a Splash at Paris’ Version of Studio 54
Ah, Les Bains. This place was Paris’ answer to NYC’s Studio 54, and welcomed everyone from David and Bowie to Princess Grace on its dancefloor, and in its (adjacent) swimming pool.
This year, Les Bains announced its plans for “a New Year’s Eve Party you will have no recollection of attending” that starts “at 9PM at Restaurant Les Bains with a lot of booze and a feast of food to forget your “good” resolutions for the new year” and promises an assortment of “different overhyped DJ’s” to “make you dance all night long until your feet hurt.” Personally, we plan to be swimming beside the glow of the disco lights in the pool. Entrance is 80€.
Find out more about Les Bains here.
4. Have a Whiskey with Oscar Wilde
L’Hotel is the ornate Left Bank hotel where Oscar Wilde lived, wrote, and died with the famous last words, “Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.” The bar is the epitome of nonchalant elegance, and the hypnotizing foyer will have you seeing double after a whisky or two. For those looking to dine, a prix fixe, 8 course NYE dinner is proposed and ranges from €290-€400 per person. (13 Rue des Beaux Arts, 75006). Reserve here, or call 01 44 41 99 00.
5. Belleville’s Rockabilly Ball
In the setting of an old Parisian biscuit factory, at Studio de l’Ermitage, dance your pants off around a live rock & roll orchestra to entertain you until dawn with retro swing and rockabilly classics. Advanced ticket reservation (recommended) is €39 or the entry fee on site is €45. Or you can book a table “deluxe” which includes 4 entries and a bottle of champagne for €241 (working out at €60 per head, or a table for 2 is €163). There’s South American snack food to order. Ladies, wear comfortable shoes and bring a fan if you have one.
More info and ticket sales here. (8 rue de l’Ermitage, 20eme, 01 44 62 02 86).
6. A Secret Playhouse
On a leafy avenue in Montmartre, inside the former villa of the Hermès family at the top of a secret stairway, the Hotel Particulier de Montmartre has a very special bar called Le Très Particulier and this year, they’re hosting a masked New Year’s Eve party. Spoil yourself with luxurious cocktails and schmooze with a diverse crowd of well-travelled guests of the hotel and in-the-know Parisians.
If you have a fancy budget for a fancy dinner, there’s a romantic six course meal going for 350 euros a head, included a constant flow of champagne. But if you’re only interested in dancing, entry is free, masks are required and the DJ starts at 11.30pm.
So that’s 6 out of 12 of our NYE ideas for Paris, and we’ve made a beautiful mini e-guide where you can see all of our secret suggestions. And we can deliver it to your inbox faster than you can say Happy New Year….