Les Etages, Paris
Situated on Rue Vieille du Temple in the trendy area known as Le Marais, Les Étages is one of my favourite spots to chill with friends and sip on a drink from the Caipi family. Upon return, I discovered that a few things had changed but that, if anything, the overall experience had been improved.
It is true that in this bar you will often be surrounded by a very international mix of customers but to me it is not so extreme that you would describe the atmosphere as ‘touristy’. The bartender spoke to us in French and treated us to a stylish playlist that included alt-J, which I have now adopted as my Summer Soundtrack. It was to this music that we gazed out of the open doors, enjoying a good session of people watching, chatting and cocktail-drinking.
Étages refers to the floors of a building as well as a layered cocktail. Though the bar is made up of three étages, I have never seen more than a handful of people upstairs. With unique touches to the décor, it does seem like quite a cool place to rent out…
Ok so happy hour is great because the cocktails are 5€50 but in my opinion you are better off ordering a large cocktail from the normal menu for 11€. We ordered 3 Caipirovskas from the happy hour menu, which – by their lack of lime wedges – looked suspiciously as though they had been poured from a pre-mixed concoction. That said, I have come to accept them as an apéritif before the main round of cocktails is ordered as they are still above the standard of a badly mixed Caipirinha elsewhere – particularly if you like your drinks sweet.
For our ‘main’, we went for a Caipirinha and two Raspberry Mojitos – the house drink – with which we were more than happy. The fresh mint that we had seen delivered just prior to the mixing of these cocktails enhanced the refreshing juiciness of the Mojitos and the ample lime wedges in the Caipirinha meant it was a winner in my books.
Surprisingly friendly compared to your typical Parisian service standards! Although we were no longer offered caramelised peanuts (as in previous times), the bartender was charming and Corina and Stef spent most of their time fighting over him, much to my amusement.
My favourite elements of this bar are its décor and its location – it’s the wonderful joining of the interior and atmosphere of the bar itself with the irresistible vibes of the modish Marais right at its doorstep.
Fabulous. I have to leave a little room on the scoreboard in case something even better comes up but this bar really is at the heart of a fashionable Parisian quartier.
I think you can tell by the lengthy review that I am very fond of Les Étages. You can actually find its sister bar too, in St Germain (5 rue de Buci, 75006) but that is another story and I would strongly recommend this location as the better of the two.
Les Étages opens at 17h, which is when happy hour begins – enjoy!
**our scale may develop as we visit more bars but the description should give you a fuller idea of what to expect