Monday, Nov. 09, 2009

7. Paris After Dark

Cap a visit to the Pompidou with a twilight session at its rooftop bar and restaurant, Georges. If you're equipped to pay for the privilege, digest the sweeping views with champagne (bottles start from €70) and duck foie gras (€25 to sufficiently feed two). Too lofty? Then try the nearby Restaurant Derrière, an eclectically decorated lounge with a Ping-Pong table and a concealed smoking room, on the fringe of the Marais. Tucked inside a once grand villa, behind cult cocktail bar Andy Wahloo and the Moroccan restaurant Le 404, Derrière was opened in 2008 by the same team that created the other two establishments. A common outdoor courtyard and kooky sense of cool unite the three ventures.

If old-guard opulence is more your fancy, call on Le Bar at the Four Seasons George V Hotel for a cognac. Or order a cocktail from world-famous barman Colin Field at the Bar Hemingway in the Ritz Hotel — the dizzyingly expensive Ritz Side Car is a byword for Paris luxe. Finally, for unabashed dance floor fun, the venerable club Queen is still Paris's best party, unsurpassed for disco ball sparkle and driving pop anthems. Nominally a gay venue, it's open to all, but club-ready threads help for getting past the bouncers.