A final cocktail at the Ritz
Are you fan of special cocktails, paradisiacal gardens and wellness? The Bar Vendome at the Ritz Hotel in Paris provides the perfect opportunity to experience it all. Unfortunately, this have closed down on the 30th of July for renovations, but we should all look forward to its reopening in about two years. I went to the Ritz to enjoy one final drink before its closure and was able discover a few of its many hidden treasures.
I arrived at the Ritz at 11pm. As I entered the outdoor Bar Vendome, it appeared empty at first. However, upon reaching the other side, a whole new world unfolded. The garden of Eden lay before my very eyes.
I was enchanted by the whistling sound of water from the fountain accompanied by the elegant sound of “Moon River” caressed from the keys by a live pianist.
Soon after my arrival, I talked to the bartender and learned more about the Ritz: Thirty-two dedicated staff members were working at Vendome. They were responsible for serving guests who had traveled from all over the world to stay at the Ritz, one of Paris´ most exclusive and unique hotels.
Why go to the Ritz?
One of the many reasons people choose the Ritz is to experience its cultural treasures, such as the Hemingway Bar. The same location Noble Prizewinning author Ernest Hemingway once spent several hours enjoying a good time amongst friends.
The Ritz is unique, providing an experience one will not find resembled by any of the chain hotels – so in order to experience the remarkable Ritz-atmosphere, one would have to come to Paris!
I was provided with a personal guided tour.
First, we entered the restaurant, shining with white round tables and a grand allure. Here, the guests could enjoy some of the exquisite classical french cuisine while surrounded by a splendid decor.
Second, we traveled downstairs into the kitchen, a masterpiece! The walls beautifully decorated with hand painted ceramic rocks lining the walls and ceiling. Behind the kitchen desk was a perfectly organized kitchen.
During dinnertime, ninety men had been preparing the world-famous dishes. The team was orchestrated by Miche Roth, up in the front.
Monsieur Roth has earned both a Bocuse prize and the title “Meilleur ouvrier en France en cuisine”. Miche Roth started at the Ritz as an Intern and ended up staying throughout his whole career, quite unusual for a chef of his level.
No wonder why guests arrive with great expectations…and in order not to disappoint, the meals must never fail to exceed these expectations.
It has to be perfect each and every time. That´s also why the kitchen was divided into zones by courses: starter, main course, dessert.
Within these areas, each person worked within his own specialized domaine. Only one is preparing the sauce, another the vegetables, etc. In that way, guests received the best of the best from each highly skilled member of the kitchen staff.
The atmosphere in the kitchen could be almost military. When Roth said “ready to go”, those working on the menu would yell back to confirm where they were in the process, loud enough for everyone to hear. This ensured the components would always arrive for the dish at the same time.
Below you see the a kitchen decoration and a picture hanging outside the kitchen:
Finally, I went back upstairs and into the garden.
As I sat down at a lovely table, surrounded by statues and a sense of liberty, I sipped on a special drink containing champagne, berry and Malisse. It tasted fresh and delicious, though a bit overpriced at 30euro.
There was no doubting the seduction of the atmosphere, but I was particularly enthralled by the four small chocolates served along with the drink. As they melted in my mouth, a liqueur floated out onto my tongue leaving a surprising orange flavor before gently disappearing.
As I left the Ritz, it was with a remarkable impression and my lips spread wide by a smile that seemed never to fade.
The Ritz is a place you must discover for yourself: mysterious, luxurious and historical.