My Paris: Interview with Legendary Barman Colin Field

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My Paris: Interview with Legendary Barman Colin Field
You knew him at Bar Hemingway at Ritz Paris. Born in Rugby, Warwickshire in 1961, Colin Field is recognized as a cocktail authority, named “world’s best bartender” by Forbes on multiple occasions. During his tenure on place Vendôme, he didn’t just serve Le Tout Paris, but also Hollywood actors and celebrities, like Kate Moss, who became regulars. Now, after nearly 30 years, Field has retired from the Ritz. But don’t despair- he’s still in the consulting business. So you can taste his creations at the likes of Maison Proust in the Marais, where he’s a “permanent guest” behind the bar every Friday. The bar littéraire theme so appreciated by the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Daniel Craig, and Bruce Willis is on full display here. In an exclusive interview, Field shared his thoughts on Paris and favorite city addresses. Hemingway Bar at Ritz Paris If you could share a bottle of wine with a Parisian, living or deceased, who would it be? That would be Serge Gainsbourg. It seems to me that he was an artist, actor, singer, and writer who was not afraid of the crowd, whether on stage or in society. I met him while I was working chez Lasserre, and participated in June 2007 on stage with Jane Birkin, Marianne Faithfull and Carla Bruni in the “Tribute to Gainsbourg” at Salle Pleyel in front of 2000 people. A local you admire Edouard Baer, the French actor, film director, director, screen writer, writer, whom I appreciate for his sense of repartee and his know-how. Your favorite Paris ‘hood I really liked the 18th. At one time I was married to a pretty dancer from the Moulin Rouge and really loved local life on rue Lepic. Unfortunately it has become too commercial; is this the fault of the successful film Amélie Poulain? Today I like the atmosphere around rue Cadet and rue Montorgueil and towards the Grands Boulevards. Rue Montorgueil. Photo credit: Valerie Hinojosa/ Flickr What do you like best about Paris? In Paris there are bistros and bars everywhere, I love them all. When I work in Tokyo, Shanghai, Palm Beach, Mexico City, to name a few, I find that bars and restaurants are quite rare in comparison. What’s the one thing every Parisian must have? A well-stuffed wallet! Paris may be the number one tourist destination in the world, but prices have become exorbitant. Restaurants, bars and taxis… That’s a hell of a budget! When I have lunch in the countryside, or go shopping outside Paris, the difference is incredible. Where do you eat lunch in Paris? I get up too late for lunch! But for dinner, Le Bon Georges ticks all the boxes. The beautiful beef comes from Alexandre Polmard, the star butcher/breeder who produces the best meat outside the state of Texas. Excellent service, great atmosphere, and the choice of wine is enormous if a little expensive. Le Bon Georges

Lead photo credit : Colin Field. Photo credit: Benjamin Roseburg

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !


  • Blaine Peacock
    2024-02-05 11:01:33
    Blaine Peacock
    I enjoyed this article very much and glad that I recently joined Bonjour Paris. As a life long Francophile, I have always been attracted to the language, culture and cuisine as well as the magnificent, mysterious, complicated and romantic city of Paris, where I plan to spend my birthday this year in November.


    • Bonjour Paris Editors
      2024-02-06 19:51:50
      Bonjour Paris Editors
      Thank you so much for your comment! We hope you enjoy your membership to Bonjour Paris, and your trip later this year.