Serpent À Plume


This hidden speakeasy – promoted simultaneously as a place for “Café, Cocktails and Pyjamas” – is hands-down one of the most poetic (and unique) bars in Paris, tucked away into a chic nook at the beautiful Place des Vosges — the oldest square in Paris.

Reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s masterpiece The Grand Budapest Hotel, the ambience here has a decidedly film-set vibe and decor that truly titillates the imagination.

You’ll enter this fantasy world from a terrace which looks like any other — except for a mysterious-looking arched wooden door frame from the 70s, and once inside, the waiters who greet you will be  dressed in peacock blue bellboy suits — and the ambience takes a turn for the truly fantastical.

Designed in an ode to a pre-Columbian god of the underworld — to whom it owes its name — here is where velvet, latex and vinyl combine in an eclectic melody and coexist in harmony somehow. The vast underground space with arched ceilings is beautifully embellished by a mix of retro-chic 70s style decor  — including a long, white De Sede couch that snakes along the wall, accented by black lacquered tables, Jean Royère light fixtures and plush sofas in vinyl or green velvet — and Mesoamerica grandeur, with several pre-Columbian artworks decorating the walls.

It’s kitsch, but it works, and it’s absolutely a destination “for bright ideas and relentless adventures” (as per its official tagline).

Cocktails here are strange, seductive and evocative with cool names like “Law School,” “Edgar Don’t Cheat on Me,” “Never Keep a Lady Waiting”… ; and concocted with rare, exotic and unusual ingredients by mischievous barmen who know how to mix a good (lethal) drink as they sway to the funky sounds of 80s-inspired electro and rock tracks booming from the stereo systems.  

By night, it’s the spot for “bon vivants” (it even has a jacuzzi in the basement!); but by day, it’s a bookshop, an espresso bar and an art gallery of sorts — which makes it, overall, a complete enigma and a definite experience to check out in Paris. You won’t be disappointed, as long as you come with an open mind, your joie de vivre — and a promise to let yourself be swept away with the journey as Serpent à Plume takes you under its wing.

Perfect for: Classy Saturday night drinks with an exotic twist.

What to order: ‘Your Eyes That Sparkle’ — a cocktail made from a base of Saké with Japanese notes, to add some far-east surrealisme to your night.

Address: 24 Place des Vosges (Google Maps)

Insta: @serpentaplume_