“La Closerie des Lilas” means “Small enclosed lilac garden”. It’s a place, with an enormous charm, calm and elegant, which makes Paris magic. It’s one of the mythical brasseries of Montparnasse neighborhood. The ambiance of old-world Paris.
“La Closerie des Lilas” is located in Montparnasse neighborhood which was, between WWI and WWII, the heart of the artistic and intellectual Parisian life (after Montmartre and before Saint Germain des Prés heydays). On the corner of Boulevard Montparnasse and Boulevard Saint Michel. A bit off the beaten path. Most regulars are Parisians.
A ONE MINUTE VIDEO FILMED ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON :
A bit of History :
You can’t forget the richness of its past… La Closerie des Lilas is over 100 years old. It has entertained visitors from all over the world. And many writers and artists met up at the Closerie des Lilas.
Here, you can feel the presence of Hemingway :
“The only decent café in our neighborhood was La Closerie des Lilas, and it was one of the best cafes in Paris. It was warm in the winter and the terrace was lovely in the spring and fall,” Hemingway – A Moveable feast
Also the hang-out for : Verlaine, Apollinaire, Beckett, Man Ray, Sartre, Baudelaire, Cezanne, Modigliani, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, André Gide to name a few.
A revered haunt for the Lost generation writers : Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway who used to come here to write. La Closerie des Lilas was one of Hemingway’s favorite cafés, where he wrote parts of “The sun also rises here”, and where Scott Fitzgerald showed him “Gatsby” for the first time. Behind the bar, one can find a picture of young Hemingway in an army uniform form WWI.
A warm and cosy ambiance.
A restaurant with a pleasant terrace, a quaint little tree-enclosed patio, a brasserie, and a bar.
The bar : a gorgeous setting, low-lighted, with furniture made in polished mahogany, red-leather confortable banquettes, A brass and chrome bar. There are one-by-three-inch brass nameplates on the corner of the tables with engraved names of literary figures who supposedly sat there. The bartenders are dressed in white jacket. They will serve you a customized cocktail. Live music most evenings and the sunday afternoon too make the place even more special…. and a wonderful Art Deco bathroom. Probably the most beautiful bathroom in Paris … and a wonderful Art Deco bathroom. Probably the most beautiful bathroom in Paris.
Practical details :
- La Closerie des Lilas – 171 boulevard Montparnasse, Paris 6 – Hours: 12 noon – 1:00 a.m. Web site : www.closeriedeslilas.fr Tel. : + 33(0)1 40 51 34 50
- Metro : Vavin (line 4) or Raspail (line 4 and 6) (Both metro stop at about 7 min walk) RER : Port Royal (just beside the Closerie des Lilas), Bus : 38 (a bus stop just nearby)
My advice :
- a must-go on your visit to Paris,
- Why not a drink (a cocktail, a coffee, a hot chocolate or whatever) in the gorgeous bar, where the bartender will serve you a customized cocktail if you wish to !
- When you have a drink , you can have a pastry too. The “assiette gourmande” is delightful (An “assiette gourmande” is an assortment of a few very littles pastries).
- Or for a lunch or dinner either at the restaurant (but quite pricey, an upscale restaurant) or the brasserie.
- After a lunch, you can either go for a walk in the Observatoire garden, (nearby – ) then the Luxembourg garden (10 minutes walk from La Closerie), or go for a walk in the Montparnasse neighborhood (around Vavin) then to the Luxembourg garden (an entrance nearby Vavin street)
- … And don’t miss the bathroom, which is really gorgeous ! Beautiful Art Deco style.
- The 4 other popular literary cafés/brasseries in Montparnasse neighborhood are : “Le Select’, “La Rotonde”, “Le Dome” and “La Coupole”