The Hemingway Bar at the Paris Ritz closed earlier this month, as the hotel prepares for two years of renovations. The bar, which contains the author’s rifle and other memorabilia, has been a gathering place for locals, and a place of literary pilgrimage for visitors to the city.
The Ritz opened in 1898 under the direction of Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz. It was the first Paris hotel to have electricity on all floors, and bathrooms within its rooms.
Renovations won’t greatly change the luxurious, Louis XV style, but will certainly update behind-the-scenes functions, such as air conditioning, heating and plumbing.
The renovation will close more than 100 rooms and suites, as well as L’Espadon restaurant (a Michelin two star), and the Ritz-Escoffier cooking school.
The trendy Ritz Bar has also closed; the Bar Vendôme will be open for lunch, brunch, dinner and high tea through the summer. The hotel will close July 31.
According to Dorrie Greenspan’s Paris food blog, the city’s latest pastry innovation is millefeuille à la minute – “a thousand leaves” of pastry separated by layers of vanilla cream, created on demand.
Traditional millefeuille is labor-intensive (the puff pastry alone requires hours) and involves long sheets of puff pastry. Vanilla cream is sandwiched between three layers, the top is glazed, and the whole ensemble cut into individual portions for service.
Millefeuille à la minute (at the last minute) means smaller batches of puff pastry are made as frequently as every 2 hours, then cut, and finished with fresh cream filling and toppings as they are ordered.
These treasures are available at two hotel restaurants, the Ritz and The Royal Monceau, and Philippe Conticini’s new tea salon in the 16th.
My favorite Paris millefeuille, a house specialty at Chez Dumonet, is made the old fashioned way. I’ll let you know how they compare!