Roaring Twenties dining
Eat, drink and make merry like it's the jazz age all over again
Ernest Hemingway once drank dry sherry with James Joyce at Les Deux Magots. Paul Eluard presented Dora Maar to Picasso here in the early '30s, and French author François Mauriac used meet here with André Malraux in the '20s and '30s. You’ve got it, Les Deux Magots is one of Paris’s legendary cafés where the movers and thinkers of early 20th-century Paris met, talked and made merry. Sartre and Beauvoir would also add their legacy to the list from 1939 onwards. If you’re looking for a slice of this today, head inside, where the décor looks largely unchanged since Hemingway’s time. Shame you can’t say the same for the prices: nostalgic drinking costs €7 for a glass of Chardonnay and €7.50 for a small beer.
More art deco in style than the Les Deux Magots next door, the Café de Flore looks just as it did when icons like André Breton, Picasso, Giacometti and Zadkine graced the tables, with geometric light fittings, square mirrors and red banquettes. Like its neighbour, a string of other artists, politians and celebrities used to meet here, and like its neighbour you pay for the legacy through your teeth (€5.60 for a Coca-Cola, €19 for a club sandwich). But it’s a Parisian experience to savour at least once in a lifetime and an opportunity to imagine what life felt like during the Années Folles.