Guest Post by Hadley
I spent the past year studying abroad in Paris, where I’d like to think I did all of the stuff normal tourists as well as the things a “real” Parisian would do — no makeup, daily baguette from Monoprix, wearing black everything, etc. I had weeks where I subsisted off of eggs and 2 euro bottles of wine so I could pay for a meal at L’Avenue on Avenue Montaigne or a nine euro cappuccino at Les Deux Magots. Of course, I was there to study and learn French (and I definitely spent more time in my tiny apartment re-writing the French imperative than my peers back in American universities partying away at fraternity socials), but there were the nights when I decided to go out with a few friends.
Being in Paris for a year I had my fair share of nights out, but there was one place I had to go: Le Montana. You see, I grew up reading Vogue and “A Night Out With” in the New York Times Style Section, where I learned that the glitterati are an enigmatic group that needs to be infiltrated to receive your fifteen minutes of fame — and Paris is the epitome of all that is glamorous.
I had read about Le Montana in Madame Figaro (a Parisian fashion magazine) and through the blogs raving about exclusive after hours parties in Paris. You’d never know about it if you walked by during the day time, only on random nights when the fluorescent magenta lights below the awning gleam “Le Montana.” A former 1960s nightclub, it reopened in 2009 during fashion week and is a notorious hangout for models and A-list celebs. Basically, this place was everything unattainable I craved for in Paris.
I tried many times over the course of my stay to get into Le Montana, the speakeasy-like hideout next to Café Fleur in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, to no avail. But one night, I got in. It was my penultimate week in Paris and I was with two effortlessly gorgeous girls from California. Once we made it inside, it was everything I expected and more. We walked down a narrow staircase to the dance floor and bar area which were clad in plush velvet and gold hardware. With 80s music blaring on the sound system we rubbed shoulders with ex- and soon-to-be models — it was everything I imagined a time warp back to Paris in the 60s would have been. After that night, I could finally feel satisfied going back to America.
The next time you are in Paris I advise you to one night dress your best and try to get in to Le Montana, if only for the experience. Bonne chance.
Le Montana Paris
28 rue Saint-Benoît
Featured Image via Styledon.com