After following Ernest Hemingway’s first steps in the City of Light, the Raspail Montparnasse team went to the places where the American writer matured his literary style, in contact with the greatest artists of his time. Let’s discover together the mythical addresses that Hemingway visited in Paris!
On the footsteps of Hemingway in the Montparnasse district
Let’s continue our course further to the south, in the Montparnasse district. Hemingway patronized several brasseries where he met with the great minds of his time.
The most famous is La Coupole, symbol of Art Deco with its wellknown pillars covered by marble imitation. The cubist-inspired mosaics are classified in the Inventory of Historic Monuments, and the pilasters are dressed with paintings by little masters of the “Roaring Twenties”. Meeting point for artists since 1927, this place welcomed a great deal of today worldwide famous artists : Cocteau, Giacometti, Leger, Soutine, Man Ray, Picasso, De Beauvoir, Sartre, Kessel, Henry Miller, Matisse … And of course, Ernest Hemingway!
The Closerie des Lilas
On the same boulevard du Montparnasse, we went to the Closerie des Lilas, described in Paris is a party. Many artists were faithful to this popular accordion dance place, where people came to dance the polka or the mazurka. Today, we hardly see any artists, but the place remains mythical.
The Dingo Bar
Hemingway also narrates his meeting with Francis Scott Fitzgerald at the Dingo Bar in his novel. The place is a “troquet” favoured by artists, and it appears he would have been one of its most loyal customers. It is even said he invented the recipe for the “Long Island Ice Cream”. So we went to 10 rue Delambre, then location of the Dingo Bar… now occupied by a good Italian restaurant “the Auberge de Venise”!
In the Montparnasse Street, Falstaff was the scene of a memorable battle between Hemingway and Callaghan. The two friends had decided to engage in a boxing fight and took Fitzgerald as referee. He, drunk, would have forgotten to signal the end of the round, leaving Callaghan to hit Hemingway for more than three minutes. Which did not please Hemingway at all!
The Select was at the time one of the most popular cafes of Montparnasse, with Le Dome, La Rotonde, La Closerie des Lilas, La Coupole, etc. This lair of artists and intellectuals animated the neighborhood life, and Ernest Hemingway was a regular customer!
Some addresses on the Right Bank
Although Hemingway preferred the left bank districts, particularly Montparnasse and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, we went to see some addresses on the right bank too, to complete our journey.
The Café de la Paix
Then take line 12 to Madeleine … Very close to the Opera, we went for a little walk in front of the Café de la Paix. The Hemingway couple celebrated there his first Christmas Eve in Paris.
50 meters further, we went to admire the still intact decor of Harry’s Bar at 5 rue Daumou. This typical American bar of the Roaring Twenties was a meeting point for American expatriates in Paris, Hemingway leading. If you go there, do not forget to taste the famous Bloody Mary that was created here!
We ended 150 meters further in the Ritz bar, which was frequented by Hemingway, and is now named after the famous writer. A Chic and historic hotel, this is a place worth visiting! To get back to the hotel, take metro line 12 to the Notre-Dame des Champs stop.
From the Raspail Montparnasse Hotel, you will have no difficulty following this journey, and therefore discover the connection between Ernest Hemingway and Paris. You better prepare comfortable walking shoes and get ready to walk the streets of the most beautiful city in the world.