By Gavin Mortimer
PARIS is known as the City of Love but frankly who cares about all that soppy stuff when it comes to Le Crunch? Whispering sweet nothings on the Champs-Élysées or wetting your whistle in the Frog & Rosbif…? It’s a no brainer for every red-blooded rugby fan, so here is the Rugby World guide to where to go in Paris for what the French call la troisième mi-temps (that’s the post-match p**s up to you and me!)
The Frog & Rosbif: 116 rue St. Denis, 75002 Paris (Nearest Métro: Étienne Marcel, line 4 and also RER B at Chatelet Les Halles) A long established English pub in the heart of Paris, the Frog & Rosbif has its own brewery in the cellar that produces beers such as Dark de Triomphe [a stout] and Inseine [a bitter]. English food is also served and it’s a short distance by RER B to the Stade de France.
The ‘Rue de Soif’: Rue Princesse, 75006 (Nearest Métro: Mabillon, line 10) Known to locals in the trendy Saint Germain district as the ‘rue de soif’ [the street of thirst], this quiet road boasts three pubs one after the other. The Frog & Princess is one of the Frog chains (see above), while the Little Temple Bar has plenty of the Black Stuff on tap. The Eden Park bar was established in 1992 by a group of players from the Racing Club.
The Coolin Bar: 15 rue Clement, 75006 (Nearest Métro: Mabillon, line 10) Just round the corner from the ‘Rue de Soif’, the Coolin serves good beer albeit at expensive prices. There’s a terrace for smokers and live music on a Sunday evening.
Corcorans: 23 Boulevard Poissonnière 75002 (Nearest Métro: Grands Boulevard, line 8 & 9) Everything is catered for in this spacious pub in central Paris including a good variety of beers and some of the best burgers in town. Popular with expatriate rugby fans, Corcorans is open till 5am on Sunday mornings.
Au Metro: 18 Boulevard Pasteur, 75015 (Nearest Métro: Pasteur, lines 6 & 12)
Former French prop Pieter de Villiers was a regular at Au Metro during his playing career at Stade Francais, and there’s always a good atmosphere on match day in this unpretentious bar that also serves food.
Le French Flair: 75 Bis Bd de Clichy, 75009 (Nearest Métro: Blanche, line 2) A French rugby bistro in the famous Montmartre district of Paris, Le French Flair has ten beers on tap and also prides itself on a good choice of wine. Brunch is available on Sundays and they also serve platters of cheese and charcuterie if you get the munchies between pints.
The Hideout Bar: 8 Boulevard de Denain 75010 Paris (Nearest Métro: Gare du Nord, line 4) Open until 2am each day, the Hideout is 100 metres from the Gare du Nord and the best bar to have a beer if you’ve got an hour to kill before your train leaves. Serves food and several good beers.
Sir Winston: 5 Rue de Presbourg, 75016 (Nearest Métro: Charles de Gaulle Etoile, lines 1,2 and 6) Next door to the Arc de Triomphe, the Sir Winston is one of the more upmarket English pubs in Paris. Noted for its selection of cocktails and whiskies, the prices aren’t cheap but the ambiance is good. A bit of a trek from the Stade de France but it does a hearty brunch on Sundays.
McBrides: 54 rue Saint Denis, 75001 (Nearest Métro: Chatelet Les Halles, line 4 and also RER B) Spread over two floors, this Irish pub is slap bang in the middle of Paris and has easy access to the Stade de France. Downstairs are snooker tables and television screens (and a bar) while the main pub is on the ground floor and serves stout, lager and cider. Open till 5am on a Saturday and 2am on a Sunday.