One of the great charms of Parisian bars is that, a lot of the time, they really do live up to the stereotype; red and white checked tablecloths, wizened old barmen full of character, cosy nooks perfect for a tête-à-tête, and a row of tables outside in the summer for the indulgence of that great Parisian pastime – people watching. I have spent many an hour in such bars, either with friends or holed up alone with a good book. However, sometimes one is in need of something a little different. Those tablecloths can start to look like an optical illusion designed to numb your brain, and the cosy dark nooks can feel a bit stale. This is where La Perla comes in.
Established in 1988, and located in the 3rd, just a stone’s throw away from my favourite stationery shop Melodies Graphiques, this cocktail bar, the Paris branch of the cross-continental Cafe Pacifico bar family, is a little slice of Latin America in the Marais. With its high ceilings, vintage posters, and traditional wooden fans spinning lazily above customers’ heads, it is exactly the opposite of the traditional Parisian bar, and all the better for it. Tequila is the bar’s specialty, but I prefer the cocktails, which are classic – think mojitos, caipirinhas, martinis – and brought to you by young, friendly staff. Drop in the early evening and you can profit from happy hour, or come in the afternoon for tapas or a light lunch. My favourite time to go, now that spring is here, is around 2pm, for coffee. The afternoon sun bathes the outdoor tables in heat and light, making you feel as if you might just be in Havana….
Address: 24 rue François Miron
Métro: Hôtel de Ville, line M11 or M1
Tel: 01 42 77 59 40
Hours: 12:00-02:30 every day, including Sundays