COUP DE COUER WINE BAR
From 7am through to 1am this local wine bar is open to an ever changing array of locals and tourists alike. Pre-9am you’ll find French business owners running in for their morning espresso, some stopping long enough to enjoy the complimentary side plate of small pastries and macarons offered with every drink. From 9am it becomes more traditional, with French ladies organised in small clusters catching up on local happenings, and tourists reading newspapers, planning their day ahead. With a heated front terrace with comfortable sofas, and a large, slightly bohemian rear seating area with tables and chairs mixed up with plants and sculptures, the Coup de Coeur appeals at all times of the day. A large wine list, knowledgeable staff, and an impressive selection of spirits (including some interesting international whiskeys) makes Coup de Coeur a great choice. At night snuggle under blankets and watch the antics on the outdoor ice skating rink located opposite the rear terrace; try one of their home made pizzas, which are some of the best in town; and try their quite delicious Jeeper champagne, so called to honour the Jeep 4×4 given to producer, Armand Goutorbe, by the prefecture, so he could peruse his growing vines.
THE DIXIE BAR
More specifically, cocktails from Bertrand in the French side!
It is as specific as it sounds. One particular barman, in one particular section, of one sprawling bar. The Dixie Bar is actually a French-owned Irish bar, one side of which offers the very traditional experience of beer and sports. Live music is sometimes played in the far end of the bar (catch The Dixie Mix if they are in town). But the Wine Bar is our preferred destination. Enjoying its own entrance (the entrance closest to The Rhodos) its décor will leave you wanting but you’ll find French locals here enjoying the hospitality of the owner, a large man called Pascal. Pascal splits his time between Spain and France and offers his guests Spanish olives, bread and dried meats on platters all from his home in Spain. Fresh oysters are sometimes on offer and the local chocolate maker frequents this bar and often brings with him delicious handmade chocolates that are handed around the bar. We go there for Bertrand, a French barman who diligently studies the ever-changing art of cocktail making and makes delicious cocktails that easily eclipse the best of London or Manhattan. There is art and drama to his creations, such as his Smoked Old Fashioned, presented with fresh sprigs of thyme smoking on an antique wooden platter covered by a glass bell jar. It’s all about Bertrand so if he’s not there you better take a seat at the bar, order a glass of rouge and hope for some free chocolates.