The Highlander: 40 Days of Paris, Day 4

Why 40 Days of Paris? Find out.

Back in August, my friend Jenna and I did an epic Paris all-nighter (tons of pics here), where we ambled around the city between 10 pm on a Friday night and 10 am on a Saturday morning, drinking espressos and wine (sometimes at the same time), salsa dancing, eating cheese, and just generally taking in the splendor of Paris after dark and at sunrise. We were a little nervous about finding enough to do after hours (for no need, it turns out) so we both showed up with a list of possible places to go. The Highlander, on the aptly named rue de Nevers, made both our lists, thanks to its open-til-4am policy and its 25 different kinds of whiskey — kind of a big deal for Paris, a city where about 95 percent of the alcohol-serving establishments consider the Sex on the Beach and a choco-fraise (strawberry) Mojito the height of cocktail chic. (Even Paris has its flaws. Sigh.) We were pretty stoked about the possibility of posting up here around 2:30 or 3am and having a whiskey or two to round out our night.

So you can imagine our distress when we showed up at the door at 3 am and found it fermé, closed, as in YOU CANNOT ENTER. It was August – I curse you, August! –  and we should’ve known better since most of Paris was shut down for the August holiday. We settled for another glass of wine with another side of espresso down the street at the open-all-night Le Départ, but we kinda never got over it. And sadly, we never made it back. It’s been on my must-do list ever since. (Yep, I’m the kind of girl who puts a Scottish whiskey joint on her Paris to-do list.)

But Tuesday night, a huge group of American expats met at this Scottish bar in Paris to watch election returns. Though given the time difference, there weren’t many returns, just a lot of random American political trivia questions (which the crowd mostly ignored) bandied about at the mostly Guinness-drinking crowd.

I’m glad I made it back, though. This place is cozy, dark, and full of whiskey, beer, and even a few of Paris’s signature bad cocktails. (Though whatever you do, do NOT ask for a coffee. My very pregnant friend — is it wrong that I brought her to a whiskey bar, btw? — just wanted a decaf.) It’s the perfect place to hunker down for a drink on a cold winter night in Paris. My lovely (and pregnant) friend K actually lived in Scotland and declared this place legit in terms of feeling like you’ve been transported out of Paris to its murky bogs. (There are bogs in Scotland, right? Seems like something the Scots would have …)

I asked the Scottish bartender about a beer I was considering. Here’s how that went:

Me: Is this {name of beer I can’t remember} any good?

Him: It’s an ale.

Me: Oh. (long pause) But do you think it’s good?

Him: No. I drink whiskey. Not beer unless it’s Guinness. But mostly whiskey.

Aaaaand that’s exactly why you should go here. And exactly why I’ll be going back again before I (temporarily) leave.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3 and 4