Café de Flore
The Café de Flore, located at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Saint-Benoît, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the 6th arrondissement, is one of the oldest and the most prestigious coffeehouses in Paris, celebrated for its famous clientele.
The café was opened in the 1880s, during the French Third Republic. The name is taken from a sculpture of Flora, the goddess of flowers and the season of spring in Roman mythology, located on the opposite side of the boulevard. Authors Joris-Karl Huysmans and Remy de Gourmont were one of the first well-known regulars. In the late 19th century, Charles Maurras wrote his book Au signe de Flore on the café's first floor, where in 1899 the Revue d'Action Française was also founded.
Café de Flore became a popular hub of famous writers and philosophers. Georges Bataille, Robert Desnos, Léon-Paul Fargue, Raymond Queneau were all regulars, and so was Pablo Picasso. Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was known to be a frequent patron of Café de Flore during his years in France in the 1920s. The classic Art Deco interior of all red seating, mahogany and mirrors has changed little since World War II.
Like its main rival, Les Deux Magots, it has hosted most of the French intellectuals during the post-war years. In his essay "A Tale of Two Cafes" and his book Paris to the Moon, American writer Adam Gopnik mused over the possible explanations of why the Flore had become, by the late 1990s, much more fashionable and popular than Les Deux Magots, despite the fact that the latter café was associated with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and other famous thinkers of the 1940s and 1950s.
The Café de Flore offers a wide menu range, from teas, coffees, hot chocolates, to alcoholic drinks and juices; from snacks to full meals, including toast and croissants, omelettes, salads, soups and desserts. The nearest underground station is Saint-Germain-des-Prés, served by line 4 of Paris Métro.
The coffeehouse still remains a popular hang-out spot for celebrities and its status attracts numerous tourists.
In popular culture
- Café de Flore appeared in the 1963 film The Fire Within.
- The café is mentioned in the 1975 song "Et mon père" by Nicolas Peyrac.
- Amanda Lear filmed her music video "Égal" in Café de Flore in 1981.
- The café was featured in the 3rd episode (Paris) of series 4 of Absolutely Fabulous.
- The coffeehouse appeared in the lyrics of the 2002 song "L'Entarté" by Renaud.
- Parts of the 2011 film L'amour dure trois ans were filmed in Café de Flore.
- "Café de Flore, à Saint Germain des Prés" (in French). evous.fr. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "The Flore: A café for poets, and then philosophers.". paris-bistro.com. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "Cafe de Flore and the early Zhou Enlai's revolutionary activities in France". sourcejuice.com. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "Café de Flore, the best café to watch Paris go by". YouTube. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "Amanda Lear – Égal". YouTube. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Official website (under construction)