Over the last few years Paris has seen a drift toward the Right Bank so, when a new cocktail bar opens in Saint-Germain, one can only go and celebrate. Le Hibou (The Owl) is located bang on the crossroads of the Odeon and it really doesn’t get any cooler than that.
You can sense that there is something special about Le Hibou as you approach the enormous sun terrace. It surrounds the building on three sides and it is right on Carrefour de l’Odéon. This has to be one of the premier locations from which to enjoy a cocktail, a smile and casually observe the world passing by just a few feet away. Inside, the French might describe the decor as ‘Empire’ with its chandeliers, fireplaces, dark wood, blue tiled bar and numerous stuffed birds, animals and in particular, owls. In many ways, Le Hibou is reminiscent of an English country house and that made me feel instantly at home. Paris on the outside, the Cotswolds on the inside. What could be better? Much of the space is given over to dining but you can enjoy a cocktail anywhere and there is a dedicated cocktail bar upstairs along with a couple of rooms that might be used for private dining or accommodating a group of friends. Le Hibou is all about relaxed fun, bonhomie and laughter.
The cocktails more than lived up to expectation. The menu was not so large that it overwhelmed or spoilt for choice but large enough that there were good varieties on each of the major spirit bases. It was a warm, early evening when we were there and while my friend selected the French Iced Tea, I could not resist the Hiboujito – seven year old Havana rum, Liqueur de Tabac, menthe fraiche, citron vert, bitter vanille and ginger ale. Then I had another.
16 Carrefour de l’Odéon