Our second visit to Paris had a bit of a luxury theme to it. We stayed in the very post suburb of Neuilly at the very luxurious Mövenpick Hotel. So in keeping with the theme of our visit we decided on a decadent night out at Moulin Rouge.
Can-can dancers, feather boas, cigars, whiskey glasses, and chubby aristocratic gentlemen merrily slapping their knees – all of these images are what occur to me when I think of the Moulin Rouge. I guess the Baz Luhrmann edition probably didn’t help with all that, and I’m probably thinking more along the lines of a 19th century version. Nevertheless, the Moulin Rouge today is as fantastical and mesmerizing as it ever was. The women are still covered in jewels and feathers (when they are wearing clothes), the red in the lights has not faded over the last century, and the crowds are just as merry as they ever were.
The Moulin Rouge opened its doors in 1889, and the owners wanted it to be a place where people from all walks of life could mix together, from the working class to the rich, in a fashionable neighborhood, Montmatre. The Moulin Rouge screamed extravagance, decadence, and a certain joie de vivre that was the very essence of life in France at the time. It symbolized the height of pleasure, and the wild music hall nights that went on here, where penniless writers rubbed shoulders with upper-class entrepreneurs, were a hit from day one and went down in history as the most lavish that France had ever known.
Today, the tradition of the Moulin Rouge lives on. The Féerie is the main cabaret that is currently on at the Moulin Rouge, a spectacular show filled with leggy can-can dancers adorned with sequins and feathers, as well as male performers dressed in equally eccentric costumes. The cast consists of over 100 performers, who dress up in over 1,000 costumes which the Moulin Rouge has in their wardrobes, to put on an extravaganza like no other in Paris, France, or maybe the world.
To add even more luxury to your evening, you can couple a show performance with dinner at the Moulin Rouge. The restaurant has several different menu options depending on your preferences, and prices for dinner plus a show start at around 180 euros. The food is of a very high standard, from duck foie gras to lobster, beef fillet followed by indulgent chocolate desserts, and with little red lamps on all the tables to enhance that intimate setting, you’ll be transported back to the Belle Époque in no time and feel like a Parisian aristocrat.
If you’d rather not have the full dinner, you can just opt for the show, or champagne and a show – there are many options depending on your kind of budget.
An evening of extravagance at the Moulin Rouge is an unmissable experience in Paris; a quintessential Parisian activity that will leave you with lifelong memories of that night you treated yourself in the City of Love.
For more information or tickets please visit www.moulinrouge.fr
Have you been to Moulin Rouge?