Colin Field Mixes Things Up With New Residency at Maison Proust in Paris

The renowned mixologist serves Proust-inspired cocktails at the boutique hotel every Friday.

When the news broke of Colin Field’s “retirement” last year, fans around the globe cried collective tears for the renowned mixologist, who spent nearly three decades as the head bartender at the Ritz Paris’s legendary Bar Hemingway.

Turns out, Field’s departure from one of the city’s most revered watering holes was not an ending but a beginning for the man who has thrice been named the world’s best bartender by Forbes. After 30 years at the Ritz, he felt ready for a change of environment.

Luxury hotels have long been a part of Field’s illustrious career. Recently, he did a stint at Shangri-La Le Touessrok in Mauritius, and he’s just returned from Italy, where he helped launch the new bar at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento. Furthermore, every Friday night, fans can find him in Paris’s stylish Marais district, where he has started an ongoing residency at the Maison Proust boutique hotel.




“Colin is the greatest in his field,” says Yoni Aidan, founder and CEO of the hotel group, Collection Maisons Particulières. “He brings us so much—his talent first, his hospitality next, his exacting standards, and finally the pleasure of welcoming his longtime friends who now gather with him every Friday in the salons of Maison Proust.”

The hotel, which draws inspiration from the belle époque, is an elegant destination for well-heeled locals and travellers alike. The property’s interiors, which were overseen by Jacques Garcia, are a shrine to the French novelist, with uniquely appointed rooms showcasing original paintings by the greatest artists from the turn of the 20th century, such as Jacques-Émile Blanche, Jean Béraud, Giovanni Boldini, and Paul César Helleu. Other treasures include the complete works of Anatole France, Proust’s favourite writer, and six sheets of handwritten correspondence from the novelist to Princess Soutzo, which will soon be displayed in the hotel’s library.

Field’s presence every Friday is a gift for his legion of loyal fans, many of whom have become personal friends over the years. The barman, who has known Aidan for more than a decade, happily accepted the invitation to work at Maison Proust, where he enjoys reconnecting with old acquaintances passing through Paris. Additionally, Field says the job is a welcome shift from his days at the Ritz, and a creative catalyst. “I’m terribly Hemingway,” he explains. “To try and put myself into the shoes of Proust is an intellectual challenge.”





Everything about the bar, with its wood-panelled walls, sumptuous chairs, and richly draped decor, is sophisticated, and the cocktails are no exception. One of Aidan’s favourites is Le Temps Retrouvé, a 500-euro splurgeworthy elixir made with armagnac from 1922, the year of Proust’s death, black truffles from Périgord, and brut nature champagne from Barons de Rothschild. The founder also loves the bar’s signature cocktail, La Madeleine, created by Maison Proust’s head bartender, Pierrick Baudry. The cocktail is an homage to Proust’s novel Remembrance of Things Past in which the author consumes a madeleine and dredges up lost memories. Field’s own tribute to the madeleine de Proust is an off-menu concoction called Poire Victoire, made with Grey Goose pear vodka, along with the juices of lime and clarified apples. “Sometimes you taste something, and it brings back a memory that is completely closed off in the mind,” he says. “If you taste my Poire Victoire, it suddenly takes you back to the first time you bit into a pear, when the green skin offered a certain resistance before your teeth pierced the epidermis and drove into the white succulent flesh.”





In lieu of a formal cocktail menu, Field has long preferred working off his own intuition, making bespoke drinks that reflect his patrons’ personalities. “People know me, and they say, ‘I don’t need the menu. Colin, look at me and tell me what I’ll have to drink,’” he says. “So that’s what I do. That’s 45 years of bartending, I suppose.”

Though the residency at Maison Proust is a new gig for the iconic barman, some things haven’t changed. As at Bar Hemingway, he still serves guests bowls of nuts with refreshing cucumber water, and he’s recently introduced bar stools to encourage new relations and friendly banter. “Cocktails, although they’re terribly important, are only 20 per cent of the affair,” he explains. While delivering a proper drink as deftly as possible is his motive, the other 80 per cent is about people meeting and enjoying themselves. “In a word, generosity,” he says of his style. “I want people to feel we’re taking care of them.”