Bucket List Item #452 – have a drink at Bemelmans at the Carlyle
New York, USA
Did you know there’s a bar entirely dedicated to the art of Ludwig Bemelmans? Rewind, do you know who Ludwig Bemelmans is? I bet you do, even if you don’t realize it. Bemelmans was a writer and illustrator of children’s book, most notably Madeline.
In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
If you’re female and you grew up in the 90s, then you definitely know what I’m talking about. Even if you didn’t, chances are you grew up with the Madeline books and at some point, had a doll.
The magic of Paris mixed with Madeline and her spunky and mischievous machinations were everything I wanted to be as a child. I just loved Madeline, so much that I always planned to name a daughter after her. (Somewhere along the way my ovaries started to reject this notion though, so don’t get your hopes up here.)
We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all we love each other.
If you’re still sitting here like, “WTF?” then just Google it and educate yourself, mmmkay?
In the middle of one night
Miss Clavel turned on her light
and said, “Something is not right!”
Anyway, inside the Carlyle there is the most beautiful bar called Bemelmans. It has amazing cocktails, a live pianist, a gold leaf ceiling, nickel-trimmed glass tables AND the walls are entirely covered with original artwork by Ludwig Bemelmans. Evidently, while he painted these amazing murals throughout the bar, Bemelmans chose to decline payment from the Carlyle in lieu of a free place for him and his family to live for the duration of time it took him to paint, which took a year and a half.
The bar is now a New York treasure with celebrities, politicians and even royalty frequenting Bemelmans even today. It’s quite common to see important people there, although we weren’t so lucky. It was such a lovely experience though! We spent the afternoon sipping cocktails, snacking on nuts and discussing the beautiful murals with Dave’s grandparents. The atmosphere is so breathtaking. I felt like we were in a movie.
If you would like to go, ye be warned that the drink prices are not cheap. They start around $20 a cocktail, but it’s well worth it. In the evening they have live jazz, which is a $25 per person cover for a table and $15 for the bar. That’s quite a steal for the level of fabulous you’ll get for the night. It’s the only remaining place in the world where Ludwig Bemelmans artwork is still open to the public, so add this to your list meow.
That’s all there is, there isn’t any more.