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    Ha! Good for you! I'm so tragically unhip that I didn't know people like that hostess even existed outside of movies and faux-snooty commercials. I bet she wouldn't have liked being laughed at and asked, "Are you for real?!"

    I nearly passed by Hotel Costes my first time and I was looking for it! It is not an obvious entrance, I agree. How was the meal?? Was it worth the effort?

    What a great story - and yes, we are all still trying to fit in somewhere, no matter how old we get. And we do realize we have behaved silly once we are on the "other side". It's like a game that never bores us. But someone eventually has to lose.

    Oh, and was the bathroom fabulous? Any recordings of women chatting while peeing and primping?

    Mon dieu - is that dear woman still there? Probably not but they always seem to find another one just like her to take her place.

    I ran into her or her twin a few years back when my friend Magda and I decided to stop in late one evening after dinner for drinks. Thankfully, neither M nor I are intimidated by bullies. I immediately went into the overly polite attack mode taught to me by my dear southern grandmother (kill them with kindness dear) and left the front-on attack to my friend Magda who doesn't take anything from pretentious waitstaff.

    Once seated we rallied in the afterglow of battle, stayed for one drink and left never to return again.

    Did they have recordings of women chatting while peeing?

    Poor Coquette! However painful this may have been for you, your writing was great. Very full of life. You have a great blog.

    I imagine you camping out in the bathroom with your friend... so classic.

    If only you could have summoned a waiter to serve your drinks IN the bathroom...that would have shown HER! :) No, my dear, that desire to 'fit in' in even the most ridiculously superificial ways sometimes still rears its ugly head no matter how old we grow. Ah, but life would be so much less interesting if that were not sometimes the case...as your delightful post shows. :)

    I went to the Hotel Costes with a female friend of mine this summer. I would never attempt to go there on my own. So, I waited until my super skinny, legs for days, cheeks sucked in from smoking so much, female friend came from the States came for a visit. We were dressed rather fashionably as we had just attended a snobby party around the corner. I thought for sure we would score a good table. The same snotty woman greeted us at the entrance. My first mistake was trying to speak French to her. From my accent, she immediately discerned we were not locals and, also, not well educated. Surprisingly, she began to lead us to a table. We kept walking by areas where I thought it would be fun for us to sit and watch and be watched. But, the hostess kept walking. And walking. And walking. And just before she reached the back exit, she seated us at a table in a tiny room. I sat down and immediately scanned the room for models and celebrities and instead, only found other "unhip" people like ourselves. To add insult to injury, the drinks were like 20 euros a piece.

    Never again. (Unless someone else is paying.)

    "THEY ARE PLAYING A RECORDING OF PEOPLE AT A COCKTAIL PARTY" -- okay, that part freaked me out.

    But didn't you honestly feel once you got into the epicenter of "cool" that it wasn't so great? People trying so hard to be/act/impress suck the oxygen out of a room-- give me a raucous pub any day if it is a good time I want. But oh Coquette-- thank you so much for doing this field research for us-- now I never have to walk the corridor of shame to see the inside of Costes . . I have ridden on your coattails. Merci.

    Those places are only fun if you go with someone who gets the red carpet treatment, and then you can snub the snubbers to your heart's delight.

    Makes you understand why they are so nasty when they can...

    Pity THEM, my dear.

    I love that post... You are brilliant , that's it... I mean, the Hotel Costes is really overevaluated in the little world of the parisian fashion victims. After all, all real People - with a big P - are gone for long, the food is without interest... and the place did not change or nearly in months... What is it worth to come twice in such a place ? Now it is good for Ukrainian bimbos :-)

    Oddly enough, that post only made me want to go to the Hotel Costes despite having never really thought of it before...good story!

    my experience wasn't nearly as bad as yours but i still have no desire to ever go back there. it just isn't that fabulous. and there are so many other places in paris that are . . .

    very fine analysis of what you did wrong, i think you are ready for the mathi's, but not yet for the "baron". The mathis is a fine place where you can sit next to Mick Jagger and Yves saint Laurent, while Edouard Bear makes a funny entry. Oh and it has the size of cubicle, making it very intimate...

    I'll have to pass on this one, the Costes is my HQ. Just love this place and miss it so much.

    I am, as I write this to you, grooving to the 8th installement of Stephane Pompougnac's mortifyingly chic and beautiful collection of sounds, that is of course the costes compilations. This should have been your first indicator as to what kind of establishment this was going to be. Whether you wish to belong or not is out of the question, if you act as though you belong and show the staff the same icy treatment they give you, you will earn their respect, Paris just is a, "ma fortune est plus grande que la tienne" kind of place, you simply have to adapt. If you do, you will never endure such snobbery again, you will belong, Costes is the same. The experience is what you make of it, personally I have never had any trouble with the staff of Costes.

    THAT is a beautiful story. I have had myself a couple of sorry encounters at the "cust"...with chic French friends to boot. I've decided on an all-out ban on the place, well, on all of their places. And as they are currently taking over Paris, that is not going to be easy.

    I do send some of my customers to the Cafe Marly, however. For the view, for the view!

    Lesley

    I seem to remember you had some pictures of black and white cows that i really liked but could not find them. where are they? I am new to the blog experience...

    I LOVE la coquette. X

    Some day you'll grow up and realize that all the posing and posturing was an enormous waste of time. Carrie Bradshaw already "did" Paris and found its romantic charm empty. Why don't you volonteer your time to help homeless people, rally against climate change or find a cure for AIDS.

    It's so hard to find the time in between painting my nails and shopping.

    Bravo, Coquette! I didn't realize that Carrie Bradshaw "doing" Paris meant that it had definitively been "done" and therefore, La Coquette need not "do Paris" also (particularly as you live there)! This may shock Amerloque, but the world's fascination with Paris predates Sex and The City's journey there and will continue long after people have forgotten who Carrie Bradshaw was (love her though, I admit, I did). I am also shocked to learn that popping out to a chic nightspot or splurging on a new pair of shoes negates my activism and volunteer work with the local battered women's shelter. How absurd!

    Je suis vraiment desolee pour to experience:)

    I've been to the ManRay but at least i was lucky...even if I'm Romanian, my friend who made the arrangements did not forget to tell the PR I am journalist...so they were kind with us, we paid for the mail the champagne was on the house, and i even bumped into David Cronenberg on the toilet hall...

    YOU TOOK A CAB FROM OPERA GARNIER TO HOTEL COSTES!!!!! Shame on you, no matter how high were your heels that day!

    That is too funny... good for you for sticking it out. I would have shanked miss cheekbones, personally.

    excuse me, I dont get all these comments. What is the big deal with Costes? I lived in Paris for 6 years, went there weekly and never saw the place in the way you describe it. Quick lunch, winter sunday afternoons tea, pre-dinner drinks, whatever, there was never some nasty person ruining it for me or impressing us. Alone of with friends, i always comfortably enjoyed the place for its beauty adn atmosphere. Period.

    With all due respect, i think most perceptions described here are generated by your own american way of perceiving things you see in Europe. Maybe its different and you're so much more casual than us, that that makes you see places like Costes as something more impressive than it actually is.

    yes those waitresses are snotty..Even with Parisians :)
    great blog

    hee hee just reread this post - so funny and I love your reply to the charidee work commenter trying to shame you!

    Hey, getting dumped on by the French is part of the pleasure of being there.

    It's a form of entertainment.

    hello, i'm spamilka

    who are these painful,pathetic, over admirative people that read your sorry blog?-and worse think your uber-cool...pfff! every comment makes me squirm. You are just sooooooo american, and you always will be.Sorry. The fact you write the blog is the very allegory of that fact. Paris is just not a 'make a fuss about me city'- you should watch less SITC darling.

    Snappy writing, Elizabeth. Knuckle down and write that book. I must say though that I agree with Veronica: I've never had any problems at the Costes. It's a place where advertising people invite one to lunch. I suspect the secret is just to swan in dressed in your everyday clobber and snub the hostess completely. That must be my approach, as I don't recall ever meeting her. Besides, all the beautiful people have decamped to the Hotel Amour.

    Hey Mark, It's true about Hotel Amour, and I have a slightly different take on the Costes four years later. Maybe I should do a follow up post? :)

    Une petite humiliation parisienne...c'est normal sinon ça ne serait pas paris!

    to hello:

    it's your comment that i find to be rather pathetic: "you're sooooo American and always will be, sorry". ooohh, what an insult to be called an American !honestly, if you don't like americans, then why are you reading their blogs? don't you have anything better to do with yourself at... 7am in the morning? like i said, pathetic.

    Your experience sounds extremely similar to mine. I've been going there for years and NEVER booked. EXCEPT for this one time where a snoty waitress at the entrance gave me and my GORGEOUS friend attitude for not having a booking. Very unfortunate for them as I made around 30 people cancel their stay there!

    Thanks for the read. I agree with the points you made. http://www.rapidmediafire.com also has peoples thoughts on the matter.

    Lying disguises our mortality, our inadequacies, our fears and anxieties, our loneliness in the midst of the crowd. We yearn for the comfort of familiar lies to create a more amenable reality.What do you think?

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