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Friday, August 01, 2014         

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'Great Gatsby' inspires visits to 5 sites with 1920s character

By McClatchy News Services

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With Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" opening just before summer, there's no better time to celebrate the spirit of the Roaring ‘20s. From speakeasies to grande dame hotels, the members and editors of VirtualTourist.com have chosen the "Top 5 Places to relive the 1920s."

1. The Rose Club & The Champagne Bar,Plaza Hotel, New York City

The Plaza Hotel has a storied history in both "The Great Gatsby" and author F. Scott Fitzgerald's life. The hotel is featured in the novel as a meeting spot, but it was also where Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald first honeymooned after being married in New York City. This month, in honor of the opening of the film, the hotel has coordinated a collection of events to celebrate the novel, film and the hotel's role in the time period.

The hotel's iconic Champagne Bar, often a meeting place in Fitzgerald's novels, has been transformed into a Moet Pop-Up illustrating the glamour and decadence of Gatsby's famous partners. The bar will serve the first-ever Moet Champagne cocktail named the "Moet Imperial Gatsby," as well as serve Moet Imperial by the glass. The Rose Club, another popular meeting place, will host Gatsby Hour on Wednesday and Thursday evenings complete with a jazz band and a Prohibition-inspired cocktail menu featuring old favorites like the "Hemingway Daiquiri" and the "Blood & Sand."

2. Pour Vous, Los Angeles

The most recently opened venue on the list, Pour Vous, is a cocktail lounge on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The interior is modeled after Paris in the 1920s with red velvet banquettes, small cafe tables and decadent chandeliers. The cocktail menu is a modern mixologist's take on classic favorites, with thematic names like the "Moulin Rouge" and "La Vie en Rose." The bar is also well known for its punch bowls, which serve up to 20 drinks. In addition to the decor and excellent cocktails, the venue has live music as well as burlesque dancing on most nights.

3. Les Deux Magots,Paris, France

Les Deux Magots, meaning "two Chinese figurines," is one of the most storied of the literary cafes throughout Paris, where artists like Picasso and writers like Hemingway would congregate and talk about their work and opinions. In addition to this tradition and the role the cafe played in creating so many monumental literary works, it is also a perfect spot from which to begin exploring the Left Bank. Located on the Place St. Germain des Pres at the intersection of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue Bonaparte, the cafe is across from the Eglise de Saint Germain des Pres, a short walk from the Saint Suplice, and down the street from Laduree and L'Hotel, where Oscar Wilde lived and wrote until his death.

4. Napier, New Zealand

It's slightly off the beaten path, but multiple VirtualTourist members suggested the town of Napier, New Zealand, as a great spot to relive the 1920s. The small town is situated on Hawke's Bay on the North Island of New Zealand. After a massive earthquake leveled the city in the early 20th century, the entire area was rebuilt in Art Deco style. The town offers guided walks and tours, self-drive tours and "Deco by Bike," where visitors can cycle around the city on a self-guided tour. It also has an annual Art Deco Weekend each February, in the middle of New Zealand's summer season, with costumed attendees, performers and hundreds of vintage automobiles that bring the Gilded Age back to life.

5. Clover Club,Brooklyn, New York

While the Plaza might be the venue that is present in Fitzgerald's novels, the Clover Club could fool many fans of the era. The club, named after a group of Philadelphia journalists who met once a month, harks back to another time with a mahogany bar from 1892, a gilded ceiling and tiled flooring. Located in the tony neighborhood of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, the venue has become well known for its interior, its brunch and its mixology, with a menu featuring single old-fashioned cocktails like the "Clover Club" (gin, dry vermouth, lemon, raspberry syrup and egg whites). Like Pour Vous, Clover Club has punch options; the recommended choice is the Ambrosia Punch. It serves four to six people.






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