Bar à Gin du Carmen
Underneath the historic mouldings of the Hôtel Halévy’s old lounges (where Georges Bizet once stayed), gin now has a tonic embassy of its own. Once upon a time reserved only for night owls who could convince the imposing doorman to let them through, nowadays the Bar du Carmen is open to all at apéro time. Between stucco cherubs and crimson corners, there are forty homemade gin infusions lined up on illuminated shelves, awaiting enlightened gin lovers: classic flavors (pepper, lemon, grapefruit) or exotic ones (rosemary, saffron, mate). Have the gin of your choice with tonic water or in a more elaborate concoction, while seated in an empire love seat. The night we went, Rachel improvised a sort of Daiquri for us, with kaffir-lime-infused gin, sugar and lemon juice (€10). But FYI, once the clock strikes midnight, clubbers make their way into the lounges, and it gets a little harder to order anything other than a simple gin and tonic – and the drinks cost roughly €5 more… // A.B.