With a name like Pershing Hall, we were half-expecting this Champs-Élysées hotel bar to resemble something out of Downton Abbey: imposing, fusty, out-dated… But we could not have been more wrong. Wander through the hotel’s enchanting restaurant (you can’t miss the stunning, foliage-covered wall) to access ‘le lounge bar’ – a study in modern day luxe complete with a high ceiling, funky, textured walls and low-hanging chandeliers, all bathed in an electrifying red light.
The cocktail menu is just as intriguing, featuring playful names like ‘PassionBerry’, ‘PinkPool’ and ‘SexyStar’. The ‘SpicyMango’ (€19) creation is pleasant, if a little on the safe side – a warming concoction of Russian Standard vodka, mango, lime, spicy syrup and Espelette chilli pepper. If only it had more of a kick to match the drama of the bar’s grand backdrop. The ‘SparklingLalique’ (€34) was very drinkable too, a refreshing, delicate blend of Hendrick’s gin, thyme, sugar, lime and Krug champagne: truly lovely but, again, not quite a game-changer.
Expect a well-heeled, international clientele, and a DJ on the weekends if you’re in the mood to bop along as you sip on your ‘SexyStar’. Cocktail prices range from €19 to €34 though so don’t get too carried away, or you may wake up in the red the morning after.