Maison Souquet‘s entrance is flanked by red lights, recalling the days when this building was a house of pleasure rather than a luxury hotel. Just through the discrete door is a world of 1001 Arabian nights decor in the with the lobby lounge. Next you pass into the actual bar, which is designed to feel like a reading room. It’s small, intimate, plush and dark. It provides the perfect private vibe for anything from coquettish conversation to serious seduction. The next room is lighter and brighter with floral fabrics, bright red carpet and mirrored walls reflecting natural light. And finally, there is a teeny tiny courtyard space with just enough room for one bench and a garden statue.
The cocktails range from 17 to 20 euros and are divided into sections with names like Cocottes (which means “fashionable prostitutes”) or les Couritisans. The menu features house creations that could feel a little precious or sweetly indulgent for a palette like my own that leans more towards the stiff and classic. However, I tried the La Castiglione (Bacardi Heritage, coconut water, yuzu and yellow chartreuse) and found it nicely balanced. It’s a foamy, fresh and elegantly presented cocktail that reflects the sensuous sensibilities location. And for those seeking something more traditional, the head bartender previously worked at the Bristol so should be able to handle off menu requests. A well-made martini confirmed this. Also on the menu is a range of snacks like burrata, tarama & toasts or truffle flavored black rice ranging from 8 to 24 euros.