The Left Bank isn’t known for its buzzing bar culture and nightlife, but perhaps that’s because some of its best haunts are hidden away down back alleys or concealed behind featureless façades. This is the case with retro cocktail bar the ‘Castor Club’, whose discreet frontage, elegant old lampshades and wealth of log-cabin wooden panelling create an aesthetic reminiscent of the speakeasy bars of Prohibition-era America. Often busy, the bar plays a mix of Nashville pop and country from the ’50s and ’60s while customers try out the eclectic range of house cocktails. Standouts include the ‘Turkish Delight’ (strong Peruvian pisco, acacia gum, pistachio cream, lemon and cardamom, €13), which is fresh, creamy and a touch acidic, and the ‘Chirac 95’, which blends calvados with génépi liqueur, apple shrub, egg white and lemon. Downstairs, a funkier R&B playlist gets a cheery crowd writhing in a dance-friendly bar space, while others chat away in the cosy candlelight.
TRANSLATION: HUW OLIVER