The lobby of Hotel Le Bristol and its bar are two different breeds – the former is all marble and thick carpeting with a gleaming white grand piano, while the latter is heavy on the leopard print, with a wall projection of Parisian landmarks and opulent ornaments you might find in a trendy grandma’s attic. Think Absolutely Fabulous meets Dynasty, with heavy notes of Dolce & Gabbana.
Any hang-ups about the décor are dissolved by a complimentary pre-cocktail goblet of cognac and ginger ale, plus three different types of cashews. Eight signature cocktails offer something to suit everyone – from the witch’s coven of haute couture dames to the bristly solo business men. The signature Bristol Old Fashioned is made with panache; smooth and enriched by a dash of chocolate bitters. A Rhubarb Fizz (Belvedere vodka, elderflower liqueur and rhubarb juice) is drinkable but forgettable. Nonetheless, with cocktails at €26, and the cheapest glass of wine priced at €22, there seems to be an obvious route at Le Bristol. Cocktails or bust.
The DJ gives the place some oomph – perhaps a little too much for a midweek drink but no doubt, at weekends the clientele mirrors the vibe. But there’s much to suggest this nouveau riche nook has its tongue firmly in its cheek and the service and mixology cannot be faulted. Come here for a lavish tipple to begin the night and keep an eye out for the hotel cat in the lobby – long-haired, white and so very on brand. Bravo Le Bristol.