Merivale's newest opening will transport you to 1920s Paris without leaving Sydney
Felix, the wildly successful hatted French bistro in downtown Sydney, has a younger brother who’s just moved in next door. Little Felix is a French-style cocktail bar inspired by the literary salons of 1920s Paris – the kind of place where Ernest Hemingway would hold court while Louis Armstrong crooned on the gramophone. It’s dark, moody and candlelit. In other words, an ideal date location.
The décor is a trip back in time. Crushed, printed fabrics drape the walls, full of exotic depictions of toucans, tapirs and other scenes from an early 1900s jungle safari. Soft lamplight illuminates walls, ceilings and textiles in shades of emerald. Gilt-framed mirrors, early 20th-century curios and sultry sprays of dark orchids complete the scene. If you’ve seen Woody Allen’s star-studded film Midnight in Paris, you know the vibe.
Acclaimed interior design and architecture studio Acme & Co is responsible for this sensory delight (they’re also behind the good looks of hospitality hot spots Fred’s, The Grounds and Archie Rose, to name but a few). Of course, Justin and Bettina Hemmes oversaw the project and long-term Merivale stylist Amanda Talbot was also involved.
The beverage offering here is exceptional. Each of the eight bespoke cocktails on the menu bears the name of a historic Parisian hotel – like the Paris Meridian or the Raconteur – and offers a fresh take on an old classic.
Wines have been selected by master sommelier Franck Moreau and Jean-Charles Mahe, and are poured from decadent 1.5 litre magnums. However, if bubbles are more your thing, Little Felix has a custom-built fridge that houses the best Champagnes and sparkling wines in the world.
And we haven’t even touched on the food yet. Heaped boards of cheese and bowls of fruit greet guests at the bar, while head chef Nathan Johnson dishes up charcuterie, cheese and truffle tartines to perfectly compliment star-of-the-show drinks.
It’s a stunning slice of 1920s Paris in Sydney that proves its owner, Justin Hemmes, is a newly crowned billionaire for good reason.
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