Once you’ve successfully located the bar (it’s not easy as you might think, with just a little brass plaque next to the door to inform you of what lies beyond) and been given the nod of approval from the doorman (also not a small feat), you step into a dimly-lit, but cosy, lounge. You might have to get there early or fight for a seat to perch on because it does get busy, especially on Friday and Saturdays, but once you’ve got a seat, you can settle yourself in for the evening.
The cocktail menu is always excellent, the bartenders are totally professional and the back bar is a treasure trove of whiskies (Scotch and Japanese), gins, rums and other delicacies.
The only grumble I have with the Experimental is that you want to feel somehow special for being ‘in the know’ and be rewarded for your hawk-eye tracking skills and yet occasionally the slow service can spoil the effect.
Worth trying the Curio Parlour, Prescription or the Ballroom du Beef Club too – all owned by the same group.
(2014) EDITED TO ADD: I have the impression it’s a lot easier to get in now than it was a few years ago. Maybe that’s just because I tend to pop by on Mondays or Tuesdays now, rather than at the end of the week.
(2016) UPDATE: I continue to have great experiences at the Experimental. Highly recommended.
Address: 37 rue Saint Sauveur, 75002
Telephone: 01 45 08 88 09
Website: Experiment Cocktail Club, Facebook
Opening Hours: open from 7pm til 2am every day, except Sunday when it opens at 8pm and on Fridays and Saturdays when it stays open until 4am.
Reservations: not a bad idea – especially for the end of the week.
Suggested footwear: funky leopard-print ballet flats.