The Hoxton Paris has opened its latest hip outpost in the hopping Paris neighborhood of the Marais with an intimate Moroccan inspired bar and cocktail menu designed by the Quixotic Team (Candelaria, Mary Celeste, etc.)
The bar is discretely tucked away within, so to get there you’ll pass through the spacious and chic lobby/café, catch a glimpse of the restaurant off to the right, cross a courtyard terrace and then climb the curved staircase to a quiet landing and a closed door. You’ll probably think you’ve taken a wrong turn, but look at the unassuming metal plaque next to the door. If it’s says Jacques’ Bar, you’re in the right place.
The Majorelle garden in Marrakesh inspired its design, so imagine intricate floral wallpaper and soft, rich arm chairs and sofas. Plus there are plenty of pretty poufs and accent cushions. This is where you go for select, tony tête-à-têtes over a drinks menu that plays on the theme with ingredients like cardamom, harissa, hibiscus and other flavors found in Moroccan cuisine. The eight specially designed cocktails run from 12 to 15 Euros and are served alongside a small selection of bottled beer and wine.
The menu has successfully pulled in these not so run of the mill flavors and is delivering drinks not seen elsewhere in Paris. On the night of my visit, some of the drinks skewed a little too sweet for me, but there is definitely something for everyone here from the delicately subtle 75002 (Champagne, apple brandy and hibiscus syrup) to the gutsier Hox Negroni. This last one is made with mezcal rather than gin, giving the mouth water qualities of the bitters some smoky gusto and making it a great choice for a digestive. The also nailed classics like the martini and Manhattan. The Old Fashioned was, again, a tiny bit sweet for my taste.
As for the overall context, The Hoxton is more than hotel – it’s lifestyle. The public spaces are all designed by Soho House and Ennismore’s Creative Studio resulting in appealing color saturation and updated chic sensibility. And the increasingly cool and reviving Sentier area seems just the right location (there’s also a Shoreditch location and one coming soon in Williamsburg, so you get the idea….)
Their M.O. for hospitality is to welcome all – not just the hotel guests – into their public spaces like the restaurant, café, private meeting and party rooms and bar. The Hoxton is not just a place for weary travellers to rest their heads on high thread count sheets. It’s a living, meeting space for people. They don’t just do public spaces, but also a calendar of public events. Coming up soon, they’re welcoming trendy donut makers Boneshaker in along with a few other cool food and drink purveyors for a Sunday Christmas market. In January, they’re putting on breakfast workshops for smoothie bowls to detox after the indulgences of December. I appreciate the sentiment and the space is conducive to it…and as long as service remains so as well, they’re all set.
Overall all, the collaborators behind the creation of hotel, bar and drinks are urban tastemakers with a sharp sense of style and some serious talent. This ‘lifestyle’ space with its jewel tone, subdued Technicolor touches feels like a super sophisticated kind of Disneyland for adults and is definitely an address worth tucking into your little black book.
Jacques’ Bar at The Hoxton
30-32 Rue du Sentier