The Experimental Cocktail Club group continues its expansion with one of their latest hotel bars showing up at an historic address. Located in the recently reopened 4 star Hotel Bachaumont, Night Flight is a small and welcome addition to the city’s roster of worthy hotel bars.
The name pays homage to the novel Vol de Nuit by the Antoine de St-Exupéry (whom many of you will know as the author of le Petit Prince) and the space was created for “night voyagers” with an ambience that is both light of heart but sophisticated (maybe the same that can be said for a lot of St-Exupéry’s work.) The small space does feel fresh, but also familiar thanks to its Dorothée Meilichzon, also responsible for several other addresses belonging to the ECC group. Dark wood and a strong complimentary color scheme of dreamscape blues and burnt oranges provide a warm background for a few small accent pieces with strong graphics.
While hotel bars can sometimes feel sterile or overly stuff, Night Flight is small and welcoming. And, while many cocktail lounges (especially those that bill themselves as speakeasies )can feel aloof or intimidating, Night Flight manages to remain warm and put clients at ease. Eric & Karim and the rest of the team have successfully created and cultivated a space and ambience that merge the best of both hotel and cocktail lounge worlds.
Their cocktail menu of fifteen drinks at 14/15 Euros includes a selection of house creations with Exupéry inspired names like Pique la Lune (his nickname) or L’aviateur (his occupation) that showcase a good range of base spirits as well as styles. Short and strong sipping options like the Plantation Rhum based Very Old Fashioned hang alongside the more accessible Vol du Nuit with its base of hibiscus infused Fair vodka and champagne.
The selection of six classics is short, simple and carried out with a sure and sophisticated hand. Both the martini and Manhattan were some of the best I’d had in some time. Their signature drink is a Citadelle gin based Fennel Collins, which I didn’t try, but appreciate the idea of its simplicity of style plus a more unusual flavor in syrup. And, finally, when I stopped in for a visit during Paris Cocktail Week, their non-alcoholic cocktail for the week was one of my favorite drinks from PCW, which makes me think they know how to balance their drinks, both boozy and virgin.
Night Flight makes a great option for an early evening quiet cocktail delivered with a pleasing professionalism. As the evening wears on the bar gets busier and a bit more crowded. It’s also within very easy walking distance of Mabel and Lockwood, so also a good spot to start or finish a crawl in this neighborhood.
18 rue Bachaumont