The Paris of Ernest Hemingway! The Paris of Jean Cocteau and Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein! Paris in the 1920s has long been held up as a centre of headiness, frivolity and freedom. Of bohemian lifestyles and art and booze. And it’s in this style that Merivale has themed its latest venture in Sydney, Little Felix.
The newly opened Ash Street bar features a lowly lit and atmospheric interior, designed in collaboration between Justin and Bettina Hemmes of Merivale, design firm ACME and stylist Amanda Talbot. Decorative elements are kept simple, with the focus being on the vast liquor display behind the bar.
Little Felix’s drinks list also draws inspiration from the tipples of the time. The curated offering of eight cocktails are kept simple and close to the original versions.
“We have taken the well-known classic cocktails from the great Parisian bars and hotels of the early 20th century, and gently refreshed them to make drinks relevant today”, says group bars manager Sam Egerton. “Embracing provenance as a guide for these developments, we used French liquors as modifiers to the tried and tested recipes”.
“The French 75, for example, is a classic cocktail of gin, citrus and champagne. At Little Felix, we’ve used Chandon blanc de blancs and Farigoule de Forcalquier, a thyme liqueur, and called it Paris Meridian after the line that ran through the Paris Observatory. Our Sidecar, a cocktail that is said to have been invented for an American army captain and first made at The Ritz Hotel, uses Hennessy VS, Cointreau, lemon juice, Le Birlou and finished with Armagnac, is affectionately named Le Ricain, a French nickname for Americans”.
As well as cocktails, Little Felix offers a carefully selected range of French wine, curated by sommeliers MS Franck Moreau and Jean-Charles Mahe. And as for fare, head chef of neighbouring Felix has crafted a simple but premium menu of charcuterie, cheese and tartines.
Little Felix marks the first of four new Merivale bars and eateries opening in the ivy laneways this year.
Find out more: merivale.com/littlefelix
2a Ash Street, Sydney
Images: Nikki To