4.4 / 5 2 / 5

May 11, 2018

With low-key decor and an enjoyable but understated drinks menu, MayFair takes the pretension out of a relaxed evening out with friends.

Understated doesn’t even really come close to describing the decor at MayFair. A jumble of mismatched chairs, stools and leather banquettes, plain light fittings and bare walls all give the impression that the owners have only just moved in. But therein lies the charm of this neighborhood bar in the hip SoPi (South Pigalle) area of Paris, which offers no airs and graces, just plain old drinks and good times.
Blink and you’ll miss the entrance to MayFair; it’s all sombre grey paint aside from an old-fashioned red-and-white sign that looks like something from a swinging ‘60s hangout. The front windows open inwards, meaning that during summer, the front seats are the best spot in the house for people-watching and catching the odd cool breeze. The drinks menu at MayFair is almost as minimalistic as the decor, but the mosaic-tiled bar, although small, stocks an impressive amount of spirits bottles which are used to concoct a menu of rather traditional cocktails (martinis, spritzes, margaritas and whisky sours). Wines come only in rose and red varieties by the bottle or glass and there’s usually two or three European beers available on draught at any one time. A small selection of meat and cheese platters make the perfect accompaniment to the drinks (particularly when purchased as a package deal with a bottle of well-known Italian aperitif), and if you’re coming as a group, be sure to hire out the vaulted cellar downstairs which offers the ideal ambience for a party.