Paris-Opera and Les Halles

  • Speakeasy
4.2 / 5 2 / 5

May 11, 2018

It’s easy enough to walk past the unassuming entrance to Lavomatic (I certainly have before), the only clue that there’s something more than meets the eye is the electric blue lettered sign above the doors of a laundromat... the hidden door to an upstairs speakeasy is behind a washing machine façade, with a spindly darkened staircase. Nope, the theme isn’t new but refreshingly dark and moody aren’t on the menu here.

As you reach the top you step into a tiny, colourful and kitsch bar. Low seating and scatter cushions in bright patterns abound, teeny stools done up like soap boxes add to the theme and there’s even swing seats for a little grown-up fun. This is a hidden gem in the 10th arrondissement, just seconds from the bustling Place de la Republique. It’s packed with after-workers, friends and couples all enjoying cocktails and the rarely found Paris air-conditioning – a godsend in this summer heat. Lavomatic is filled with young, in-the-know types and definitely hits the mark as a fun first date spot.

First round of cocktails and amongst them we have the signature Monkey Tea Time, a Basilic Instinct and Moscow Mule, a little small but packs a fiery punch. The first is an earl grey infused whiskey sour and the second is a refreshing gin-based mix though a little elderberry heavy. But the unusual ingredients on the menu shout out, the Nuage Rose for example, which has hibiscus tonic and a mini marshmallow topping is insta-friendly. There’s a light heartedness in the drinks and the décor which explains the chilled, cosy vibes inside. And it definitely helps that prices are mostly pocket-friendly too.

Only back in the entryway do we realise that the washing machines actually work so head along with friends and a bag of dirty socks if multi-tasking is your thing. If it isn’t, well you won’t be too disappointed here…


Main photo credit: official website