Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Speakeasy with French Flair

Queenstown’s Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa has created a captivating intimate supper club with its newly opened Le Salon Rouge taking its inspiration from the prohibition era’s speakeasies.

“Inspired by the Prohibition Era of speakeasy supper clubs, La Salon Rouge is ‘secretly’ located within the hotel, styled quintessentially to the speakeasies featuring rich reds, velvet decor and soft candle lighting.”

Previously the 1789 Lounge, the concept features a speakeasy style interior with velvet décor and soft lighting while serving an extensive range of cocktails, drinks and shared plates to enjoy.

“My original idea was to champion local boutique gins from Cardrona Distillery, Broken Heart and Gin and Rifters gin who were emerging in 2019,” says GM Jeremy Samuels.

“However when Covid-19 hit our plans went on hold so this refined new spot been three years in the making.”

Le Salon Rouge reflects the hotel’s French heritage and the Sofitel team, including newly appointed bar manager Mitchell Corbett, have been committed to crafting a distinctive supper club experience.

“Guests who love gin will have a wonderful time exploring gins from around the world at Le Salon Rouge,” says Jeremy. “ There is an entire shelf dedicated to Queenstown distilled gins alongside other high profile spirits.”

“The bespoke menu features ten boutique gins, ten botanicals and ten premium mixers allowing guests to mix and match. Each gin comes with tasting notes and our mixologists are on hand to guide the adventure.”

Le Salon Rouge’s sophisticated cocktail menu has eight signature drinks each with their own unique story to tell. They include a range of cocktails made with the non-alcoholic gin Lyre’s Spirit.

“Each cocktail has an animation element and is served at the table creating a fun, moment for guests,” says Jeremy. “The Prospector’s Dream cocktail designed by Mitchell harks back to Queenstown’s gold rush featuring real gold filaments in the glass, Manuka honey, Cardrona barrel aged gin, Grand Marnier and Verve Clicquot champagne – it’s a show stopper.”

Le Salon Rouge

The intimate bar is ideal for couples and small groups to enjoy cocktails and sharing plates.

“We wanted to create unique plates that speak to the hotel’s French heritage and executive chef Lindsay Bennett has sourced locally crafted ingredients for new dishes presented with a French flair,” he says.

“The salon also features Le Goûterthe French equivalent to British afternoon high tea, that is very much a cultural tradition. It’s beautifully presented with petite pastries and delicacies made in-house by our patisserie chef Imogen Liao.”

Jeremy says Le Salon Rouge has achieved everything he hoped.

“My goal for our team coming out of Covid-19 was to launch a flawless new bar experience and we are all super proud of the result.”