The South of France is often regarded as the bastion of luxury: decadent villas, boutique resorts, and private yachts. That image is inextricably tied to an age-old stereotype – posh locals. Aah well – Absinthe Bar is where that stereotype unravels bit by bit till you come away thinking the locals are the most fun-loving people EVER. Funny thing is, the green fairy (aka absinthe) makes sure you don’t remember much of the night (including your fresh perspective on the French) the next morning 😉
This gem of a bar is tucked in a little corner of one of the most charming towns of the Côte d’Azur – Antibes. As soon as you walk in you will realise it has all the trappings of a perfect night. There is a whole wall crammed with headgear of every shape and size, a couple of guitars, walls scattered with absinthe-related memorabilia, and a bar full of the strongest spirits known to mankind – not much CAN go wrong.
All you need to do is saunter in, grab the headgear that takes your fancy, order some absinthe (what else?), and let it work its magic. If you haven’t had absinthe before, you’re in for a treat at Absinthe Bar. Since absinthe is highly alcoholic (50-70%), it is banned in a number of countries. Here they serve it in the traditional way – your glass will be accompanied by a carved silver spoon with a sugar cube on top. Dilute the anise-flavoured liquor with water till it turns milky, and enjoy your drink. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try dipping the sugar cube in pure absinthe and lighting it- the friendly owner is happy to show you how to do this.
After three or four drinks you might end up having a conversation with the locals (mostly students) that populate this bar – in French, no less, even if you cannot differentiate ‘Bonjour’ from ‘au revoir’- Don’t say we didn’t warn you 🙂
The Absinthe Bar is fairly easy to find if you’re in Antibes. It is located in a cellar off the Marche Provencal (the covered market). It is a tiny bar and it can get pretty packed – we suggest going early to avoid being disappointment.Address: 25 court Massena Près du marché provençal à Antibes 06600 Antibes
Spoilt for choice
Memorabilia on the walls of Absinthe Bar
The traditional way of serving absinthe
They have hats- LOTS of them
If you’re seeing this by the end of the night, it’s been a good night 🙂