Essential Moment: Some Enchanted Evening


There’s the trill of a butterfly in your stomach as you pass through The Carlyle’s heavy, gilt-framed doors, a crimson-jacketed doorman greeting you with a flourish. The sleek Deco lobby proves a perfect portal, and entering the bar is not unlike lifting the lid on an exquisite little music box. Inside, it’s an invitation to a place with all the whimsy, nostalgia and singularity of its namesake’s inimitable illustrations, without ever taking itself too literally. Tiny lamps cast amber pools of light, and a hallowed warmth prevails. There are vibrant bartending theatrics, and a Nat King Cole silken-voiced jazz pianist with a showman’s honeyed smile presiding over all. This is the night on the town your parents and grandparents used to have, not in the way of some antique time capsule, but because it must be what ‘being social’ used to mean – the dressing up, the sparkling company, the ‘from the belly’ laughter, the champagne cocktail lightness. The moment is essential not because of all its outward glamour, but because of how it feels: bygone, dreamlike, and in every way, unforgettable.


Photography credit: Andrew Baxt (Back East Media)

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