Entering Cabinet Bar and Balcony, 11 Rainbow Alley Melbourne, makes you feel as though you've stepped into a secret Parisian bar.
The colourful and friendly bartender will have you laughing out loudly as he makes your martini to order - a gem in knowing how to prepare the perfect Bombay extra dry with a twist but will try and convince you that a dirty one is the way to go.
Find a cosy spot on the couch or on a chair by a rustic wooden table in the dimly lit romantic indoors or by an intimate table on the balcony overlooking Swanston Street, and illuminated by fairy lights.
One can book this venue for private functions with packages inclusive of a range of classy and delectable canapés, cocktail specials in theme with your party, and fabulously friendly mixologists who take pride with each order.
Gin Palace, 10 Russell Place Melbourne, is by far the best place in Melbourne for a gin martini. Enter the den like venue with large chesterfields and dim lighting, and be excited by the seemingly endless gin menu.
While the female wait staff are slow (unless you're an attractive twenty-something year old male) and may get your order mixed, the bar staff will recommend a gin concoction to tantalise your tastebuds.
I recommend a Brokers desert dry with a twist – perfect for an aperitif before heading out to dinner. Or sit back and enjoy some choice light menu options such as the toasted chicken sandwich.
Friday nights attract a young energetic after-work crowd, but I like to frequent here on a quiet weeknight where the only thing missing seems to be an open fireplace.
Siglo, a hidden gem on 161 Spring St, rooftop level of the Supper Club is easy to walk past.
As you approach the Princes Theatre, an inconspicuous door leads up a flight of stairs opening up to a long lounge area which once upon time was filled with clouds of sweet cigar smoke and suited men drinking cognac.
Today, the chesterfields remain and the crowd is a mix of theatregoers waiting for their show to begin, young couples, and the occasional suits. The sought after spot, located by the large street-facing window reminiscent of the one in Alex Proyas' "The Crow", is a perfect place for a romantic date.
If you can tear away from the choice of whiskeys, head upstairs to Siglo where the rooftop area consists of a few small tables separated by green foliage. Restricted entry ensures an intimate atmosphere, where one should dress to impress.
Limited wait staff makes the wait for drinks a little slow, but the affordable $19 Bombay extra dry made to order, matches perfectly with the polenta chips with herbed aioli, and the view of Parliament house in a rooftop garden atmosphere makes this place worth a return visit.