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LONDON’S MOST AWESOME COCKTAIL BARS
ADD THESE FINE DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS TO YOUR 2017 MUST-VISIT LIST
Some might say that when the mixologist at The Connaught knows your tipple then you've arrived in life. Others might call the same man an alcoholic. Regardless, a gentleman must be the talisman of knowing the topography of fine drinking establishments. The thought of spending any time in a watering hole, unable to marshal his thoughts on his next pocket square acquisition above the cacophony of fruit machines, should be deeply anathema to him. Thus, the need for a Cocktail Bar. Let societies rapscallions and troglodytes fight for the monopoly of the pool table and jukebox, the gentleman will busy himself in the speakeasy, regaling the minute details of his latest expedition to the Bruichladdich distillery over a game of Canasta with his tailor. If that sounds haughty or old-fashioned, then good. This is the list for you. Some of London’s most awesome cocktail bars.
I was there just a week ago. Of course, you'll need to book for a table beyond the wardrobe (a cool, entire new wing of the Cocktail Bar waits for you on the other side of a wardrobe, like Narnia), but a seat somewhere in the front bar is never too long await. The toilets offer a wonderful mosaic of tape cassettes and the barman, to say he knows his onions, is putting it mildly. He's bearded, Scottish, and has fiendish concentration on his serve. He knows the exact chronology of his clientele. When I arrived at Callooh Callay I was at least 4th in line to be served, yet was greeted, showed a menu and was assured of my place in the queue.
Truly my local. Just a stone’s throw from my girlfriend’s apartment, this is the tip of the spear of cocktail bars in the centre of the universe. Seymour's Parlour is just a short walk from marble arch, with a stream lined menu and table service. The decor is festooned with antiquated trinkets and chesterfields. The ambience is tranquil and may I say, suited to the gentleman's needs.
Yes, of course the aforementioned Connaught, with a front and a back cocktail bar. The waiters are so disciplined they can't even be pressed on political opinions when asked. Their job is customer satisfaction. The Connaught Cocktail Bar doesn't come cheap, but the good things in life rarely do.
Yes, technically a Gin Parlour, but let’s not get bogged down with semantics. Open seven days a week, and perhaps a phone call to book ahead, especially at this time of year. Alternatively, cross the doorman's palm with silver and I'm sure they'll squeeze you in. A most decadent selection of cream cakes and an exquisite Mr Fogg’s cocktail expressly created by Passepartout for your pre-theatre gratification.
Another one of London's not very well best kept secrets. The word purl refers to an old English drink consisting of warm ale, gin, wormwood and spices. Purl soon became recognised for its innovative approach to mixed drinks, that utilised culinary techniques to aid in the story of each and every cocktail on its list. Today, they continue to imagine drinks that satisfy on a multi-sensory level, using aroma, fogs, airs, foams, food, bespoke service ware and liquid nitrogen to bring the drink to life and transport the guest to another place or time.