The Talented Mr Fox has closed its doors once again. Such is the life of a pop-up. However you can get all of those tasty treats at their permanent site: Peg + Patriot. We know you’ll love it.
Have you met the Talented Mr Fox? Well if you haven’t yet, he’s back and better than ever. After a refreshing refurb, the sister bar to Peg + Patriot in Bethnal Green, has reopened its doors. This slick Chinatown cocktail spot has gotten a few licks of paint and a brand new menu. Not opposed to redefining the traditional drinking experience, this time the bar is paring things back slightly (so no more burger cocktails). But don’t fret, it’s all insanely delicious — and you can still go off-piste: try the French Flip with croissant cognac, egg yolk and port.
For ourselves, we love pulling a seat up at the bar (there’s only a few chairs, so get in early) so that we can perv on all of the cocktail geekery going on. Ally behind the stick can introduce you to his award-winning drink, the Young Cuban – a Bacardi Legacy UK top three finalist – made with Bacardi rum, Tio Pepe sherry, orgeat, lemon and dill. Don’t swing by without having one. For a long, sumptuous drink, try Dewars Or Don’t made with buttered Dewars whisky, sherry, lemon and sasparilla soda.
Despite being in the heart of the always buzzing West End, you can escape the tourist hoards here and have a sophisticated tipple or two.
Best Bars tip: Come here ready for adventure … this is one boozing experience you won’t forget, or maybe you will – careful with those Young Cubans friends. Oh and one more drink to try (sorry we can’t help ourselves): the Adonis – made with dry olorosso sherry, Martini Rosso and orange bitters.
The latest Ramsay outpost is bringing a good whack of life to Battersea Square, and London House is everything you would expect from a Gordon operation (minus the yelling). So grab a chair by the fireplace and make yourself comfortable, this is one where you could easily lose a few hours. The space feels equal parts elegant and classic British, so perhaps avoid wearing your raggedy jeans – a tweed jacket or cashmere twin set wouldn’t be out of place here. Yet the vibe is decidedly laid back and the service is nothing short of exceptional … the staff will really do anything to make your experience a seamless one.
Even though the room is blue, you certainly won’t feel that way after a tipple or two. For the cocktail menu, bar manager Paul Graham has decided to go a bit more experimental and one of the house signatures tracks the history of the martini through the Three Martini Lunch. And despite its cheeky name, this tasty gin-heavy trio is not one to have on an empty stomach. It starts off with a Bols Genever Martinez, then onto a lemon-and-olive garnished Gilpin’s Gin Wet Martini, and finishes off with a modern Tanqueray Gin dry number. If three is too much for you, order the house martini which is the delightful Gilpin’s serve. Or if you’re looking for a sipper on the rocks, try Into the Dark with Zacapa 23 Rum, vermouth, maple syrup, baked orange and served with a pocket square that has been sprayed with a custom-made scent from Penhaligon’s.
This is the perfect place to grab drinks with a client, have leisurely cocktails with your partner, or bring your family along for a sophisticated evening of pre-dinner drinks and a three-course meal. But if you’re feeling a bit lonely, nip in and take a seat at the brass bar – your reflection off the countertop can keep you company.
Best Bars tip: While you can expect five-star food from the restaurant, you won’t get more than a few nibbles in the lounge (nuts, olives and melt-in-your-mouth jamón). So either eat before or book a table for after – we say go for the latter.
Situated down a narrow alley off of Fleet Street, the City of London Distillery Bar (COLD Bar for short) is a true gem for any gin lover – or for anyone looking to learn more about this history-rich spirit. This is the first working distillery to open in the City for over 200 years, and with more than 175 gins to choose from (other reports count 220), you’re likely to feel overwhelmed. So get stuck in with a masterclass, a tasting, or sign up for a tour of the distillery and finish it off with a cocktail at the bar.
The cocktail menu is mostly gin-based, surprise surprise, but this incredibly complex botanical spirit is one that will keep your palate wanting. Don’t miss the house gin used in the majority of drinks, which is created in the two giant stills behind bomb-proof glass – easily spotted as they’re the ones emanating a copper glow onto the bar. Try the Corpse Reviver no. 2 with gin, lillet, triple sec, lemon and absinthe – we love that boozy liquorice kick. Or for a more approachable drink have a bubbly Smiley Girl with gin, grapefruit sherbet, fino sherry and a bit of soda.
The large space still manages to feel intimate with dark wood furnishings, green walls and copper fixtures – it’s old world luxury with a laid-back vibe. You won’t find the dregs of the Fleet Street set here, but rather you will be surrounded by a more discerning clientele, who are ready and willing to learn and try something new.
Best Bars tip: There are plenty of corners for more romantic encounters, so it’s great for any date.