Mystery bar number 4
It seems that with such a dedicated crowd of imbibers reading this blog, it's getting hard to find a bar that remains a lasting mystery. I may have to venture further afield, stylistically as well as geographically, to track down a watering hole that is truly virgin territory.
In the meantime, this will have to do. It's tucked away a little from the braying herds, and its location up an unpreposessing staircase means that it has apparently escaped the notice of most. It's often rather quiet, but its habitués prefer it that way, and it definitely promotes relaxation and conversation ahead of raucous inebriation (not that there's anything wrong with that).
It was one of the first to sport the rock-clad walls and fireplace that are now de rigeur in so many watering holes. In some of the more recent versions, that look is getting very tired a resembles a great big pile of schist. This place seems to do it with greater aplomb, however, and the feeling is very much that of a comfortable living room.
Of course, that presumes that your living room happens to come complete with a fully stocked bar and friendly bar staff ready to pour you a Côtes du Rhône or mix you a Sidecar while you recline in a comfy sofa (almost too comfy, as one finds upon trying to rise after too many Sidecars). The combination of stone, wood and leather is not terribly distinctive, but there is one design feature that stands out: a massive fan that slices through a wall and takes a gigantic bite out of one banquette.
One thing it does very well is the toilets. In common with several upmarket bars, it has individually rolled white cotton hand towels in place of nasty paper rags or dodgy hot air blowers. But the most distinctive element is the sinks. Or to be more precise, the apparent absence of sinks. In place of the standard porcelain or glass basin, the water pours onto a near-horizontal plane of stone slabs before trickling down the drain. Nice touch, though a little disconcerting after too many Hemingway Daiquiris.
I don't expect this to be too difficult for the more dedicated tipplers amonst you to recognise, as any Welly cocktail aficianados worth their salt-rimmed Margaritas should know it well. But sometimes I'm surprised by how many are still unaware of its discreet charms, so at the risk of swamping it with thirsty WellUrbanites, here it is.
Oh, and thanks to The Sifter for the link to Droogle. He's just put up a nice post about the world's oldest cocktail, and no, it's not the Fluffy Duck, as apparently served in record numbers at last night's opening of Boogie Wonderland. I might try coming up with my own cocktail on Saturday night: I'm not sure how it will turn out, but I'm hoping for a lot of something red and a healthy dash of something green. Cheers!