The Red Bar, Fitzrovia
Can you keep a secret? Shhh. The corner of Percy Street, Rathbone Place and Charlotte Street is one of London’s buzziest night spots, The Red Bar. Several floors above Bam-Bou Chinese & Thai restaurant on this very corner lies one of London’s sexiest little secrets. Great for a restorative cocktail post shopping date as well as for an after dinner dram; it’s a versatile mistress and she’s eager to meet you.
Here’s the deal – a long list of beautiful, layered cocktails and on-it bar staff who can concoct anything your heart desires off-menu, a Japanese whisky list to make Robert Burns cry & tempting little snackettes such as Coconut Prawns and Vegetable Gyoza. So far, so bar of your dreams. Try the house cocktail: a deliciously feminine confection of Umeshu, dry vermouth and orange bitters. On hot evenings and after something spicy to eat, the Pandan mule (pandan infused Wyborowa, lime juice, lemongrass & ginger syrup, ginger beer and kumquat) is just the tonic. From the Tequila and Mezcal counter, we tried the Mexican Bullet, a gorgeous coupe brimming over with kaffir lime infused Olmeca Altos plata, lemon juice, sugar, Kummel, nebulous egg whites and finished with bitters. Oh it’ll make you so happy you could die.
Whether it’s a November afternoon in the driving rain or a balmy July evening, Charlotte Street is a wonderful place to be. A mix of old favourites and slinky new hang-outs, this street has everything to offer London’s daterati. Head for an 8pm sitting at nearby Roka for their scallop skewers and Korean spiced lamb cutlets; try the recommended warm sake to complement the meal but eat light. Link arms and walk out into the night, umbrella pop or fan flutter, and stroll slowly around the block soaking up the heady ‘Main Street’ atmosphere of the avenue. Come back around on yourselves and find No. 1 Percy Street. Don’t turn left into the restaurant but climb the creaky staircase to the third floor where you will find the Red Bar. Elegant, sexy and shabby in equal Oriental measure, this is an intelligent bar which is ready to cater to your every alcoholic whim. Sink into the Laboutin red sofa just long enough before you strategically make a play for the ladies; your exit tempting him with the sight of you in your clingy little black dress. Dazzle with your witty repartee avoiding any chitter chatter about work and soon you’ll be settled in for the night. Boy, do these drinks hold their own. Black cab back for an intoxicating good night kiss and maybe an invite in for coffee.
All the slebs nab the prime seats (by the window for the great view) so perhaps go early or go late to avoid any disappointments.
3. Low lights, delicious booze, on the fringes of Soho, intense weather….makes a girl feel a little wanton.