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Mondrian Hotel, South Bank

December 25, 2015
Mondrian Hotel, South Bank

London has had quite a few show-stopping hotel openings in 2015, but the Mondrian Hotel may be the most prominent one of all.  And for good reason – this modern beauty, with prime location in the Sea Containers building on the South Bank is worth a visit.  Whether it be for breakfast, dinner, cocktails or an overnight stay, the Mondrian will delight.

I went for dinner and cocktails about a month ago. Even your arrival is memorable – the copper, sea inspired ‘wave’ is perhaps more unique than it is beautiful, but I loved it.  The whole design of the place is to echo a 1920s cruise ship.  In my mind that description sounds like it should look hideous, but it’s far from it.

Mondrian Hotel, South BankMondrian Hotel, South Bank

The restaurant – colourful and shiny – was busy in a pleasant way; the design sleek with a flashy bar in the centre of the room.  But your eyes are instantly drawn to the views.  You’re right on the river Thames and you’ve got Blackfriars Bridge and the City on your right (the Tate Modern is an 8 minute walk), and Westminster and all its glories to your left.  The food was delicious and light, presented with care.  Perhaps I chose healthy options, but I left feeling satisfied without overly full (which is sadly usually the case when you’re as greedy as I am).

Mondrian Hotel, South BankMondrian Hotel, South Bank

The bar at the Mondrian is perhaps even more of a highlight than the restaurant – the decor (modern, of course) again stands out. While bright pink leather sofas may not necessarily be my cup of tea, here they fit perfectly with the emerald green walls. At night the bar is so dimly lit you don’t even necessarily notice the colours.  Again, the view drew my attention more than anything. London looks so magical at night, and from the bar (make sure you sit close to the window) the views are uninterrupted.  The cocktails too deserve a mention, the menu beautifully designed and the drinks were well crafted.

Mondrian Hotel, South Bank

The Mondrian hotel may not be for everyone – it’s daring and loud, the design is ridiculously slick and it perhaps lacks a degree coziness.  But its style is fun and original, the views phenomenal, the location ideal to see London and the pricing fair (this is all relative of course).  While I didn’t see the rooms I know some say they do feel slightly more business-like than the hotel’s communal areas, but still very comfortable with all the mod-cons you could wish for.

Mondrian Hotel, South BankMondrian Hotel, South Bank

But I suppose what I liked so much about the place was that the restaurant and bar did not feel like they were part of a hotel at all.  So regardless of whether you’re a hotel guest or not, you still very much feel like a special guest in your own right.

The Mondrian Hotel

Sea Containers

20 Upper Ground,

London SE1 9PD

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, London

The Vault, Soho – a hidden speakeasy-style bar

December 7, 2015
The Vault of Soho, Milroys

I used to struggle with bars in Soho, and would usually end up in China Town at places like the Experimental Cocktail Club or Opium.  Now, I suddenly feel like Soho has a whole array of watering holes, not just grimy pubs.  For those who have a sweet tooth you’ve got Basement Sate (serving cocktails and desert), if you like a themed bar you’ve got the newly opened Mr Fogg’s Tavern.  Those in favour of a Hazelnut Espresso Martini accompanied by crispy lamb testicles (!), then Les Couilles de Chien is for you.

But if you like a secret, hidden bar.  A bar behind a book case, in London’s oldest Whisky shop.  Then the Vault of Soho is your bar.  It’s a cosy, dark, intimate space and it’s in the perfect location on Greek Street.  Except tourists who don’t know about it won’t find it, which is definitely another plus.   The best bit is of course strolling into Milroy’s like you know where you’re going (but don’t) and then successfully finding ‘that’ bookcase at the back of the room.  There is something distinctly thrilling about pushing open the door and walking down the stairs into the Vault.

The Vault of Soho, Milroys

If there’s just two of you, sit by the bar.  The bar men are super friendly and can concoct whatever cocktail you fancy (I recommend their Espresso Martini).  Or if you just want a vodka, soda and lime, they’re more than happy to make that for you too.  If you get hungry then they have some bar snacks (the sharing platters are large and good value, but not particularly outstanding).   They also take table bookings if you’re in a larger group (definitely worth doing if so as there are few tables).

The Vault of Soho, Milroys

After drinks here head to Bo Drake, or 10 Greek Street for dinner (to name but a few fantastic restaurants a minute’s walk away).  And you can always pop back in afterwards.

The Vault of Soho


3 Greek Street


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Blog, Drink, London

The Blind Pig – Soho’s slickest cocktail bar

November 7, 2015
Blind Pig, Soho

This bar is always full.  Which is impressive considering that it isn’t particularly obvious from street level that it even exists (bar the blindfolded pig door knocker).  Then again, it isn’t perhaps that surprising, since it’s part of (and above) Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House (one of my favourite restaurants in London).

Still, it’s taken me a number of years to finally have a drink here.  I’ve been turned away a couple of times (‘or you can wait for 20 – 30 minutes, madam’ – no thanks), but late one recent Saturday evening we managed to get two places by the bar.  Which is fun because you can see the cocktail shakers hard at work, and observe the mad skills they have.

Blind Pig, SohoBlind Pig, Soho

I’d admittedly had quite a few drinks already by the time we had our first cocktail here.  But damn they’re good.   I had the ‘Ginger Spice’, a vodka cocktail with ginger juice, carrot, lemon and honey (it’s funny how I still try and convince myself that adding some kind of vegetable to my drink justifies the quantity of sugar that it accompanies).  Rob had a Negroni.  We had fun chatting to one of the bar men, and I tried to persuade him to add ‘Skinny Bitch’ (vodka, soda and fresh lime) to the cocktail list (he made us the best one I’ve had).

Blind Pig, SohoBlind Pig, Soho

The Blind Pig is a dimly-lit, seductive bar, where the cocktails are inventive and delicious and where the upbeat vibe is infectious.  It is definitely worth the wait.  And if you get hungry, the delightful Social Eating House is just a flight of stairs away.

The Bling Pig

58 Poland St,

London W1F 7NS

Photo credit: The Blind Pig

Blog, Drink, London

Mr Fogg’s Tavern, Covent Garden – A Victorian Tavern with a hidden cocktail lounge

November 2, 2015
Mr Fogg's Tavern, Soho

Last Saturday I waded my way through Leicester Square crowds in the pouring rain.  There are very few places in London I loathe more than Leicester Square underground station and its direct surroundings.  That matched with streaming rain and no umbrella, is my idea of complete and utter hell.

And then we arrived – drenched – at Mr Fogg’s Tavern.  A surprisingly short soggy walk from Leicester Square.  It’s so close we nearly walked past it.  Perhaps because it also looks far more like a pub than I had expected (and very different to the original Mayfair Mr Fogg’s of Mayfairthe ‘residence’).  It truly is a tavern.  And it was heaving.  And while I loved the – Fogg style – interiors, and the boat and birdcages hanging off the ceiling, I was ready to walk out immediately when I saw how full it was.

Mr Fogg's Tavern, Soho

But I decided to give the Gin Parlour and Salon upstairs a chance, which are thankfully not advertised downstairs.  Clever.  Keep the tourists downstairs, while those in the know can retreat to a peaceful and beautiful oasis in the form of a cocktail lounge.

We were lucky.  We spent a few minutes hanging out in the Gin Parlour (a little like a chic waiting room, with a lot of beautiful bottles of gin to keep your attention), where we browsed the very elaborate and – of course – gin dominated menu in delight.  If you like G&Ts, this is your place.  From the classic to the unusual, if you want it with peppercorns, or lemongrass, or basil – or all together for that matter, there is a G&T for everyone.   And then a table (or half a table to be exact, we shared it with an adorable elderly couple) became available and we were whisked into the Salon.

Mr Fogg's Tavern, Soho

If gin isn’t your thing then Mr Fogg’s Salon has a menu with other spiritual delights.  But do be sure to check out the Gin Parlour (no seats here) and watch the clever cocktail maker slice ice off a ginormous slab of ice and concoct some delicious drinks.

Walking into the Salon is like walking straight into the Victorian times.  From the waitresses all in special dress, to so much chintz you don’t know where to look, all sorts of hats hanging from the wall/ceiling and the sorts of ornamental lamps Mary Poppins might pull out of her bag.  It was busy here too, but in a pleasant, bustling type of way.  They monitor the numbers here (you must be seated), under 21s are not allowed, and it has the sophisticated edge that downstairs lacks (which is fine, because it’s a tavern – and the pies are meant to be amazing).

Mr Fogg's Tavern, Soho

So we very much enjoyed our experience, and felt smug that we had found a table in a beautiful bar, a stone’s throw from horrific Leicester Square, on a Saturday evening.  And the nibbles are good too.  The only downside of course is that one cocktail each and some bar snacks will set you back what an all out feast at BAO will.  But it’s worth it.

If you like the sound of this, then also be sure to try out their other sister properties like Cahoots and Barts, also wonderful themed bars where they get it just right.

Mr Fogg’s Tavern 

58 St Martin’s Lane

Blog, Drink, London, Stay

Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

October 8, 2015
Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

The first time I went to the new Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone, I walked straight passed it.  I knew that the Zetter group was no normal hotel group, but the townhouse was so unassuming, and so ‘un-hotel like’, I questioned google maps a few times before I found it.  And what a beautiful house it is; an elegant, warm red brick Georgian building with windows inviting you to have a peek in (though clearly I was too fixed on google maps to do so).

Walking into the ‘lobby’ is also not like walking into a hotel.  Instead, it feels like you’re walking into someone’s (grand) home.  It’s more a cosy living room than anything else, with dark red walls covered in art, big comfy sofas, quirky antiques, old framed photographs and an elegant grand father clock.  It was apparently modelled on John Soane’s house, and there is a clear resemblance. ‘Uncle Seymour’ hangs proudly above the fireplace – and it is this fictional character which the hotel is based on.  Marylebone’s new Zetter Townhouse is effectively ‘borrowed’ from Uncle Seymour while he’s on his travels.  We are his guests, lest we forget it.

Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

The place is proudly British, with eccentric touches.  I loved all the small details, the beautifully hand painted lift doors (the peacock lift is my favourite), the rugs on the bed which once kept the royal horses warm and delicious REN bath products.

There are only 22 rooms (starting at around £250 per night), and each room is very different.  Some have huge stately four poster beds, others have gramophones, and the Edward Lear suite has an outdoor tub (to be honest, all the rooms have very impressive baths).

Zetter Townhouse, MaryleboneZetter Townhouse, MaryleboneZetter Townhouse, Marylebone

Seymour’s Parlour cocktail lounge (i.e the red room I described initially) is open for breakfast (popular with non-residing guests too) until late.  And the cocktails are as punchy as they are at the Zetter in Clerkenwell (I highly recommend the Valais Fizz, with Arquebuse Vodka, Lime, Fir Essence & soda).  You can also grab a bite to eat here, with small sharing plates and ‘Seymour’s famous potted pleasures’ like the potted shrimp.

I loved the feel of the place, and can imagine that those people who dislike the larger, less personal chain hotels which London has so many of, would absolutely love this quirky but loveable Zetter Townhouse.  And while it may lack the facilities (no gym/spa/proper restaurant as such), it massively makes up for it in style and character.

And if you need somewhere to go post cocktails here, you’re round the corner from my favourite Seymour Place, with the new Lurra restaurant with Basque grilled tapas, or the Southern American Lockhart with the new Showdown cocktail bar below, or even the new Italian Bernardi’s on the corner.

The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone has also just been crowned ‘City Hotel of the year’ by the Sunday Times, which they can certainly be proud of.  Most definitely worth a visit!

Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

28-30 Seymour Street,

London W1H 7JB

Blog, Do, Drink, Eat, London

Clerkenwell London

October 3, 2015
155 Bar & Kitchen, Clerkenwell

When About Time invited me to a Cocktail Masterclass blogger evening at the newly re-opened and stunningly renovated 155 Bar & Kitchen, (part of the stunning Clerkenwell London) I accepted immediately.

Clerkenwell London is a design junkie’s dream, and they describe themselves as ‘a new destination for the discovery of niche and established designers, creatives and artisans’.  Angelica from About Time gave us the grand tour around this huge 13,000 sqft space, with every room showcasing something different: from women’s fashion to home-ware, from jewellery to art.  Every room has an individual theme, and I loved every one of them.  They even have a spa, which they were still working on when I was there, but which as now finished.

Clerkenwell LondonClerkenwell LondonClerkenwell LondonClerkenwell London

Apart from being a boutique, there are plenty of rooms to lounge in, with comfortable sofas and arm chairs covered in sheepskin rugs and where you could easily sit all evening sipping divine cocktails.  Downstairs they also have a very tempting wine bar.  The style of a number of these rooms reminded me a bit of the interiors in one of my favourite films ‘A Single Man’, set in 1960s California.

Clerkenwell LondonClerkenwell London

We were here for the cocktails, and on our arrival we given a ‘Lavender Refresher’ (Gin, cranberry juice, lemon and lavender) in a beautiful copper mug, which certainly set the scene for the evening.  The ‘Buffalo Berry’ was next, which was Buffalo Trace, lemon, strawberry jam, lemon and basil leaves, served in a jam jar.  I won’t take you through all the cocktails we tried, but there were quite a few, and we finished with a ‘Pinkster Bakewell tart’ which was so good it was like drinking a desert (Pinkster gin, Raspberry liqueur, Amaretto, apple juice and almond cream floated on top).   I’ve gone a little off cocktails recently, opting either for red wine or vodka and soda, but these cocktails were phenomenal – refreshing and unique, and I happily drank all six of them.  It helped that the bar was so beautiful, and that the bloggers were so lovely.

Clerkenwell London

But apart from furniture, fashion and cocktails, there is also the food aspect: 155 Bar & Kitchen.  And while we did not have a full sit down dinner, the canapés were fantastic and I’ve since heard great things about the food.  The restaurant is as stylish as the rest of Clerkenwell London, with a Scandi minimalist feel to it.  Perfect for a date night, though brunch it meant to be wonderful too.

155 Bar & Kitchen, Clerkenwell155 Bar & Kitchen, Clerkenwell

Clerkenwell London really impressed me, and going there was an experience I would recommend to all.  I loved the feel to the place, the people and the interiors.  The concept of going to one beautiful place to indulge in some shopping (they truly sell some stunning things, as well as clothes which I wish I could afford), drinking and eating is brilliant, and I’m sure this will be a huge success.

Clerkenwell London

Clerkenwell London

155 Farringdon Road

Blog, Drink, Eat, London

Molé Taco Bar, Marylebone

September 20, 2015
Mole Taco Bar

Avocados: are they the most popular superfood of our time?  It’s certainly the most instagrammed food (I know, I’m guilty too). Though some instagram post are actually very cute (see below).


Guacamole is – in my opinion – avocado at its best.  I love the sharpness of the lemon (or lime?), the heat of the chilli, the freshness of the coriander.  Those ingredients mixed in with creamy avocado and that’s one hell of a dip.

So when I heard a Taco Bar carrying the name Molé had just opened, I had to go check it out.  Plus, it’s in Marylebone, which I love.  Ideal to couple with a few pre-drinks at Matt Whiley’s new Showdown cocktail bar under the Lockhart (10 minute walk away).

It’s hard to miss the theme.  You’ll find Frida Kahlo and day of the dead sugar skulls painted on the walls, bright coloured chairs, tequila a big presence at the bar.  And you may well find yourself practically sitting on your neighbours lap, Soho-style.  So it’s perhaps not my interior of choice, but hey, it fits with the food.  Which is excellent by the way.  And we tried quite a lot on the menu.

Mole Taco Bar, MaryleboneMole Taco Bar, MaryleboneMole Taco Bar, Marylebone

To start we had the guacamole with nachos (obviously).  Then the baby squid, black ash salt and Serrano cream.  From the Raw Bar we opted for the black ceviche mixto, octopus, sea bass, mussels and avocado – purely because neither of us had had black ceviche before (it was interesting, but not better than the usual sea bass ceviche).  From the taco menu I went for the Chipotle beef shortrib with sweet potato hay, radish, jalapeno, and Logan for the Baja fish taco, as our waiter recommended it.   The fish taco was surprisingly excellent, and I could eat my shortrib taco for days on end and not tire of it.  We both loved the squid too.

Mole Taco Bar, Marylebone

And the guac? Final verdict was that it was actually a little too bland for our liking, I liked the texture but it missed a bit more oomph.

Drinks wise, apparently they have offer some amazing cocktails, so it worth just coming in for a drink at the bar and a small plate (and I must say I like the sound of the Guava Pisco Sour).  But as I’m trying to cut down on my sugar intake (close to impossible as a greedy blogger), and actually much prefer wine, we opted for a bottle of their house red.  Which, at £19, was very drinkable.

Mole Taco Bar, Marylebone

And the beauty of this place is that our bill came to £30 per person.  That’s rare in Marylebone.  Plus the food is light enough for you not to want to roll home in a food coma, so we actually continued our night by having more wine at Foxcroft and Ginger (need to go here for brunch, the menu looks so good) and then Imli Street for more.  Needless to say, the next morning was a little blurry, but it was utterly worth it.

Molé Taco Bar

16 Picton Place

London W1U 1BP

020 7486 1995 – yes you can book a table

Photos their own

Blog, Drink, London

Showdown, Marylebone

September 12, 2015
Showdown, Marylebone

The Lockhart, much loved for its food from the Deep South, has a new partner in crime in the basement.

Showdown, the new cocktail bar by Matt Whiley (of Peg + Patriot fame) keeps in with the upstairs American theme, but with a modern twist.  Matt is known for his unique creations, and the cocktail list here is not short of them.  Divided into Long, Fancy Drinks, Sour, Shooters and Strong, as well as a ‘tap and bottle section’ (pre-mixed options) – the cocktail menu has something for everyone.  I was surprised to see the Singapore Sling cocktail come out of a tap (clearly one of the pre-mixed options), but they presented it beautifully, and it tasted good.  My long drink ‘Pick It Lick It’, made with Rittenhouse rye, pickled watermelon and house pecan soda, was delicious and not too sweet (I asked for the least sweet drink on the menu – always tricky in a cocktail bar).

Showdown, MaryleboneShowdown, Marylebone

The bar staff are charming and helpful, and the interiors are slick as can be expected from a Matt Whiley bar.

Location-wise it couldn’t be better.  Seymour Place seems to have it all: Vinoteca across the road, they’re opening what looks to be a stunning restaurant on the corner and Lurra (which Grace Dent very positively reviewed in this week’s Evening Standard Mag) is also a newbie here (and is the sister restaurant of Spanish tapas bar Donostia, also on Seymour Place).  So let’s just say, if you get hungry you won’t have a problem finding somewhere good to eat.  Besides, the bar snacks at Showdown are also excellent.  We ordered the deviled egg three times (£1 a pop, seriously moorish).

Showdown, Marylebone

The only thing it really lacks is people. As in guests.  We were one of six enjoying our drinks at 6:30 on a Friday evening.  I’m guessing that’s because it’s very new and also in the basement, which never helps.  But I know that with Matt Whiley’s name and skill, as well as the Lockhart’s reputation, this bar will soon be brimming with people.  So head here quickly if you’re looking for somewhere to have a peaceful drink.


22-24 Seymour Place

Photos Showdown’s own

Blog, Drink, Eat, London

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

August 15, 2015
Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

When the very tiny Shot Espresso opened a few years ago, on the cobbled pedestrian and rather lovely Jerdan Place, I had a feeling it was going to do well.  It is the project of friends of, as they say, ‘Italian, Australian and English extraction’, with especially the Italian extraction being most pronounced in their venture.  It is effectively an Italian Deli, Cafe and Aperitif bar all rolled into one, with some Aussie touches.  Every morning I walked passed I could smell their freshly ground coffee, and see tempting heaps of buttery croissants through their large window.  Every evening when I walked home, they went from offering coffee to offering Aperol Spritzes.  Or wine.

Shot Espresso, FUlham Broadway

So, I tried both.  Their coffee really is good.  And their friendly service adds to Shot’s charm.  One evening I also tried their Aperol Spritz.  And a glass of wine. And perhaps a few more of them.  And loved this local and characterful place just off the very busy and characterless Fulham Broadway (having said that, if you want cocktails then 510 Below is brilliant too).

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

Soon enough they cleverly put a few tables and chairs outside, and shortly the pavement was overflowing with post-work drinkers.  And best of all?  They offer Aperitivo.  Possibly the best deal ever.  If you pay an extra £3 for your first drink, you get to sample unlimited amounts of their homemade bites and selection of cheeses, hams and breads, plates of which are placed on the bar and which they keep topping up.  I don’t know anywhere in London where they are this generous.  No need for dinner, just come here for lots of drinks and delicious aperitivo and you’re sorted.

Shot Espresso, Fulham Broadway

Their well-deserved success meant that they procured another tiny joint, right opposite Shot – called Slice & Ice.  Offering, surprise surprise, homemade pizza (Roman-style) and ice cream.  Same sort of concept, same people, same overflowing pavement where on the busier Thursday and Friday nights the crowds from Shot and Ice & Slice simply merge together.

Ice & Slice, by Shot

Their newest venture is Bistro by Shot.  A larger, a little more formal cafe/bistro just off Parson’s Green.  I enjoyed my brunch here, but my preference will always be Shot Espresso.

Bistro by Shot, Parsons Green

For more Fulham ideas, check out Fulham Brunch places, St Clements and Hally’s & Little H.

Shot Espresso

11 Jerdan Pl

London SW6 1BE

Photos Shot Espresso’s own, or mine from Instagram.

Blog, Drink, London

Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

August 5, 2015
Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

I like places which serve excellent coffee by day, and then delicious cocktails by night.  A smart thing to do, especially in bustling Fitzrovia, when there are heaps of people around all day long.  Who need feeding and watering.

I suppose the concept isn’t dissimilar to the very lovely Bar Termini, though at Love Die Late they go through even greater efforts to transform the interiors of the place from ‘day’ to ‘night’.   As they say, they ‘physically’ transform themselves.  And they really do.

Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

I came here one Thursday evening, and clearly the ‘night’ theme was very much in swing.  Subdued lighting, coffee machine gone, cocktail shakers out.  Lots of overexcited girls shouting over their drinks.  Needless to say, despite the charming New York 1950s style interiors, we sat outside (there are a few tables on the pavement).  I love people watching in Fitzrovia anyway.

Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

Love Die Late, FitzroviaThe cocktail list isn’t too long but offers some interesting options.  Lucy went for the Epicolada with almond washed pineapple juice (a bit like a fancier Pina colada I suppose?), and I went for the Steeped in Blush (Raspberry infused gin, with honey cordial, lime and Angostura Bitter).  Both were refreshing and not too sweet.  Later we ordered some of their house wine and some rabbit food to nibble on.  All in all I liked the place, the service was very friendly and I still think the area around Oxford Street can do with more cocktails bars (though I do love the Cocktail Trading Co), so I’m happy about its location.

Love Die Late, FitzroviaLove Die Late, FitzroviaNow I need to go a Take 2 and head here for a day time coffee and a cake (they have some good gluten free options too), to check out the transformation into a ‘flirty and fun’ cafe.  And perhaps I’ll sit inside this time too.

Love Die Late, Fitzrovia

Love Die Late

114 Great Portland Street

London W1W 6PH

Blog, Drink, London

Wonderland Bar, Waterloo

July 16, 2015
Wonderland Bar, Waterloo

The Wonderland Bar is a fun and imaginative pop up bar in Waterloo’s Vaults which is up and running until the end of August.  Originally having opened as part of Alice in Wonderland Underground – an immersive theatre production – the production and the bar have both been a huge success.

Wonderland Bar, Waterloo

I attended the Press Launch of the bar two weeks ago and loved it.  It does feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, with cocktails (by Bourne and Hollingsworth) inspired by Alice’s adventures, huge neon flamingos and playing cards painted on the walls and a hedge maze.   If that’s not entertaining enough, you can play croquet with (plastic) flamingos.

Wonderland Bar, Waterloo

If you get hungry the very excellent Pieminster has a stall on the upper level, serving a delicious range of British pies with fantastical names, and offering you the chance to sit down and  enjoy the performances of the bar’s interactive actors.

Wonderland Bar, Waterloo

I highly recommend it for an after work drink, after which I’d walk to South bank and grab a burger at the Bleecker Street pop up and enjoy sunset views of the Thames and Westminster.

Wonderland Bar

The Vaults

Launcelot Street,

London, SE1 7AD

Blog, Drink, London

Nam Long Le Shaker, South Kensington

July 15, 2015
Nam Long, South kensington

A lot of Londoners, especially those who live south west, will have either heard of the Vietnamese Bar & Restaurant Nam Long, or been here.  And most people who’ve been here will have had their legendary  ‘Flaming Ferrari’, which is what they became famous for in the 90s.  A mixture of spirits (green chartreuse, Grand Marnier, dark rum and yellow chartreuse) which is set alight and drunk through a straw, it’s one that almost instantly turns you from sober to drunk, and is not one to have multiples of (I’ve seen people try, it’s not a pretty sight).  But it’s certainly the way to get a night started (or ended).

Nam Long, South kensington

So yes Nam Long, which opened the year I was born and has become a bit of an institution in the area, is known for its cocktails, and not just the Flaming Ferrari.  I loved their Frozen Strawberry Daquiris – and while £11 a pop is steep, it’s so huge it’s most definitely worth it.  Their Martinis were also really good – especially the Passionfruit one.  So while often these sorts of ‘institutions’ tend to rely on their names, Nam Long actually lives up to it.

Nam Long, South kensington

A few months ago they opened the ‘Opium Den’ in the basement which, with Indo-French decor and an impressive mosaic bar, is an upgrade from upstairs.  It’s a compact space, but with a polished, swankier vibe and tends to be where the party’s at.  Charming co-owner Chuong (who with his glamorous sister Dzuyen inherited Nam Long from their late father Thais) said that despite the small space, that’s where you’ll find the party animals at 2am, downing cocktails and dancing like crazy.

Nam Long, South kensington

Nam Long, South kensington

I’ll have to head back soon and see off the night here with a Flaming Ferrari myself. 

159 Old Brompton Road

Photos their own, apart from the Instagram photo.

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