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).
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).
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