Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel
20 Sherwood Street, Soho, W1F 7ED
The celebrated Parisian-style Brasserie Zédel occupies a prime position on the very cusp of Soho and Piccadilly and is the go-to for authentic French cuisine in the heart of London.
A little exploration of this rambling building will take you downstairs and simultaneously transport you back to America and the glorious Roaring Twenties, courtesy of the impressive Bar Américain (in case you hadn’t guessed the theme of the bar from the subtle title …)
This place hearkens back to a bygone age of flappers, jazz and outrageous Art Deco interiors, in the most sophisticated of ways. The incredible backlit bar boasts every kind of spirit imaginable, whilst aeroplane wallpaper and velvet-upholstered seating create a truly sumptuous setting. Bar Américain oozes class from every pore, and this is nowhere better reflected than in its cocktail menu, which concentrates on making the most of classic ingredients and recipes. Expect Gimlets and Daquiris alongside a whole lotta vermouth … our favourite was the Zédel Sour, a twist on the traditional sour recipe using gin and sherry alongside the usual egg white and bitters.
020 7734 4888
East Poultry Avenue, Smithfield Market, EC1A 9LH
Last, but by no means least, we have Oriole – and you’d be forgiven for having sky-high expectations for this one. It’s the sister bar to none other than Nightjar, and after exploding onto the London cocktail scene in 2015, has proceeded to live up to the family name in high style.
Another unassuming entrance leads you down the stairwell into what can only be described as a sumptuous tropical paradise, with a jungle mural lining the walls and cabinets full of … well, tribal masks and stuff. It’s glorious, theatrical, completely enchanting – and that’s before you’ve even ordered your drink!
Expect the same level of detail and flamboyant presentation that you’d find at Nightjar (drink out of a leather pouch, anyone? Or perhaps a grasshopper garnish?), and again we’re pleased to report that there’s no compromise on taste in the pursuit of a good show. The menu is divided into New World, Old World and the Orient, in tandem with the bar’s explorational theme – the Skyefall is one to try, a pungent blend of 10 YO Talisker with birch spirit, espresso syrup and clarified octopus milk (yes, you read that right).
Entertainment-wise, there’s regular live jazz music á la Nightjar … but if you’re so inclined when you leave, Oriole is also just a stone’s throw from Fabric. Do with that what you will.
020 3457 8099