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Party-venue entrepreneur Charlie Gilkes' original shoebox-sized speakeasy is as much fun as you’ll find around South Ken. Locate the door, trust that you pass scrutiny from ‘Uncle Bart’s’ henchman at the peephole, then head for the action. Inside, the theme is 1920s Chicago mobster chic (a dressing-up box is provided) and the vibe suggests a ski-chalet shindig in a setting of vintage clocks and kitsch memorabilia. Sharing drinks with names such as Purple Prohibition and Al Capone (Pampero Blanco rum, mango, passion fruit and grenadine) arrive in coffee pots, teacups, gramophones and top hats. Otherwise, go it alone with, say, Pink Flapper or Charleston Crumble (Russian Standard vodka, rhubarb, pomegranate and vanilla). Bar food comes courtesy of local Sushi des Artistes, so expect trendy oriental bites including grilled shrimp skewers, pulled pork buns, jenga-jenga chips and suchlike.
Although Brooklyn-styled speakeasies are not new to London, Barts is a good example of one with a quirky take on the prohibition era. The newly redecorated bar is based on the liquor-den of a fictitious Englishman, Uncle Bart, and is complete with chintzy accents, twisted taxidermy and antique furnishings. Apart from the madcap setting, the cocktail menus (hidden in novels around the bar) make for captivating reading with all of the unusual ingredients.Expect smoked salmon infused tipples, balsamic vinegar permutations and essence of tobacco. The Perique Tobacco used at Barts is hand-picked by artisans in...
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