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|Address:||66-70 Brewer Street, London W1F 9UP|
|Tel:||020 3551 3240|
|Wine: £22.00||Champagne: £55.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-1am|
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As thesaurus.com doesn't recognise “louche” and thinks I am looking for either douche, lecher or sloucher I have to hand it to the previous reviewer that “louche” is absolutely the correct word For Mark's Bar at Hix and there is no alternative (although I think this is a perfect venue for both lechers and slouchers). I love this dark, divey atmosphere, surprisingly as usually I would feel uncomfortable in such a “cool” place but everyone is super friendly (probably because you have to bunk up on tables and if you're sat, like me, on one of the squashy sofas and your head appears to be nestling up to the bum of some poor girl on a bar stool behind then the only thing to do is smile and down another cocktail). The cocktail list is one of the more interesting and unusual ones, even for cocktail-loving London, but for me it's a failure of over-complication: every cocktail is constituted of so many ingredients, many of which are off beat or unknown with utterly unhelpful descriptions, that I find something which puts me off almost every one of them. Only one appealed (or rather didn't contain anything unappealing) but I did enjoy it: a refreshing sweet and sharp sherry cobbler served over plenty of ice. It takes an age for drinks to come, a fault no doubt of slow barmen dealing with convoluted combinations rather than the waitresses who seemed friendly and efficient enough to me (extra water came when asked and our orders were taken swiftly, twice, despite it being the busy Saturday 7/8pm slot). A key ingredient in getting a venue properly louche (and profitable?) is assisting patrons in throwing as much liquor down their throats as humanly possible in the shortest time available and in this I think Mark's Bar should heed the old KISS adage. Still, emerging from a dim basement into a light summer city evening makes me feel like a properly dirty boozehound so full marks anyway for seediness.