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Shaftesbury Avenue is not blessed with interesting bars, but this place more than fills a void. Café Monico is Soho House’s reinterpretation of the legendary 1870s establishment of the same name, which was located nearby. Bartenders, smart in their cream tuxes, knock up retro rinses that mirror the venue’s pre-War continental café pose: Battista Sour (with gin and green Chartreuse, £9); and the house Cobbler made with Hendrick’s gin, Dubonnet and RinQuinQuin (a French peach liqueur). Similarly authentic, French and Italian classics include Americano, peach Bellini, Cynar Negroni, Garibaldi (Campari and ‘fluffy’ orange juice), Byrrh, Picon, limoncello and that Marmite of the drinks cabinet, Fernet (Branca and Menta). However, given the bitterness of the (Origin) coffee served here, we aren’t minded to order the Espresso Martini. To eat, pick at a mixed salumi platter (£12) or order croques, pan-bagnat sandwiches or roast beef baguettes.
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