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To be sure of a seat in the cellar of this iconic single-malt emporium, you must book ahead. Head past the ground-floor bar, through a bookcase that doubles as a swing door and downstairs to a swinging scene overseen by Chester – The Vault's resident Jack Russell terrier. The scene reminds us of a sepia-toned bothy straight out of the celebrated 1940s Ealing comedy Whisky Galore! – Soho types fond of a drop of the hard stuff are in for a treat here. ‘Uisge beathe’ cocktails on show include Prologue & Epilogue (a Boulevardier manqué made with Springbank 10-year-old, fino sherry and Campari) – just one of a range of Old Fashioneds, and Manhattans that involve Scotland's finest. Other fixes go global with ryes and whiskies from India and Japan. If we are to be buried in a vault for all eternity, let it be Milroy's!
What's this at the end of the room? Since when do bookshelves have door handles? Assuming it's not already open (which "secret entrances" so often are), give it a push, and make your way down to The Vault, a sexy subterranean "speakeasy" from Martyn "Simo" Simpson (previously at Coal Vaults).It gets busy down there, so I would pop your head in early to make yourselves known, before going back upstairs for a dram or two. Once you are in though, try and get yourself a seat at the bar, it's always more fun. £9.50 boozy cocktails are not too pricey given the location and the atmosphere...
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