Formerly bedroom suites, this jazzy lounge is the most recent of three bars at architect Lewis Cubbitt’s 1850s Italianate railway hotel, now lavishly refurbished and at the heart of buzzy, born-again King’s Cross. All coal black walls, honey and treacle-tone woods, flame blue upholstery and funky glass chandeliers, the dramatic chambers’ focal point is a zinc à la parisienne.
Elegantly presented vodka and gin martinis are to the fore: our Drumshanbo Irish Gunpowder Tea gin job, served near naked, a sexy new dalliance. Elsewhere, the umami appeal of a twisted Hanky Panky in which Hungarian herbal, Zwack, replaces the expected Fernet Branca - and the chilli and cumin kick of smoky mezcal and Tequila old-fashioned, Anticuado, are further testimony to competent mixology. From a limited menu of snacks that includes sustainable oscietra caviar with blinis, crab and saffron arancini dipped in a basil mayonnaise are less engaging, while jangly acoustics and rigid, cumbersome high stools mar an otherwise pleasant evening.