London can never have too many speakeasies. Fact.
As I’ve said in previous posts, discovering new speakeasies is my all-time favourite London activity. The more hidden the door and darker the interior, the happier I am.
I’d heard great things about Experimental Cocktail Club by other speakeasy enthusiasts and it was just a matter of time until I tried it out for myself.
First hurdle – finding the place. These locations are secret by definition, but let me tell you that Experimental Cocktail Club has taken this element very seriously. After a good while pacing up and down a busy China Town street with a very puzzled expression over my face, a quick Google and call to a friend, I landed outside a Chinese deli… I approached the uninterested looking guy stood typing on his phone and asked if he knew how I could find the cocktail bar’s entrance. Suddenly he whipped out a clipboard and the ‘uninterested guy on his phone turns’ into the doorman and leads me through a battered old door up into a buzzing lounge.
We got comfortable on our plush, velvet sofa and took in our rustic but charming candlelit surroundings before ordering a colourful cocktail from our waitress.
In every direction were groups of trendy young professionals, clinking their glasses and chatting away. It was strangely comforting to be in an environment filled with like-minded people; people who just wanted a relaxed evening, good cocktails and great company. That common ground made the setting seem almost like we were all friends – chats over the tables and the inevitable girly gossip in the ladies’ toilets.
We tried out as many cocktails as our livers and bank account would permit, and each was as, if not
more delicious as the last.
By midnight we were suitably caught up on each other’s, fairly tipsy and generally contended by the success of the night.
We were after a venue where we could catch up over a few Friday night cocktails and actually be able to talk and hear each other without having to scream or use an alcohol-infused variation of sign language. ECC was the perfect place for that; the music was upbeat but neutral and the doormen only let just enough people in so that most had seats and a few were mingling at the bar. No poised elbows or raising drinks over heads to avoid spillage necessary.
So thank you Experimental Cocktail Club – another speakeasy ticked off the list, and one which I whole heartedly intend to return to (especially now I know how to find the door!).