Experimental Cocktail Club
May 11, 2018
Seek and you shall find. In the murky heart of Chinatown, hidden behind an unmarked door, lies the Experimental Cocktail Club. The ECC is now a global operation, with a branch in New York as well as the trail-blazing Parisian original.
Spread over two floors of a once-elegant town-house, the space has a vaguely colonial feel: the design is opulent, faintly oriental and ever so slightly frayed at the edges.
A piano stands in the cosy upstairs bar and the low lighting adds to the romantic and ever so slightly clandestine atmosphere.
As the name suggests, the focus here is on inventive and dazzling drinks, though there are places in London better entitled to the ‘experimental’ tag. There’s a decent wine list too (the owners are French after all) and they stock a range of rare vintage gins and vermouths which will set you back a fair whack if you order them.
If you’re hungry, there are cheese boards and charcuterie plates available, though the food feels a bit secondary it’s the cocktails people come here for.
Some find the door policy a bit off-putting and the prices can be a bit stiff, but that’s understandable given the quality of what’s on offer, and while a reservation is helpful, it’s far from mandatory as there are always tables available for walk-ins (if you make it past the doorman) and the bar remains open into the small hours – just remember there’s a cover charge if you rock up after 11pm.