'The new vinegar cocktails were surprisingly good'


Open Sun–Tue 6pm–midnight; Wed–Sat 6pm–1am

The style & the crowd:

Having finally found Barts, a secret ‘speakeasy’ bar hidden in the belly of an apartment block on Sloane Avenue, we rung the bell and were greeted through a hatch before being let in to the tiny venue. The mismatched, dimly lit room could not be more different to the building that houses it. The walls and surfaces are packed with kitsch signs and trinkets with Barts winning a nomination at the Theme design awards. It wasn’t busy at the time of our visit, but to be fair it was 6pm on a Tuesday evening. We didn’t mind because the music was great (Madonna and other ’80s classics) and the bar kids were friendly and engaging.

The drinks:

The new vinegar cocktails were surprisingly good. The balsamic vinegar was subtle, but gave the drinks a significant sweetness. The first, sweeter drink played on that but in my opinion made it too sickly, and it had more of the vinegar’s tang. The second one which was a play on an Old Fashioned worked well – the apple and the vinegar paired with the whiskey very nicely (surely if they call it an Old Fashioned it has whisky in it, but now I can’t remember if they were just being ridiculous and also used different liquor, but it was probably whisky). I think in the line of the experimental cocktails, these were clever and enjoyable, more drinkable than some other new trends (for example smoked drinks, what’s up with that?!) Also, the apple garnish was delicious and we gobbled it all up most inelegantly.

Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Ave, London, SW3; www.barts-london.com; 020 7581 3355

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