Reviewed by Lisa Lambert
I can see now why they say Barts Cocktail Bar is London’s best kept secret, unless you know of the bar you would have no idea it was there, it is just a black door in the back of a hotel.
We did quite a lot of research before going to London and into the places we would visit and when looking into Barts the cocktail menu looked amazing and there was so much choice no one would be without a drink they liked. We thought the costs of the cocktails reasonable for the area of London there are some that are expensive but you can certainly have a drink and not pay through the earth for it. A glass was around £11 – £13, teapots for 2-4 people £55 (there full menu and believe me its long, is available online so you can see for yourself).
We were sent a reservation e-mail which I thought was brilliant and followed on from the theme that the website sets and I just loved it. You are given all the details you need and a password to get in on the night which totally got me intrigued and made me more excited to go. Our table was booked for 10pm and we were advised on the booking confirmation we would need to vacate by 12pm which for me seemed more than reasonable and plenty of time for you to have a few different cocktails. Also to make more of the two hours they offer a great service that you can pre-order the first drinks for you party before you go and they will have them ready for you on arrival time which I think is brilliant idea especially if there is a few of you it can take a bit of time making lots of cocktails from fresh. We didn’t do this as we wanted to see what the service was like on the night.
Barts is located on Sloane Avenue in London and you have to go through the Chelsea Cloisters Hotel reception area and there is a black door just situated at the back on the left hand side. As their invitation stated there would be a man on the door and he took our names and we waited a minute for our table to be ready. Greg (manager) did the meet and greet and sat us at our table and the waitress came along with the menu for us to decide on our drinks. The menus are great they are stuck in the front of some really old reading books which all added to theme and character of the place.
The place overall is quite small and intimate but they played great music and I could have quite happily tucked myself in a corner and people watched all evening. The waitress gave us a few moments to decide then came back and we ordered our drinks. I had The Real Truth (Russian Standard Platinum vodka, camomile and mint syrup, apple juice, lemon and sugar, £13). My partner had a Raspberry Mojito, £11. They only had the traditional Mojito on the menu but we asked and they said yes of course no issue. The cocktail waiters looked really professional and I am confident with the range on the menu they could make you anything you asked for.
The drinks arrived really quickly, we weren’t kept waiting very long which was good as it was quite warm and we need a nice cold drink. Well they didn’t disappoint, mine was so yummy it was like drinking apple juice I could of easy sat and drunk a few of those without realising they were alcoholic until I stood and tried to walk.
We ordered a second drink, I had the Charleston Crumble (Russian Standard Original vodka, rhubarb, pomegranate and vanilla, £11) and my partner had the same (he is quite partial to a raspberry mojito especially well made ones).
Again service was quick and the waitresses were very friendly, they made sure peoples drinks were always topped up.
You don’t have to book a table but the bar can get quite busy so if you want to take a seat and enjoy your cocktails I would recommend pre-booking.
As we sat people watching and taking in the atmosphere I loved watching staff open the hatch every time and check who was behind the door, just as described on the website it was great to see that what they say on the website is what actually takes place and that the theme is true and follows through the whole of your visit.
The music was good, not to loud but loud enough you could have a conversation of your own and not hear other peoples, we also saw people making use of the dressing up box although we didn’t take part, it was good to see other enjoying themselves and having fun with it.
There was a table of gents next to us who upon our arrival were enjoying The Mad Hatter Cocktail (Top Hat serves 4-6, £90.00; Russian Standard vodka, spiced berries and apple, topped with prosecco) and it looked pretty impressive and I could imagine myself and the girls sat enjoying one of those quite easily.
Had we not been so tired after a long day in London we would have stayed and sampled a few more cocktails but we were shattered and I would say this is a bar that you want to go to and have fun and enjoy yourself for sure.
Overall a great little place, I would certainly go again but make sure I wasn’t as tired and had time to stay and enjoy the cocktail menu more. Would certainly add it to your list of places to visit if in that neck of the woods when visiting London.
For more information visit www.barts-london.com.
Barts. Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, London, SW3 3DW | 020 7581 3355