Speakeasy-style Parisian cool in China Town, with cocktails at their most creative: that’ll be the Experimental Cocktail Club
With plenty of choices, finding the right place for a relaxed cocktail in central London can be a challenging task. The myriad of bars is overwhelming to say the least, which is when Experimental Cocktail Club turns into a handy option that you wouldn’t necessarily come across by accident.
This hidden gem located in the heart of Chinatown is hardly found by random visitors. Set over three floors, the ECC offers a cosy speakeasy-style bar that will take you back in time and away from the madness of the West End streets.
As the name suggests, cocktails are a serious business here. You will certainly not find a barman lining up Jäger shots, so the best advice is to leave the order to his creativity. Eggs will come out of the barman’s top hat and he will play around with shiny vintage glasses to create an opulent and unusually flavoured concoction.
The brick, reassuringly heavy crystal tumblers, and mirrored surfaces give it a special blend of hip and opulent.
This bar has all the mystique of London’s swathe of hidden bars, with their understated entrances _ in this case a battered door with peeling red and black paint. But inside it is a gem, run by a French team who already have award-winning bars in France.
Some drinks are served in an array of receptacles as well as crystal, including medicine bottles and test tubes. You can sample cheese and charcuterie to accompany your absinthe-based drink, or your £150 cocktail masterpiece. There is a laidback vibe that could kep you there all night.
The ECC and sister bar Joyeux Bordel must certainly be doing something right. The latter has been shortlisted as Best New Bar in Time Out London so if you want to see some serious mixology in action this is certainly the place to go. If you manage to find it that is.