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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Bathhouse, City

Ever since a sadistic, hirsute, Egyptian brute masquerading as a masseur slapped me around a Cairo hamam like I was pizza dough, I’ve body-swerved Turkish baths. Lurking down a City alleyway is The Bathhouse, an exquisite example of the genre I’ll happily dip into, however. The exquisite onion-domed Victorian building, clad throughout in Ottoman and Byzantine tiles, has been converted into a bijou bar-cum-boĆ®te that pulls a cool crowd for its steamy lates. Housed in a gilded birdcage, DJs from hip hops such as Horse Meat Disco and Superfreq spin four on the floor beats at Friday orgy, Caligula, while the Rock-A-Billy Rebels’ shenanigans shake the room on Saturdays. My week ends at Sunday’s Boom Boom Club where 1950s-style bumpy-grindy burlesque, racy cabaret and similarly orchidaceous capers rule. As improbably named sauce pots - Miss Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Vicky Butterfly and Fanny Chance - do things that would blow your granddad’s wig off, we get rinsed on English Rose cocktails - a fruity-floral gin and pomegranate cup. Wines start at £15 and a cutesy candlelit dining room serves pizzas and fish and chips in the early evening. The masonic temple at Andaz aside, is this the Square Mile’s most exotic joint? Take the plunge and see for yourself!

The Bathhouse, 7-8 Bishopsgate Churchyard EC2 7920 9207