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Sunday, 28 February 2010

Goring, Victoria: Ghost, Farringdon

Throughout April, at 7pm nightly, The Goring’s dinner gong is struck by the hotel’s MD - a Biggins-esque fellow in bespoke suiting - signaling ‘Rhyme With Reason’ has begun. Guest readers recite poetry while we seize upon ace complimentary canapés and quaff £10 cocktails. Try a gin & It, the tipple that kept one ardent Goring fan, the late Queen Mum, well-lubricated beyond her centenary. The five star, family-run, Edwardian pile’s refurbished lounge, inspired by Napoléon Bonaparte’s grandiose château de Malmaison, boasts the comfiest divan in town - in the corner to the left of the roaring fire since you ask, but scram! It’s all mine! The works - anything from Betjeman to Beloc - are light-hearted and at under fifteen minutes long, this cultural interlude should not deter even those normally averse to verse. The designers of new DJ bar, Ghost Farringdon were inspired by the poetry of Shelley, Blake or some such Gothic soul by the look of it; Edgar Allan Poe perhaps, given the smudgy graffitied Fall of the House of Usher pose at this sprawling cellar, rescued from the House of Wetherspoon - as in JD of that ilk, the plebeian chain that previously ran it as the sepulchral Printworks. I admire Ghost’s bijou baroque’n’roll South Ken original, but this cavernous, echoey haunt will need to pull ‘em by the charabanc load if any vim is to be injected. A 24-hour licence should help and what with the demise of Turnmills, The End et al, the owners hope to revive the area’s reputation as party central with all-night shape-throwing, rock-aoke and burlesque. Cocktails, from £7, include Zombie, Devil’s Back and Porn Star; a limp vodka-based number with no real lead in its pencil. Ghost’s virile caipirinhas, at least, should grab you by the ghoulies.

The Goring, Beeston Pl, SW1 7396 9000

Ghost Farringdon, 113 -117 Farringdon Rd EC1 7278 2301