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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Purl, Marylebone

Lacking kerb appeal, basement bars are tricky propositions. Launching one when everyone is outdoors, hoping to cut down on the Fake Bake bills, could prove suicidal. But that’s the risk three mixologist moles in a Marylebone hole are taking with Purl - a reference to a Hogarthian tipple of boiled beer and gin, and nowt do to with knitting, since you ask. Formerly a Davy’s wine bar, Purl’s warren of vaults has been funkified with various Edwardiana and wacky contraptions that would baffle that bow-tied bore on Bargain Hunt. The vibe is pure Phileas Fogg and, ere long, my personal Passepartout’s eyes fog over, his faculties anaesthetised by three magnificent martinis. Housed in an ironic Around The World in 80 Days-style antiqued globe, a selection of homemade essences, bitters and syrups inform recherch√© quaffs such as Backwards Bellini - lavender bitters, prosecco and a pomegranite (sic) foam which, given mole # 1’s  Heston Blumenthal-ish mien, means the fruit is blow-torched into edbile rock candy, for all I know. I order Mr Hyde’s Fixer Upper -  a ‘devilish elixir’ of Zacapa 23 Guatemalan rum, orange bitters and a cola reduction served in a Victorian medicine bottle presented in a container that billows ‘smoke’. It’s pure theatre and the best doctored hooch Jekyll will find north of Hyde Park. Hopefully, the guys' gamble will pay off.  

 50 Blandford Street W1 7935 0835