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Friday, 2 December 2011

Archer Street, Soho

One visit is usually all I need to rate a new bar Snog, Marry or Avoid. Thanks to universally improving standards, in 2011, I’ve done more snogging than TOWIE’s Mark Wright. Marry? I’m polygamous, currently happily shacked up with ZTH, The Gilbert Scott and Happiness Forgets. Avoid? Well, a gentleman doesn’t spill. Oh, very well - The Piccadilly Institute was a bit of a munter. What to make of Archer Street, tired old gay hole Barcode’s replacement as envisaged by the owners of the O Bar on Wardour Street? Hmm. I’m like The Bachelor’s Gavin Henson - albeit less buff but, hopefully, more articulate - unsure of my feelings towards this pretty little thing...even after three dates. Of its two lounges, I prefer the members club-y, après-ski-y basement; all cosy cubby-holes and jewel bright velvet stools at a capably tended butch bar whose Liverpudlian mixmaster in residence was happy to build us bespoke drinks on my chosen theme - Laphroaig - one evening. From the bar's usual menu, top ‘tails, chilli and passion fruit martini and Bulleit in the Afternoon (Bourbon, pomegranate juice, Lapsang Souchong syrup and cucumber), are well snoggable, even at £10.50. The street-level lounge, where champagne (Billecart-Salmon’s range) starts at a giddy £14, is sophisticated in a neo-Georgian Guildford gated complex townhouse way. Although I’ve yet to witness such a spectacle, I hear theatrical staff occasionally go all Broadway tunes and jazz hands. Eureka! Archer Street feels like somewhere John Barrowman might appear - the shiny-smiley hoofer is a deffo double-avoid in my book. I'll ring ahead to check he's not in the house ahead of date number 4.
3-4 Archer Street W1 7734 3342 www.archerstreet.co.uk