Friday, 6 January 2012
Flûte , Fitzrovia (August 2013 - LONDON COCKTAIL CLUB #3 launches here))
Austere times or not, in London's champagne bars, expensive French bubbles’ bubble shows no sign of bursting. But if posturing Parisian politicos continue goading les rosbifs, a mass boycott could be sarky Napoleon Sarko’s economic Waterloo. New Fitzrovia lounge Flute rides the bubbles bandwagon, offering numerous familiars - M and C, P-J and L-P and co - alongside less ubiquitous but good-to-find houses, many by the glass. Depending on your wallet, order Chartogne-Taillet (Switch), Deutz 2005 (Visa), or 2002 Bollinger old vines (at £1,000, your sugar daddy’s Amex). ‘Award-winning’ Flûte gaffs already exist in Manhattan and off les Champs-Elysées. No awards for Flûte London’s twin gaffes: flat decor and a less-than-sparkling soundtrack. New York? Paris? I’m getting (olde) York wine bar circa Bonnie Tyler’s Lost in France. Drinks industry high-flier date is unimpressed. Why call somewhere ‘Flûte’ then ruin pricy Ruinart blanc de blancs by serving it in cheap, flimsy flutes fit to hold nasty spumante at a tacky bridezilla's low-scoring reception on Sky Living’s Four Weddings? To eat, there’s caviar, ‘Helsinki spring rolls’ (huh?) and chocolate cake on a disparate list I'm not desperate to try. Flûte’s friendly French franchisee - a retired semi-pro tennis player with no previous form in running bars, we're told - reckons his insightful Polish barman can create a bespoke cocktail that will reflect my character. A sour? No: after some light probing, he rustles up what I will christen a Gdansk Harbour martini. Our itemised bill, however, describes his £12 fizzy bourbon and Grand Marnier-based brute as a ‘Lady Killer’. As in Jack Tweed or Jack the Ripper? Either way, fail!
4 Gt Portland St W1 www.flutebar.com