Thursday, 20 February 2014
The Fable, Holborn. Rextail, Mayfair
(Park up at Rextail's bar)
If Simon Cowell did bars, I imagine they’d be like Drake and Morgan’s. As slickly styled and packaged as One Direction, their latest shiny pleasure-dome, a sister to City behemoths The Folly and The Drift, will doubtless have the X Factor for a too-cool-for-Tiger Tiger crowd. For them, £9 mouth-tingler Marys and skinny mojitos and the chance to snog Prince Charming - a rum bugger from a list of ‘fairytale’ cocktails. If that sounds like your bag, book a table at The Fable immediately.
No disrespect to D&M, who have clearly nailed a winning format, but it isn’t necessarily mine. This explains how after a record-quick in-out reccie, I find myself washing up at Rextail en route to plan B, one of my time-honoured fall-backs, The American Bar (at the Stafford, not The Savoy which I'm less keen on post-refit). On my 'to-do' list at number 45, or thereabouts, Rextail is Arkady Novikov’s Mayfair cantina for the kind of Saint Tropez tanned (as in, acquired there not from a SW3 pharmacy) Boxtoxy blondes whose blokes’ valet-parked wheels come with Monagasque or Dubai number plates. Like the Fable, Rextail isn't my natural habitat either. Pristine pair of Tod’s taupe suede loafers - tonight’s footwear - notwithstanding, I'm not exactly Mr Monte Carlo material. Martinis, however, are very much my bag, and Rextail's Sardinian head honcho Paolo Farris’s babies pass would pass muster on any Sunseker yacht moored in the marina at some South of France multi-millionaire's playground, I imagine. Try his a Knob Creek bourbon take on a classic hanky panky, or a Scared gin, lavender and sage martini - his off-menu bespoke suggestion that hits my G-spot. (That’s ‘G’ as in gin: even Dyno-Rod couldn’t hit the other one, in my case, these days). I'm told the high maintenance blondes are apparently big on Paolo's summer berry, cachaca, Chambord, and Chardonnay cooler, Brazilian garden - maybe because it sounds like something they’d have done at a spa? Will Rextail be my new regular midday perch? At £15 plus a pop for a Sipsmith Cherry Herring negroni? Negative. In Mayfair, even a liquid-only lunch calls for Syco-deep pockets.
(Fable's 'little touches - of which many!)
The Fable, 52 Holborn Viaduct EC1A 2FD www.thefablebar.co.uk
Rextail, 13 Albemarle Street W1S 4HJ www.rextail.co.uk