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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

64 Degrees Bar, Pimlico

Seemingly forever stuck in 1962, Wilton Street fixture Le Monde menswear boutique (pictured below) - with its jaunty Jamaican rudeboy hats, and knits last seen on Val Doonican - embodies Pimlico's eccentricity. It belongs in spirit to a London that's now largely vanished, much to my chagrin. If you haven't seen Ealing Studios' classic screwball post-War comedy, in which its kooky residents break away from the UK and declare themselves part of Burgundy, download Passport To Pimlico immediately. The film's title appears on the cocktail list at the nonconformist faubourg's newest drinking den, a warm, cosy, brick cellar hung with Warhol, Basquiat and Banksy-ness. You'll find it downstairs at 64 Degrees, the restaurant at quirky boutique hotel Artist Residence. It's the first London venture for a suitably oddball couple whose similarly whimsical postmodern Penzance hotel featured on cult TV bitchfest Four In A Bed - losing out to two clenched queens whose naff-looking Blackpool Bed and Breakfast had been voted the world's 5th best (by guests who had visited no more than five others, I like to imagine) Whilst time-warpy Pimlico ticks many boxes, its boring bar scene is also resolutely stuck in the past. So anywhere that punts Bourbon praline sour; gin, Tokaji and Aperol 'negroni'; tequila, mezcal, beetroot, cayenne and carrot fix, Acapulco (£10) and the aforementioned Passport (a gin, Syrah and forest fruit sour), should pull in the Pimlico punters. There again, as the locals are just as likely to be stopping indoors, happy at home, necking Blue Nun and Babycham, watching Dixon of Dock Green and Juke Box Jury on black and white television sets hired for half a crown a week at Radio Rentals, or eating powdered egg and snook and listening to The Goon Show on the wireless - good luck with that guys!
Artist Residence, 52 Cambridge Street SW1V 4QQ 7828 6684