Thirty Something London

Bar Review – Purl London, W1

“We should all go out for drinks next week, you know – away from the office” said a colleague. I knew straight away I would have the unenviable task of organising it.

“Purl London” I think immediately. Purl London is always my “go-to-bar” when I’m in a jam to organise a cool venue for a diverse crowd at short notice. The thing I love about Purl London is that it is a “speak-easy” with class oozing out of every pour without feeling too “wanky” (at lack of a better word). I send out the group email with a link back to their website and am happy to hear that nobody has been there before (knowing they’ll be impressed with the bar will also reflect on how impressed they are with me and my amazing ability to choose venues).

I decide to book everything online to be on the safe side even though there is always space for walk-in traffic. When booking for 8 or more people you will need to leave your credit card details as a cancellation or “no show” will incur a penalty of £10 per person.

Being a “speak-easy” it has that real New York, underground feel when you first arrive. With just a small sign out the front before walking down a steep set of steps Purl London could easily be teleported to downtown Manhattan without anybody blinking an eye lid.

So, to the decor and ambiance. Being in a group of 10 we were lucky enough to be given a private “archway” (which in my opinion is the best). We were able to all set within close proximity of each other whilst having a conversation and actually be able to hear one another. There are plenty of dark corners for couples and couch settings for smaller groups. With its dim lighting, antique furniture and open space, the atmosphere of Purl London is very relaxed and a real breath of fresh air compared to other “post-work speak-easies”.

One of the "archways" at Purl London

One of the “archways” at Purl London

I’m a “neat” rum fan myself. So I stay true to a double Gosling’s on the rocks, but the biggest draw card of Purl London are their quirky and  ambitious cocktails which the girls in the group went absolutely crazy for. The highlight was when one of the cocktails came out with a ginger-sprayed helium balloon attached after which our lovely waitress burst by lighting the string on fire. Needless to say the less sober ones in the group nearly pood their pants when the balloon suddenly burst. Do not fear if cocktails aren’t your thing (or if you’re quite manly like myself) as there are plenty of exotic beers, wines and spirits for you to choose from.

The Purl London signature cocktail menu. Courtesy of @purllondon.

The Purl London signature cocktail menu. Courtesy of @purllondon.

So, after a very successful and social evening, praise was lavished upon me throughout the night carrying over to the next day via email, so that if you are looking for a great last minute bar to take people you needn’t look any further.

Atmosphere 5
Staff 5
Value 4
Style 5
Originality 5
Overall rating: 96%



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