West London has a new drinking den by the name of Holy Bar.
But don’t worry, they serve a little more than communion wine.
You’ll find it nestled inside Holy Carrot, a vegan restaurant in Knightsbridge that’s part of a wellness centre – which, when you think about it, is exactly the kind of place you’d expect to find a den of debauchery to be hiding. Ducking off Sloane Street with its glass-fronted designer stores, you’ll head up some unmarked stairs, pass through a lobby, descend into Holy Carrot… then finally slip past the heavy velvet curtain into the bar.
No bigger than a living room, it’s a beautifully atmospheric space, with carmine red panelled walls lined with leather banquettes. Dotted in each corner are sleek marble tables, and a fireplace twinkling with candlelight casts a warm glow over the space. Tucked away at the back is the bar itself, where tenders are shaking up theatrical cocktails under a stained glass window. Basically, it’s a hidden East London date spot, conveniently plonked into an SW postcode.
Open up the black velvet pouch on your table, and you’ll find a deck of beautifully illustrated tarot cards. That’s the menu. Each archetypal character – The Devil, The Magician, The Lovers – has been translated into cocktail form. Free of refined sugars and artificial colours, they follow the restaurant’s all-natural ethos with a heavy lean on botanical ingredients, like The Magician which combines light and dark rum with ginger liqueur, Fernet Branca and homemade carob soda. There’s also some creative non-alcoholic concoctions too, like The Empress, marrying a homemade matcha soda with oat and agave. All hovering around the £10 mark, it’s an excellent place to have up your sleeve in a neighbourhood full of luxury hotels and restaurants.
Aside from the drinks, there’s also vegan bar snacks on offer (try the ‘fish’ and chips, crystal tempura-battered tofu wrapped in nori and served under a smoking glass cloche), or you can slip next door to the restaurant for an elegant vegan banquet.
Either way, a good night’s on the cards.
NOTE: Holy Bar is open Tues-Sat, 12-10pm – you can make a booking, and find out more, HERE.
Holy Bar | Holy Carrot, Urban Retreat, 2-4 Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 0LH
Images: Joakim Blockstrom
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