Until now, there haven’t been many good places to get drinks in Westminster.
Well, there’s one.
But at that place you have to BYOB, and you honestly may not even realise you’re having a good time. Something that certainly won’t be a problem at the new hidden cocktail bar tucked underneath The Cinnamon Club.
Head inside the Grade-II listed Old Westminster Library where it’s housed, except where you’d usually head straight take a left down the stairs. Here you’ll find something quite contrasting from the rather grand, almost intimidating space above: a low-lit, 60s-style drinking den, boasting plush leather seating and gentle jazz overhead. It’s intimate and yet still manages to feel like you could lose yourself. Visit alone and you can sit up along the grey granite bar at the back and chat through the menu with the bar staff, otherwise pleated velvet curtains help break the rest of the space up into little nooks, allowing you and a possible date to hide away.
Running the bar is Robin Honhold, who was mixing the drinks at Dandelyan when it was awarded ‘World’s Best Bar’. In other words, he knows his way around a drinks shaker, demonstrated here by a list of delicious, spice-laced cocktails, which take their lead from the kitchen above. Options include their Club Bellini (blending ginger vodka, spiced rose & apricot puree, topped with bubbly); the Red Lady (rum, watermelon cordial & curaçao); and the classic Tom Collins (except here it’s made with a hit of fragrant lime leaf). All of the drinks are perfectly balanced and beautifully presented, making it almost impossible to stop at just one.
Of course, the convenience of having an award-winning Indian restaurant above the place means that the bar food is pretty decent too. Dishes being whipped down from the kitchen upstairs include tempura shrimps with curry leaf & chilli mayonnaise; chicken tikka & cheese naan; and a pizza-like paneer naanza, all of which seem perfectly designed to soak up the alcohol.
They could do with some of those around a few other places in Westminster, too.
NOTE: The Cinnamon Club’s basement bar is open now. You can find out more, and make a booking at their website right HERE.
The Cinnamon Club | The Old Westminster Library, Great Smith Street, Westminster, SW1P 3BU
Like that spice? Here are the best Indian restaurants in London…