“It’s 1946, London is being rebuilt after the Blitz. A group of scoundrels stumble across a disused Tube station used as an air raid shelter and start organising underground parties to try and rebuild the spirit of London.”
With the scene set, my partner-in-crime and I found ourselves in Cahoots a few nights ago, both of us in need of a midweek rescue.
We could have quite easily walked past the discreet entrance within Kingly Court (just off Carnaby Street) were it not for the scoundrels loitering outside who directed us down a flight of old wooden escalators (long banned following the King’s Cross fire of 1987).
Descending, we were greeted by the Station Master in the ticket hall before hopping on board an abandoned tube carriage… transformed into a swinging cocktail den decked out with little trinkets and vintage signage, offbeat lampshades, clocks ticking backwards and even the odd pile of sandbags left over from the Blitz!
(Photos of the interiors from Cahoots)
Packed to the rafters even at the late hour on a Tuesday night, the vibrant space was lively yet intimate, drawing a varied band of scallywags from couples sharing a moment in a private corner to raucous gatherings and old chums (like us) having a chinwag.
Settling down on the old TFL fabric sported by our cosy booth, we dove nose-deep into the morning papers chronicling an extensive roll of cocktails, apt for keeping spirits high.
Those in cahoots know that the Cahooch is a must, a home-made grog blending rum, Cointreau Noir, vermouth and bourbon. Served as a single shot, with beer or mixed with your cocktail of choice. Our’s was Don The Cahooch Comber – a sweet but zesty concoction marrying Cahooch with lime juice, pineapple, orgeat syrup and velvet falernum to lend a subtle hint of vanilla.
The Vera Lynn was also a delight, gin mixed with apple juice, peach puree, lime juice and soothing elderflower. Presented in a quirky ceramic mug paying homage to the great songstress herself!
As though we didn’t find the bar appealing enough already, we found out that they often invite a live band as well to keep guests swinging to jazzy tunes from the 40’s! Now that you’re in cahoots too with London’s most clandestine of cocktail lairs, perhaps we’ll see you there when stopping by for a tipple next time… But remember, mum’s the word.
Cahoots, 13 Kingly Court, London W1B 5PG