Exciting news, ladies and gents. There’s a new watering hole in town and it’s been launched by none other than the globe-trotting explorer, Phileas Fogg Esq.
You may have heard of Fogg’s journey around the world in eighty days, it’s been well-chronicled by the renowned author Jules Verne. You may have even had the pleasure of traversing around the world yourself… in eighty cocktails, from the luxurious comfort of Fogg’s Mayfair residence (no? well, you can have a read of my adventures, here).
Anyways as the story goes, Fogg’s darling aunt, the actress Gertrude Fogg, recently passed away, leaving her estate to our friend Phileas, including a charming pied- à-terre on St Martin’s Lane, off Covent Garden… And as per her last wishes, Phileas has let the vivacious Fanny McGee, Gertrude’s lifelong housekeeper, convert the downstairs bit into a “tavern” for her friends, whilst maintaining the salon upstairs as an elegant gin parlour and salon, a leisurely spot for Phileas and his friends to retreat to!
As you can imagine, my interest was properly piqued when I received an invitation to a special preview, ahead of Mr. Fogg’s Tavern officially opening its doors on 19th October….
Our enchanting evening started out in the Victorian tavern downstairs, a lively and not-just-slightly eccentric space brimming over with all kinds of wondrous artefacts and oddities. As one would expect of a nineteenth century tavern, real ales, batch brews and grog are served up in tankards and pewter cups – perfect for washing down the hearty, wholesome fare on offer, from fish and pies to pot roast and salted, smoked and preserved meats…
But if more delicate gin-based cocktails whet your whistle, then my advice is to charm your way past Fanny McGee, to the elegant Gin Parlour and Salon discreetly tucked away upstairs.
We were seriously impressed by the extensive selection of gins, tons, botanicals and other concoctions that greeted us upon arrival in the Parlour, manned by Fogg’s trusted lieutenant and gin-oissseur.
Comfortably plonking ourselves down on a chaise lounge in the decorous Salon, we proceeded to marvel at Aunt Gertrude’s trinkets and mementos from her theatrical heydays, as well as the recent additions from Fogg’s trip around the world!
A journey back to the Victorian era would be incomplete without a sip of punch, and there’s also a potent medley of nineteenth-century inspired tipples, like Phileas’ frothy Elocution Solution – Tanqueray No. Ten gin shaken with green chartreuse liqueur, basil syrup, lemon and egg white!
It was a spirited evening that flew by, but not before we raised a toast to dear Aunt Gertie, without whom none of this would have been possible.
We can’t wait to revisit our old friend Phileas and new friends like Fanny McGee, at Fogg’s new place of merriment! As befitting the traditions of the time, we suspect we’ll also be partaking in the “Tipsy Tea” ritual over the weekend, which we’ve much enjoyed at Fogg’s Mayfair residence in the past…
Mr. Fogg’s Tavern, 58 St Martin’s Lane, Theatreland, London WC2N 4EA
I was a guest of Mr. Fogg’s Tavern but as always, I hog full credit for my opinions.
All photos of the interiors have also been provided by Fogg’s Tavern as I’m afraid that my iPhone wouldn’t have been able to these justice.