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The Holy Birds image

The Holy Birds

Best described as a posh Nando's with great cocktails and 1960s furnishings, The Holy Birds is officially billed as being "London's first poultry dining experience...", "serving up the best birds and finest cocktails." Opened in December 2016 by brothers Gerry and Jon Calabrese, with a 60 strong cocktail menu curated by their father, Salvatore Calabrese, the cocktail offering here spans the decades with the best-known cocktails from each era represented, and in our experience well-executed. Located close to Liverpool Street Station on Middlesex Street (better known as Petticoat Lane), The Holy Birds spans two floors with 60's Danish Modernist and mid-century furnishings and fittings hand-picked by the Calabrese Brothers. With lurid carpets and psychedelic patterns, this interior manages to avoid the risk of Del Boy meets Austin Powers to be both contemporary and homely - despite the vast scale of the place. Upstairs, The Holy Birds restaurant serves snacks, brunches, lunches and dinner from an open kitchen with locally sourced, free-range poultry the speciality, including everything from rotisserie half & whole chicken, duck and grouse to wood pigeon, char-grilled quail, pheasant and The Holy Bird chicken burger. The opposite side of the room is more lounge-like with a long corner bar serving cocktails. Downstairs, The Mule Bar cocktail lounge (open 6pm-late Thu, Fri and Sat) follows the same design cues. A state-of-the-art sound system also allows this space to morph from chilled lounge to out-and-out party cavern with guest DJs giving one-off performances. This basement space also houses two private rooms available for hire - the Negroni Room featuring a solid oak dining table seating up to 12 people overlooked by an art-deco lampshade, and the Manhattan Room, a celebration of the swinging '60s which can house up to 45 people for receptions and drinks parties.

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 Ladder Shed at Chiltern Firehouse image

Ladder Shed at Chiltern Firehouse

This hotel, restaurant, bar and cobbled garden courtyard are housed in a former Grade II listed gothic Victorian fire station on the eponymous upmarket Marylebone backstreet. Since opening in February 2014, Chiltern Firehouse has been a magnet to A-listers with paparazzi lurking by the discrete back door on Broadstone Place mews to snap those sneaking out in the early hours. There are three drinking spots at Chiltern, one adjacent to the swanky New York-style brasserie, the Aperitif Bar is accessible to all - well those who have booked a table at the restaurant anyway. As the name suggests this specialises in aperitif and aperitif cocktails with an impressive range of 40 different vermouths. A good bar has good loos and the ones at Chiltern, which lie in the basement beneath the restaurant, are particularly special. Within the loos mirrored doors marked 'cigarettes and men' in the ladies and 'women and wine' in the gents give access to the infamous smoking terrace, actually a bar for smokers decorated with Hogarth prints depicting acts of immorality. The third bar, the Ladder Shed is only accessible to a lucky few so predictably is our favourite. This is officially only open to residents and their guests, who are required to sign the black leather guest book. A gambling chip or playing card allows re-entry to this coveted area for those who leave to dine in the restaurant. So named due to being where firemen once stored their ladders, the Ladder Shed has something of an airy colonial feel with wicker chairs and banquette seating surrounding a pink marble bar counter which juts out into the first room and bashes through a framed opening in the wall to emerge in the larger room beyond. Both rooms are made warmer and cosier by flickering mahogany-panelled fireplaces. Indeed, a warm glow prevails - both from the atmospheric lighting and the faces of the stylish guests. White-jacketed staff expertly and stylishly prepare killer cocktails from a menu curated by beverage manager, Luis Simones and head bartender Davide Zanardo. All in all this is a very special bar and experience but remember it is only accessible to hotel guests. Get a room!

American Bar at The Savoy image

American Bar at The Savoy

Perhaps the most famous hotel in the world, The Savoy reopened in 2010 after a three-year, £100m+ refurbishment. While the rest of the hotel now sparkles with the polish of a Las Vegas casino, to the relief of bar aficionados the American Bar was merely given a lick of paint and a new carpet and looks practically unchanged from its last makeover. It claims to be the oldest surviving cocktail bar in England, having opened in 1893 in the original riverside part of the hotel, moving to this location in 1904. The black and white photos on the walls and in glass cases attest to the American Bar's place in history - not only was this Frank Sinatra's home from home when he was in the country, this was the home of world-renowned bartenders, from Ada Coleman and Harry Craddock, author of The Savoy Cocktail Book, published in 1930, to Joe Gilmore, Peter Dorelli and Erik Lorincz. On Monday 18th January 2016, the American Bar launched its latest menu. Called The London Menu, this takes guests on a journey around six of the London boroughs that surround The Savoy. From Westminster and the City, to Hackney, Tower Hamlets and from Islington to Camden, each of the six boroughs are represented by four cocktails inspired by famous buildings, parks and gardens to lesser known features of London. The menu includes head bartender, Erik Lorincz's take on the American Bar's longest surviving cocktail - the 'Green Park,' alongside creations such as the 'Abbey Road', inspired by the famous recording studio, and London's Olympic Park. Named after the last known London site for a duel, the 'Pickering Place' is a cocktail designed to be shared by two. Amusingly, the team at the Savoy have turned the story of Pickering Place into a short silent film, which visitors to the American Bar will be able to view when ordering the cocktails.

The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog image

The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog

One of the most praised and awarded bars in the world, The Dead Rabbit is headed up Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, the duo who rose to prominence a Belfast's Merchant Hotel Bar. Both settled New Yorkers, their bar's identity is inspired by another Irish immigrant, John Morrissey, a bare-knuckle fighter who led the Dead Rabbit gang in the mid-1800s in this area of New York. Their latest menu (vol.4) transports Morrissey, incarnated as the Rabbit "to the decaying New York City of the 1970s in all of its lawless grittiness." Set in a four story early 19th century redbrick building with exposed beams and vintage prints adorning the walls. The ground-floor Taproom offers craft beers (including excellent house cask conditioned ale), bottled punch and a large whiskey selection. Upstairs, The Parlor focuses on cocktails presented in an illustrated and highly collectible menu come book that Jack regularly updates. The cocktails become more intense as you progress through the pages of the menu. Hearing this you won't be surprised to hear that I started on the back page. Sustenance is offered as a daily lunch in The Taproom and small plates in The Parlor. The Taproom is a great spot for Sunday lunch if in the area. There's an O.C.D.-like attention to detail at The Dead Rabbit and if in NYC then this bar is a must visit. Start with a pint and an Irish whiskey from the impressive range in the Tap Room and be sure to grab a buzzer on your way in as this gives notice of your allotted slot in the legendary Parlor above. Allow at least three hours to experience The Dead Rabbit and be sure to sample the excellent food as well as the cocktails offered in The Parlor.

The Holy Birds image

The Holy Birds

Best described as a posh Nando's with great cocktails and 1960s furnishings, The Holy Birds is officially billed as being "London's first poultry dining experience...", "serving up the best birds and finest cocktails." Opened in December 2016 by brothers Gerry and Jon Calabrese, with a 60 strong cocktail menu curated by their father, Salvatore Calabrese, the cocktail offering here spans the decades with the best-known cocktails from each era represented, and in our experience well-executed. Located close to Liverpool Street Station on Middlesex Street (better known as Petticoat Lane), The Holy Birds spans two floors with 60's Danish Modernist and mid-century furnishings and fittings hand-picked by the Calabrese Brothers. With lurid carpets and psychedelic patterns, this interior manages to avoid the risk of Del Boy meets Austin Powers to be both contemporary and homely - despite the vast scale of the place. Upstairs, The Holy Birds restaurant serves snacks, brunches, lunches and dinner from an open kitchen with locally sourced, free-range poultry the speciality, including everything from rotisserie half & whole chicken, duck and grouse to wood pigeon, char-grilled quail, pheasant and The Holy Bird chicken burger. The opposite side of the room is more lounge-like with a long corner bar serving cocktails. Downstairs, The Mule Bar cocktail lounge (open 6pm-late Thu, Fri and Sat) follows the same design cues. A state-of-the-art sound system also allows this space to morph from chilled lounge to out-and-out party cavern with guest DJs giving one-off performances. This basement space also houses two private rooms available for hire - the Negroni Room featuring a solid oak dining table seating up to 12 people overlooked by an art-deco lampshade, and the Manhattan Room, a celebration of the swinging '60s which can house up to 45 people for receptions and drinks parties.

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