The posh and plush bar crawl

I like cocktails. I also like expensive things I can’t afford. The joy therefore to spend a considerable amount of time in a classy establishment surrounded by bartenders mixing Bellinis and Bloody Mary’s knows no boundaries. Where am I going with this?

Actually to Bob Bob Ricard and Quo Vadis.

Bob Bob Ricard has been a favourite of mine ever since Miss E and I walked in from the dubious streets of Soho and found ourselves admiring a decadent dining venue, straight from the Orient Express. Intimate booths, Japonais wallpapers and waiters in pink waistcoasts – not to mention the “push for Champagne” buttons, were small details that we approved of.

At the beginning of the week I received a charming proposal to meet at Bob Bob Ricard for a drink, and since I already knew the excellent quality of the Rhubarb G&T I left in a hurry. The Anglo-Russian restaurant has a great menu, described as “posh comfort food”, however this time the only dinner we enjoyed was a liquid one.

I decided to step out of my cocktail comfort zone and ordered a Berry and Almond Martini. Bursting of strawberry and raspberry flavour and a hint of Amaretto, this was a fruity heavy-weight drink, which was rather excellent as there was no chugging (not that yours truly ever chugs) involved. The Natalia Vodianova Clear Bloody Mary, named after the Russian supermodel, was also a strong contender on the cocktail menu. Fascinated by the transparent tomato juice and the delicious tabasco punch, this is a drink I’ll be coming back for.

As we chatted away, the owner, the charismatic Bob appeared and joined in on the conversation. Leonid Shutov (Bob’s real name) amused us with fascinating auction purchase stories and also revealed plans for a refurbishment in the downstair’s Bobby’s Bar. Not the one to miss a little tour of the restaurant I had a sneak peak of the private dining room and also didn’t dare to miss the fregate in the BBR bar. This mighty piece of boat art, was to much delight of my company.

Our plans to have just one drink failed miserably as we moved downstairs and enjoyed a glass of 2000 Pol Roger – served in crystal glasses. It’s the attention to detail which makes Bob Bob Ricard frankly one of London’s best.

Moving on then to Quo Vadis, I was initiated into the Aviation association. This does not mean signing up for the Mile High Club, it’s an unspoken group for the aficionados of the classic drink Aviation. Gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and crème de violette make up the drink, which sometimes looks as (according to my companion) the grey London sky. Very Big Smoke poetic.

The upstairs member’s bar at QV is a lovely affair with weird art and live piano music forming a pleasant backdrop to the sophisticated lounge area. Since I’m not a member this isn’t an establishment I will be visiting frequently (however much I wish to sit on the plush sofas, conjuring up my latest blog post), but if I ever get an invite, I’ll be there in a jiffy. Prices aren’t extortionate and with Life on Mars playing in the background I could certainly while away a couple of hours – Aviation(s) in hand of course.

Quo Vadis is Latin for “where are you going” and I think you know where I’ll be at for a drink or two.


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