Looking for a swanky bar with an intimate setting to take out your date? Fancy a last drink after an evening at the theater or at the English National Opera to cap off the night?
St Martin’s Lane Hotel on said St Martin’s Lane houses a smart cocktail bar, aptly named Blind Spot. In true speakeasy manner, the bar is well and truly hidden from view. On entering the hotel you’ll be tempted to follow the lights and the music towards the hotel’s salon on your right or the restaurant on your left, while the door to Blind Spot is actually in the least assuming location of the foyer. Inside the lobby, walk straight towards the wall display of loose leaf tea ahead of you. On your right you’ll see a hand-shaped door handle. Look no further: that’s the entrance to the bar.
Once inside Blind Spot, appreciate the intimate feeling the low lighting of the sitting area provides. Your eyes will then be naturally drawn towards the golden rectangle at the end of the room: the bar station. You can either have a seat at one of the guests’ table or at the high table immediately in front of the bartenders. My preference goes to the latter. I love watching bartenders work.
The cocktail menu was really interesting and it was tough deciding which cocktails I’d drink. With the hype going lately about fat-washed cocktails I settled first for the Buttered Cinnamon Daiquiri. It was a very pleasant drink that reminisced me of apple pie, probably because of the cinnamon as there was no apple juice in the recipe.
For my second and last drink of the night I went to the bar and asked the bartender, Cleverson, for recommendations. At his suggestion I had an Occam’s Blazer. I stayed at the bar while Cleverson was preparing my drink. It’s not very often that bars have blazers on offer so it’s really nice to watch the preparation. After putting a blackberry and sugar cube inside a brandy glass and adding some warm cider cordial, Cleverson added the only spirit of the drink: a Balvenie Double Wood 12 YR. He then put the glass at an angle over a rocks glass, flamed the drink (hence the blazer appellation) and proceeded to roll the brandy glass so the drink would nicely warm while taking the blackberry and cordial flavours. He then poured the drink in a rocks glass et voilà! The cocktail was really tasty, a little on the liquory side. As both a tea and cocktail lover and on a cold March night, it was especially enjoyable to have a warm cocktail for once. I highly recommend it!
Sample playlist of the music playing on that Tuesday night: