Ah, Bank. A place more often associated with “business” than “bars” – where the suits are as powerful as the magnificent architecture clustering Cornhill. I’ll shamelessly admit, not my first choice of location for a post-work tipple. Until now.
The Royal Exchange Building is hard to miss. It’s a grand, imposing Grade-1 listed affair that towers over the corner of Cornhill and Threadneedle Street – shouting distance from the tube (and all 3000 of its exits). But the Threadneedle Bar within the building feels like a well-kept secret. Tucked away on the second floor, with views over the magnificent Grand Café, it’s where you’ll find both cocktail and charcuterie crafted to perfection. Mixing the modern with traditional, there are new and vintage wines, spirits and Champagnes, as well as an extensive menu of perfectly poured cocktails.
I bravely trekked through the snow last week to sample Threadneedle Bar’s new smoky cocktail menu – a collection of unique blends infused with wood smoke and presented in their very own smoke chambers.
My first tipple – The White Lord – combined Tanqueray and Martini with smoke, lights and a preserved lemon garnish. The Negroni came twisted with Mezcal and served with a chilli. Whisky was infused with bacon, maple syrup and orange, and presented in its very own labelled bottle.
Much of the beauty of these drinks came in their presentation – a spectacle of individual, illuminated smoke chambers that opened to unleash a magical cloud of cocktail perfection. But this was a spectacle with substance, and delicious substance at that. Each drink held a robust flavour, totally unique character and unforgettable taste.
An oasis of calm in the middle of City chaos, I can think of nowhere better than the Threadneedle Bar for a six o’clocktail that’s all fur coat and knickers too. (I promise it’s worth the battle with Bank station’s exits…)
http://www.royalexchange-grandcafe.co.uk/ Royal Exchange, London EC3V 3LR