Since I visited one of New York’s original speakeasy bars located in the basement of 21 Club, I have been a huge fan of these clandestine venues. At the time, I had no idea about 21’s speakeasy history. I had decided to book a table there for me and my friends because of my love for classic movies such as Rear Window and Sweet Smell of Success: Do you remember Grace Kelly arriving at James Stewart’s apartment with dinner from 21?
Whilst at 21, it just so happened that I got talking to the woman who was working in the Ladies at the time and she suggested that I chat up one of the waiters and ask him to take me and my friends on a tour through the kitchen.
So needless to say, when I discovered that Evans & Peel Detective Agency had opened up in Earl’s Court, I was both excited and very curious. I’d already been to Barts and wondered how this new venue could be any different. Little did I know.
When you spot Evans & Peels’s door off the Earl’s Court Road, it seems very unassuming. You may even be forgiven for thinking that a Private Investigator may be lurking behind it.
As you descend down the stairs, you instantly sense a speakeasy vibe: wooden stairs that are leading you to … you’re not quite sure.
The reception area is set up as if a 1920s detective were out to lunch.
And still you have no idea where you’re actually supposed to go because there is no obvious doorway when you arrive. Of course, someone is on hand to show you through to the bar and when you step inside, you do feel like you’re taking a leap back in time.
I didn’t take any photos of the bar because first impressions do count and I’d rather not rob you of this one. It’s quite a treat.
The cocktails, which are my reason for wanting to return quite soon, were classic yet adventurous in their approach. If a cocktail needed orange juice, marmalade was added and if the potato vodka was in a martini then black pepper was added to bring out its flavour.
Between the bf and I, we tried quite a few cocktails on the list and our unanimous agreement is that the Sheer Fashion and the Auntie May’s Marmalade Bronx were our favourites. Both had substance, which you could enjoy with every sip thanks to the attention to detail with the ingredients. They were also gorgeous to drink.
The food on the menu are small plates, which I think are ideal accompaniments for cocktails. Between us, we tried the Smoked Salmon Slider …
The Pulled Pork Slider …
We also shared some potato wedges and sausages with relish.
As we were leaving, we learned that behind the bar were also a selection of infused vodkas. On the menu that night was a pink peppercorn infused vodka. Apparently, the guys behind the bar like to experiment with their drinks so each time you visit it might be worth asking about the specials for that night.
Clearly, I felt like running back inside to try a few more drinks but then I consoled myself to not have too much of a good thing in one night. Evans & Peel is only a walk away and I am beyond excited that a bar with true character and an exciting drinks list has landed nearby. I was also surprised to see that having only been open for over a week, the word had already got out and it already had a good buzz about it. I can’t wait to head back!