This, the urban myth has it, has long been one the best bars for cocktails in London. It might well be, but it’s hard to tell unless you have night vision like a owl – the lighting is turned down so low you’ll need to borrow a candle to read the drink list, let alone see your drink, and you may not even recognise your drinking companions across the table.
And then there’s the difficulty of getting in. Note though: It’s a members’ club much of the time, although the rest of us can book a table in the early evening for two hours maximum – as long as you book at least a day in advance, arrive before 9pm, and make the booking during their 'office hours' (10am-6pm Mon-Sat – and just hope you don't get their answering machine; it took them nearly 24 hours to return our booking call).
If you’re prepared to put up with all that ballyhoo, this is a great place for perfectly executed classic cocktails. We were impressed with our negroni, not least by our bartender enquiring about our preferences of gin and vermouth combinations. Be warned that the electricity saved on the lighting seems to be diverted to the fierce air-conditioning; jackets, or at least warm clothing, are a good idea.