The enigmatic cocktail list at this Soho ‘speakeasy’ comes with a separate coded sheet in case you actually want to know what’s in your beverage. Otherwise, you can take a gamble and pick a tipple from the lyrical, lusty tale that’s used to sort-of describe each drink. I say crack the code – ie, match the letters – every time.
Disrepute is technically a member’s bar. Non-member walk-ins are accepted, although expect a degree of faffing and detail-taking on the door. I’d recommend booking, as you’ll probably find yourself in a luxurious booth or in a corner decorated with gold and turquoise couches. Our reservation-less experience was to be shunted down a less opulent passageway at the other end of the room where the atmosphere was lacking and the service was slow. The scandalous John Profumo and his hot date Christine Keeler might once have met on this very site – but you could hardly kick off a passionate tryst down this lacklustre end of the room. After commenting, staff said they’d be more than happy to move us, so kudos for that.
But I didn’t fancy carrying on with my cocktail much. A Babycham reduction made it particularly sweet, but it also had an unexpected lemony scent and acidic balance. My companion’s drink tasted and looked remarkably similar. And at around £12 a pop, they weren’t cheap. Disrepute is alright for a one night stand, but not for an affair to remember.