No, you haven’t stepped into the Transport Museum. This bar with its ‘TfL-inspired’ interior is at London’s Standard Hotel and it’s one of London’s coolest new hangouts. Maybe it’s because the hotel group carries its hip credentials with it from across the Pond (with outposts in New York, LA and Miami). There’s also music, talks and broadcasts reeling in a young crowd to its Austin Powers-esque lobby, and Double Standard is doing well out of it.
But it makes its own atmosphere, with a soundtrack that flits between The Cure and current smashes from the likes of Normani. Plus, staff dressed in an Ivy Park-style uniform worked the room like they were just hanging out. There weren’t enough of them, though – sitting at the bar looked best for American-style service direct from bartenders.
Americanisms continued on the menu, from spot-on, mustard-smothered mini hot dogs to big, greasy pretzels. Whitebait was more London, a great sharing option. Meanwhile, Brooklyn lager adorned the taps and cocktails came across seriously NYC – especially a very effective Pickle Martini. Other flavours were on the sweet side, from a prosecco-filled Pick & Fizz, saccharine with strawberry, to a Chocolate Stout Martini. Made from orange liqueur, stout and coffee, it was Terry’s Chocolate Orange meets Espresso Martini – and bound to be as big a hit as the bar’s pitchers of Aperol Spritz.
Prices were fair for the hotel world, cocktails ranging from £8 to £12. And as for that TfL look – well, it’s actually rather dapper, from mosaic-detail flooring to a natty, patterned bar and comfy upholstery. I know where I’d rather be during rush hour.