Talented Mr Fox

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Leicester Square
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Please note, Talented Mr Fox is now closed.

Mr Fox isn’t Mr Fox at all, he’s Mr Whiley: but he is talented. Matt W was a founder of two sites of special scientific interest in the cocktail community – Purl and then the Worship Street Whistling Shop, which both employ all sorts of fancy equipment in the making of mixed drinks. This ‘residency’ at a Leicester Square hotel is his first solo venture, and it’s just as high-tech as you’d expect.

Some of the cocktails are definitely for pioneering drinkers rather than traditionalists: the Bloody Mary (£16) is made with a bit of (clarified) pig’s blood and ‘black pudding distillate’; the White Ape (£11) has ‘sweetcorn and cornflake distillate’ and ginseng liqueur among its elements. Even the more ‘accessible’ concoctions are adventurous – anything with prune and wild fennel, or burnt butter cream soda, or even pistachio gin, is bound to be a bit more complex than a Cosmo. The invention doesn’t stop with the ingredients, either – the Urban Foxtail (£11) is served in a little wheelie bin. The drinks and techniques involved in making them are as exciting as you’ll see anywhere in London.

But it also has to be pointed out that the room is far from laboratory-sterile, with subtle grey walls, flattering lighting and some very comfortable seats. So even if you’d rather your drinks didn’t need a chemistry GCSE to understand, it’s a great place to know about even just for a glass of wine in an area of rammed pubs and garish tourist traps.

Reviewed by Euan Ferguson



Venue name: Talented Mr Fox
Address: One Leicester Street
Opening hours: Open 4pm-midnight Mon-Sat.
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

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Disappointing. Rude and incompetent management and exciting sounding but terrible tasting cocktails. Went here for a pre-booked birthday but management seemed to be incapable of managing the inflow, such that we were left waiting to be allowed in to the “over crowded” bar. The bar itself was very small and lacking in any sort of personality. The drinks menu looked very promising Unfortunately the cocktails failed in terms of taste. Avoid “A-Salt Rifle” – the taste you experience after a night of throwing up and all that is left is bile/stomach lining – but fizzy. Good word play though.

Yes the drinks are very tasty (dill garnish on the Earl of Sandwich was delicious), which you should expect for the price. But I did find the automatic addition of a hefty service charge (around 15%) when ordering at the bar intensely irritating and unjustified. Especially when my drinks were left about a yard away from me along the bar with no acknowledgement after paying. And that was from Mr Fox himself. The bouncers trying to chuck out our group as our 4 hour booked slot had expired despite having full drinks also left a sour taste.

More than a fly by night tom cruise shake a like in a b movie set and certainly as fascinating than the much lauded Heston BlumenthalBlumenthal Mr Fox will tillilate your liquid taste buds and tempt even the cocktail faintheartedfainthearted into a couple of forces intointoa the unknown. If this Xmas run up to 2014 is about anything its about new and exciting experiences. Why not make this one of them. Relax after the mayhem and madness of shopping overkill with a man who can be trusted to put a smile back on your face!!

Been following the fluid boys for a while as I love their bars and Matt Whiley's Talented Mr Fox doesn't disappoint. On my first visitor I had to try the Bloody Mary complete with Pigs Blood and I didn't think I was going to like it bit boy that drinks has flavour. WOW. I've been back 5 times in the last month and on every occasion the drinks and service and been nothing sort of Incredible. Probably the most inventive cocktail menu I have ever seen and wanted to try every single one of them. I will be back