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A loosely Victorian-themed basement bar in Seven Dials.
London’s Coolest bars are usually found on a rooftop or underground – drinking on the ground floor is so last year. The Escapologist, a Covent Garden cocktail joint from the folks behind Adventure Bar, is one of the latter. But it’s hardly a diminutive basement bar, with a ‘grand hall’ behind a secret door and a ‘vault’ even further underground.
The venue gets its name from a Victorian scoundrel, Baron Von Took, whose supposed last wish before a date with the gallows was to have a drink in one of Covent Garden’s brew houses; as you can probably guess, he managed to escape. Whether or not the story rings true, the bar uses it as an excuse to style itself as a low-lit Victorian gentlemen’s club.
With a 20-strong cocktail menu divided into ‘premium’ and ‘party time’, the theme ends there. But it’s fun: The Flaming Zombie (£11.50) came in a white skull glass with a flaming sugar cube on top, naturally. It was pretty boozy from three types of rum, but balanced by fruity sweetness.
A selection of pizzas should soak up that triple rum nicely. But if sobering up isn’t on the agenda, head down between 5pm and 7pm for the daily happy hour. Unlike the baron, you won’t want to run after just one drink.
Located a stone's throw away from Soho in the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden in London, The Escapologist cocktail bar offers twisted-classic cocktails and a menu of high-quality Italian pizzas. With a selection of Champagne, wine and beer, there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Step through the secret door and you’ll find the Masonic Lodge which hosts intimate booths perfect for illicit meetings – or just a romantic spot for two. Or head down to the Vault where the party really kicks off, perfect for your work's party or after-work drinks with friends.
Legend has it that in 1898 party-fiend and general vagabond Baron Von Took fled to London shrouded in scandal. With his erratic behaviours landed him a date with the gallows. His final wish was for a drink in one of Covent Garden's numerous brew houses, from which he promptly escaped. His following days were spent in hiding, rebuilding his power base. Since history has a way of smoothing rough edges, his moniker over time became ‘The Escapologist’.