Old Tom & English (CLOSED)
Time Out says
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A sleek and classy Mad Men-era bar offering top-notch cocktails with addictive small plates thrown in.
Please note Old Tom & English is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink team, October 2016.
If a young Don Draper had come to London, this classy cocktail bar would have been the place for him. But luckily, it can be the place for you. Simply book a table, find number 187b, press the shiny doorbell, and wait to be led downstairs. There are a few spaces in the entrance area, where the bar is, but we’d pitch for business in one of the intimate alcoves – they seat six, so you’ll need mates – or the small main lounge, styled as a chic ’60s living room. There are pillar-box red carpets, sleek grey wool sofas and the ultimate aid for seducing sexy secretaries: a flickering gas fire.
Now all you need is an Old Fashioned, which is no problem, because they do two types. We enjoyed the ‘smoked’ version (£9.90), made with a classic whiskey base (Woodford Reserve bourbon). With its sweet and sharp flavours delivered in a smoked-filled copper flask, the longer you leave it, the smokier it gets. Gin lovers can sample another Old Fashioned (made with barrel-aged gin, £9.90), or relish the sour, zesty notes of a South Side of Oxford Street (£9.50), a muddle of Gentleman’s Cut gin, sugar, fresh lemon juice and just enough dry Manzanilla sherry to take the edge off.
A condition of their licence is that you have to eat – or at least snack – with your drinks. But the small plates are no token gesture: addictive salt and vinegar ‘popcorn’ cockles, crunchy-on-the-outside, succulent-in-the-middle battered sea bass over a garlicky remoulade, or two tiny sugar-coated doughnuts with pistachio crumble, thyme-infused cream and hot molten chocolate. It’ll knock your Nylons off.