Last night I found myself in Sloane Square yet again; the third time in a week. What is going on? Is fate toying with me and my morals? Can I put a stop to it?
Well I probably could, I mean ‘just don’t get on the tube Alice’, but the problem is I don’t want to put a stop to it. So enjoyable is each visit, that rather than trying not to go, I seem to be finding myself making excuses to go.
Last night was an easy one though – my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday party. You can’t hold that against me, can you? Anyhow, after a stop-over to review the Colla, Pinna and Pomodoro exhibition in Bond Street, I set off back on the jubilee line and then picked up the district from Westminster (look at that tube knowledge). I then met my two sisters at the one an only Sloane Square and then the three of us set off to the Chelsea Cloisters – to Barts.
I’d been to Barts once before to celebrate another friend’s birthday. That was last year and the memory still errs me. At first there were the two of us, then four and then ten – and the drinks were being bought in rounds. I, a poor journalist student at the time (not that I’m not equally poor now), somehow landed buying the last round – after a particularly mouthy individual said something along the lines of: “Standard, such a typical girl. Let all the men buy drinks for you and then don’t buy any back.”
Well I am not scabby and I thoroughly believe that if you can’t afford to buy drinks back for people who have bought you drinks then you shouldn’t be out in the first place (unless it’s your birthday). However, I had been bought three drinks, not ten. My pride rather than prudence got the better of me and I proved the individual wrong and bought a round.
It cost me £90 and I had to go home.
However time had moved on and the fear of being bankrupted again didn’t alarm me too much. I would spend £40 and not get into any large round-buying scenarios, of that I was adamant.
I was also meeting my good friend Tom Cary for a nice catch up, not a piss up. I had neglected to mention to Tom that he would be attending a party, but true to character he took it in his stride. That was once he’d got in. Barts is another bar of the speakeasy genre that is flourishing around London (la bodegra negra, the box, the luggage room, the experimental cocktail club – to mention but a few) and to be admitted you first have to give the attractive doorman a password. Tom didn’t know the password.
A few missed calls later and I had rescued him from the Cloisters’ foyer, by which time the night was in full flow. A silver-gilded teapot streaked across the room and soon the party-goers were clinking mugs merrily. A passion fruit jazz cocktail woke my palate with a citric burst only to be mellowed, a short while later, by a coconut milk and basil potion that the flapper waitress suggested Tom try. There were also definitely a few Moscow Mules thrown in somewhere…
A small bar with an undercover atmosphere – like Don Corleone could walk in with a cigar at any moment – Barts is exciting, intimate, quirky and…as I looked at my £45 bill…expensive.
The blissful basil cocktail
Chelsea Cloisters 87 Sloane Ave, London, SW3 3DW
020 7581 3355