The name of the new secret underground bar is Cahoots, but ssshhhh, keep it under your hats.
That's what I was told anyway, as one of the main themes of the bar follows the World War II posters issued by the British government to keep the locations of certain people and places a secret.
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"What ho Old Bean! Thanks awfully for your sly note. Good to know you have the scoop on Cahoots. Wink wink, nudge nudge eh? I would be tickled pink to book you a table but require some intel from you first...It appears London is awash with fellow scoundrels wanting to pop by, so tables are booking up faster than the 14.02 from Waterloo. Remember though - keep it under your hat."
Not your average email from a new bar in London. But after a bit of old British banter, I secured a table for four.
TO THE TRAINS
Finding Cahoots isn't easy, and nor should it be - finding a bar that is hidden is half the fun :). It also made me look a little stupid as I spun round in circles in the middle of Kingly Court.
But then we spotted a sign that said "To The Trains", and headed towards it.
I spoke to the main on the door, who was dressed in 1940's attire.
"Simon, eh?", he began. "I'm going to have to ask to to go down these apples and pears, turn left into the ticket office and speak to the ticket officer on duty. I hope you're not looking for a secret underground bar though. Quite a few people av' made that mistake"
"Mums the word", I said, and we headed down the stairs towards the ticket office.
The attention to detail is pretty incredible. The tiling, the fonts, even the clothing and posters were all top notch.
We opened the door, and spoke to the ticket officer.
"Good evening sir, any left luggage for any of your party?" He was referring to the cloakroom. No luggage here.
"Excellent sir, have a good journey", he said, and unlocked a door which led us into Cahoots.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
From the lampshades, upholstery, posters and swing music, we were immediately transported back in wartime 1940's.
The place was packed, so I'm very glad we booked a table! We sat down and started looking through the menu.
The cocktail menu is one of the most extensive I've seen in London - over 60 to choose from, and each with a unique theme and wartime name. I started with the White Cloves Of Dover (£8), as shown in the image above.
Cahoots also have home-made, 'high-class grog' known as Cahooch. I gave the Cahooch Sour (£8) a try for my second course.
For larger groups of people, the piece d'resistance for Cahoots is the £150 sharing cocktail: the Meet Me Under The Station Clock. A gin concoction served by ladle from a giant clock.
This was the first Saturday Cahoots was open, so there were a few teething issues (our first round of drinks took 45 minutes to arrive), but we couldn't fault the service otherwise, and were given the first round for free, as well as some complementary cheese and pickle sandwiches to keep us ticking over :)
I had a wander around the bar in between rounds, to check out more of the 40's detail. There is the tube carriage booths...
Standing room at a busy bar...
Order a beer, and it will probably come in a British dimple mug pint glass. Order a cocktail and it comes in a glass, tin or ceramic mug.
As you can probably tell, no stone has been left unturned to make this a truly authentic experience. Even the swing dancers sporadically jump into life, adding energy to the intimate bar.
Once you've experienced the jazz, swing and lindyhop music, there is normally a DJ ready to spin some rock n'roll and electro-swing tunes between two piles of sand bags later in the night.
Overall, this is a fantastic new bar, a welcome addition to Kingly Court and a must visit for anyone that loves a hidden bar, wartime memorabilia and superb cocktails!