London is a city full of mysteries, from the infamous Jack the Ripper to Sherlock Holmes, and there’s so much history scuffed onto its old cobbled lanes that it would be impossible to get to the bottom of it all.
A new bar that has tapped into this wicked mix of the real and imagined is The Evans and Peel Detective Agency, where you call to make an appointment, rather than a booking, and have to buzz through on the intercom upon arrival.
Making you way down a narrow staircase into the belly of the building underneath apartments in Earls’ Court, you arrive in a tiny room complete with detective, wooden desk, typewriter, gramophone and bookshelf. You will need to state your case and give a reason for why you have come.
Because I had gone with Dave and our friend Corrin, we played along about a story involving a three-way love triangle. Taking notes from what we recounted, the detective said we could go through. Except there was no visible passage to the bar until the inspector got off his chair and pulled a book off the shelf, revealing the entrance to the bar.
We entered a room lit by candles and decorated in vintage objects such a suitcases and old jars. Large yellow light bulbs dangled down from the ceiling and as we sat down out cocktail waitress recommended various drinks for us to try.
These included cocktails made from gin infused with Earl Grey tea; gin mixed with a marmalade concoction; and the Grapefruit Blossom – gin, sweet vermouth, grapefruit juice and orange bitters.
Priced at £9.50 these drinks are not exactly cheap, although many of them were so strong that you could happily sip on one for an hour definitely bang for the buck!
And if cocktails aren’t really your thing, the bar does beer too – poured out of a radiator-come-beer tap.
Evans and Peel has only been open for five weeks yet the chef is onto a good thing as he’s bought a smoker and is creating some interesting flavours in the American-style food on the menu.
The sliders (small burgers) are made up of smoked fish, beef and pork. Even dessert hasn’t escaped, with the cheesecake being smoked, giving it a strange flavour that is almost like a sweet bacon cake. Sounds odd but it was actually rather delicious, if not rich.
Some of the other food is also quite unusual, such as the baked goat’s cheese in maple syrup and the squash, broccoli and pearl barley salad, yet it was all tasty.
Expect to pay around £50 for a couple of plates of tapas, dessert and two cocktails. That might sound steep but trust us, it’s the atmosphere you’re paying for and it’s completely worth it.