Some don't know much about the South West, some wouldn't waste the Oyster fare, some know it's where all the big supermarkets do the dirty and give birth to other big supermarkets and some think it's reserved for people with expensive dogs, running gear and buggies. While I live here, understand those qualms and regularly pine for a night out East, all that feels like folly after having met The Walrus Room.
The Venue & Atmosphere
Hidden behind rich, draped curtains and a deceiving door, The Walrus Room wasn't a nightmare to find, but it clearly prides itself on being elusive. The theme smacks of vintage inspiration from the off. Not only is the bar intimate in size, owing to the amorous atmosphere, it's an absolute treasure of period paraphernalia. From taxidermy ducks and frame encased butterflies to dated trinkets, rich awnings, brass textures, darkened walls and candlelit tables, this was the perfect place to patter over conversation, make gooey eyes over the table and jot down notes for things to consider stealing for mine and my boyfriend's living room. Dear Walrus Room, I promise all ornaments are intact.
Led in by Simone, we couldn't fault the mood that Walrus Room have created. While full of couples crooning over candles and the flittering of piano keys from a live musician, Simone proved himself not only a massive advocate of the venue, but an absolute gem to the experience. Not only helping us with menu notes and ingredients, Simone is enthusiastic, consistently bopping between tables to give guests insight, and really getting to know those enjoying the bar's handiwork.
The Food and Drinks
Cocktails can sometimes feel like an elite beverage in the wrong bar. If you don't know your campari from your Chase vodka, some might class you a novice, but not Walrus Room. Creating a menu that is wholly accessible, these guys have simplified the ordering process massively, not only keeping the list short and sweet, but the ingredients both interesting and international. Don't know what an ingredient is? Call on my man Simone. Spread across 6 cocktails, i've picked out two of my favourites. Primed for the stiff drinker, not only was 'The Campfire' the most theatrical in the venue with its smoking glass jar and toasted marshmallow, it's perfect for those with a love of a sweet yet stern cocktail. From the clove smoke down to Makers Mark Cointreau Ardbeg and Creme De Cacao, this was intimate, smart and bold. Testing our adventurous spirits next was the 'Dehli Daisy' at £10. Infused with curry, tequila and elderflower and lime, The Walrus Room have managed to merge flavours into a punchy cocktail that lightly smacks of the East. Try the wasabi cocktails (The Japonica) and the Bee's Knees for your tarter alternatives.
When it comes to their food options, The Walrus Room practically had me as putty in their hands with a £12 cheese board. From a light, French blue that would give Stilton lovers a creamier and more accessible alternative, the nettle covered British cow's cheese was perfectly set alongside honey and light crackers. It's not just subtle meat and cheese platters that accompany the cocktails; brought about by resident chef Simon Lamont, this tusk-led tavern now teases with a retro and playful 'Bits 'N Bobs' menu of small plates. Opting for the LCP Bread (all small plates came in at £5), Simon has crafted an intimate dish that packs a vegetable bunch. From the charred leeks down to the rich potato and the tart, crisp crunch atop a carrot sauce, this was a fun and flirty treat alongside our drinks.
While when it comes to vintage furniture, taxidermy and Victorian slights i'm always going to be biased, the team behind The Walrus Room have created, what I consider, to be one of London's best hidden gems. Not only is their service faultless and their interiors pining for an antiquarian award, their cocktails are accessible, creative and pair perfectly with a selection of nostalgic plates. Love would be too understated a word for what I feel about you, Walrus.