There are many things that London does well and one of them is the ability to produce some world-class cocktail bars. Battersea, which years ago was perhaps best known for it's iconic power station and, well, it's Cats & Dogs Home, is now a hotbed of fashionable bars and quirky spots to captivate even the most seasoned Londoners. Three Six Six, with it's stylish interiors, seriously well thought out menu and wonderful bar team, makes a good argument for being not just one of the finest cocktail establishments in Battersea, but in the whole of London.
A stone's throw away from busy Clapham Junction, Three Six Six holds it's own alongside the line-up of some of Clapham's best bars and restaurants scattered along St John's Hill. It's simple exterior, with the bar's striking butterfly logo emblazoned on the white-washed walls, contrasts splendidly with the colour and richness within. The interiors have a wonderful shabby-chic vibe in the seated areas at the back, where cosy alcoves, vintage sofas and dark wood furnishings are the name of the day. As you enter the venue however, the first thing you will notice is the impressive, high-mirrored and brightly lit bar area at the front, adding just the right note of grandeur to the mix.
The Food and Drink
These guys know their cocktails. Not only that, they are genuinely passionate about them and about discovering new ways in which to create amazing taste combinations and creations to delight the senses. First of all, many of Three Six Six's cocktails could pass as works of art. Yes, it's true that any evening of cocktail-drinking that starts with a creation mounted with an enormous swirl of sky blue, rhubarb-flavour candyfloss perched on top is going to make me pretty happy - I'm easy to please like that - but many of these concoctions really were something else.
Andrés and his team took us on a tour of their fabulous menu of cocktail creations. Each one was beautifully presented and completely different from the last. Some of our favourites included the aforementioned Voyeurista (£12.90) - its colourful candyfloss topping and a wonderful combination of gorgeously sweet flavours evoking strong associations with fairground tastes and childhood treats in this gin-based cocktail. This contrasted nicely with the saltier Picturesque (£11.90), featuring the unique berry-infused Brockman’s gin and Three Six Six’s dill-infused vodka and finished with salt, fennel and edible flowers.
Trying some of the more bizarre flavours on the menu, we sampled the Popcorn & Pistachio (£10.90). To create this drink, they have fat-washed Wild Turkey bourbon and infused it with popcorn, then mixed this with dark chocolate liquor and pecan syrup. It is certainly something different and did sound utterly indulgent, although surprisingly wasn't actually too heavy. Another weird and wonderful concoction was the Hot & Sour Soup (£11), served in it’s own tiny china teapot and ornately decorated bowl, this was a drink to warm the cockles and was vaguely reminiscent of a rather excellent, and strong, Bloody Mary. It was given an extra kick from the tamarind and chipotle syrups it was mixed with, not to mention the fresh chilli and cilantro, and served over slices of fresh pineapple.
Another of my favourites was the Aquarium (£12.90), which glowed in the dark (as of course any good aquarium would), and did look like your very own, tiny fish tank (minus the fish of course). On the menu it had possibly one of the longest lists of ingredients I have ever seen in one cocktail - but this rum-based creation was perfectly balanced and delicious - plus did I mention it glows in the dark?
Spanish themes run throughout their tapas-style food menu, and the 4 years-cured Iberico ham and Manchego cheeses we sampled were both extremely tasty and much needed after a couple of rounds of cocktails and a few large gin & tonics.
When we walked through the doors of Three Six Six we were greeted by the wonderfully friendly team and shown to our table by the one of the venue's charming owners and cocktail master, Andrés de la Mora. On our arrival, a gin masterclass was already in full swing - with wonderful Gin Mare G&Ts being expertly served. The team behind the bar were busily mixing the evening's cocktails with ease and style, and throughout the venue couples and friends were dotted - soaking up the wonderful atmosphere and enjoying some fairly spectacular mid-week drinks.
The team at Three Six Six make an evening here a hugely pleasurable experience. The warm buzz they create fills the venue and will be sure to put a smile on your face. There are few venues that can make you feel so completely at home whilst at the same time treating you to such an exceptional experience of high-brow cocktail artistry.
The perfect cure to the hump-day blues and I bet it's just as good if not better on the weekend - with their great line-up of resident DJs on Friday and Saturday nights and extended opening hours to 2a.m. My advice? Everything on their menu is designed to delight but try something weird and wonderful. Look out for Three Six Six's intriguing infusions - of which there are lots - and if you're feeling truly daring then go for their erotically named 'Fantasy & Fetish' menu, sure to titillate the senses.