Purl - London’s second prohibition bar and my first glimpse of future weekends spent in underground dens of scientific exploration, old fashioned tomfoolery and making myself giddy in the most unique, creative and Instagram-worthy fashion!
Marked by a single sign at the top of a black iron railing, leading down some stairs and hidden below a coffee shop lies Purl – but this secret speakeasy does not shy away. Taking my first step inside, I feel like I have entered a dwelling suited to that of the era of Edgar Allan Poe, as dark tones and candescent lighting manipulate the intimate and winding architectural design of the venue. Experiencing what it must have been like before the light bulb was created, we were led down a dark hallway taking our time to really 'look at the décor', while in actual fact just hoping not to fall flat on our face before our first sip of alcohol. Our seats took prime view of the piano and sat opposite a wall of alcoves with cream benches and mirrored tables, adding a classy touch of 1920's glamour.
Atmosphere and Clientele
Consistent with the 1920s, the team were dressed in head-to-toe vintage attire, which fitted seamlessly with the Old English, opulent furnishings. Live jazz filled the 19th century cellar (every Monday and Wednesday) specialising in liquid concoctions; exuding a mix of aromas and served with a descriptive monologue to create a whole new multi-sensory experience. Having been told that Thursday is the new date night, I would hesitate to differ - with small intimate tables for two, this is a venue to truly impress any night of the week. This Wednesday visit seemed to prove my theory, with couples aplenty along with tables of after work drinkers and group of friends sipping away their troubles and enjoying the night in good company.
The time had arrived to seek assistance and decide on our first mid-week cocktail. Unacquainted with the majority of ingredients on the menu, we were instantly drawn to an ingenious and aptly named Liquid Lunch composed of three cocktail and food pairing options; starter, main and dessert! Presented with the starter - a Negroily No.2 - our tastebuds were spoilt by the innovative mix of flavours sumptuously paired with a little plant pot of olive oil foam, asparagus and black truffle finish. The main course - Takeaway anyone? - was a whisky cocktail served in a takeaway coffee cup and paired with a mini burger - the Purl Slider - casual in appearance but no less lavish in taste.
Always one for surprises, our second round of cocktails came adorned with a big green balloon and a hazelnut infused fog. These are just two of Purl’s signature libations so if you think of yourself as a cocktail connoisseur and are maybe feeling a bit bored of the classics, it's time to take a wonder to Marylebone and find yourself a hidden Purl.
Looking for a cocktail bar to impress, to catch up with friends or just to enjoy a few after work drinks? Purl caters for all who are looking for somewhere to ignite the senses and open your mind to the continuously expanding boundaries and wonderful world of mixology.