If you've lived in London long, it's likely you've heard of rooftop Madison and celeb-haunt Quaglino's. Part of D&D London’s portfolio of luxurious venues, these spots epitomise smart drinking in the city. But not every ace in D&D's pack is big and brash; The Den at 100 Wardour St is the group's most intimate site in the heart of Soho. Serving literary inspired concoctions and bringing more live music entertainment to the West End, I wanted to find out how The Den compares to its more well known sister venues.
Occupying a small space in party central Soho and in complete contrast to neighbouring 100 Wardour, The Den attracts guests from all walks of life. Inside, it's sultry and akin to a Gatsby-era library with walls lined with book shelves, splashes of modern art, candle-lit tables, and a piano sitting silently in the corner, the latter waiting to fill the room with a tune or two as the night draws on. With seating intimate enough to spy on other guests' sipping choices, my first cocktail mimicked the pair opposite me; the Poison Apple (£12) - a smooth and cleansing strong mix of Calvados, Green Chartreuse, La Fe Absinth, Xante pear liquor, lemon, apple liquor, egg white. My companion ordered the American Psycho (£11), a muddle of Koskenkorva blueberry and juniper vodka, Chambord, lime, mint, cranberry raspberry; the violet and fruity elixir served with a business card clipped to the side.
With the tipples going down very nicely, we ordered a few snacks; the menu has all the usual suspects with added extra 'oomph' factor. Before long, our table was laden with drool-worthy fried plates; easily satisfied, the Cajun sweet potato chips (£5) were my fave - thin and crispy with an extra zesty spiced twang. The honey and red wine chorizo, rosemary focaccia and crispy kale (£9) were a close second while the crispy squid (£9) deserves a shout out, though it was the accompanying green and mango dip that really won us over. Always a sucker for a deal, we rounded the evening off with a final drink from the £10 April Specials list; a Caribbean Negroni - Plantation 3 stars, Rinomato Aperitivo, Mancino Vermouth - was a sweeter twist on my favourite cocktail of all time, served with a block of ice and of sipping strength to slowly end our visit.
The DesignMyNight Digest
I’ll be returning to this charming Central London spot, predominantly for its cosy lounging atmosphere and live music that graces the room after 9pm. Intimate, low-lit and with interesting cocktails, The Den at 100 Wardour St might not be as loud or well-known as its sister sites, but what it lacks in size, it makes up in style.