Nestled away below the riff-raff of the tech savvy and over-crowded landscape that is Central London, hides what I can only describe as my Aladdin's cave of cocktails!
Hidden in the basement of Central & Co. – a bustling bar and brasserie – is the Cocktail Trading Company; a polished, oak stained, dimly lit den of 1920’s prohibition charm. The walls are adorned with illustrations of the cocktail creations available on the current menu and those to come, as well as known personalities such as Stevie Wonder. But, in my eyes, the feature to steal the show must go to the bartender of the evening – Sir Winston Churchill – for keeping his stern eye on the mixology skills going on behind the bar!
Iconic faces survey a handsome space of speakeasy allure at CTC.
The Atmosphere & Clientele:
Although it was a Wednesday night, as I walked excitedly down the stairwell I was greeted by a sea of faces; half expecting Bugsy Malone to be standing at the bar, his face half lit by the old fashioned stained glass lamp shade. The room hummed with excited intrigue, as guests marvelled at the meticulously hand-crafted cocktails against the backdrop of an eclectic mix of 70s and 80s classics. The warming chatter of friends, colleagues and couples getting closer acquainted added to the ocassion further.
Cosy and vibrant, CTC is a prized date night venue if ever we've seen one.
Now if being waited on by the clearly passionate and knowledgeable Olly - one of 3 co-founders of the Cocktail Trading Company - cracking the odd dad joke now and again wasn’t enough, we were about to be in admirable amusement of the liquid treasures we had very carefully chosen. Each drink is a masterful creation in it's own right, lovingly created and brimming with character. Choosing from the first of a series of cocktail books to come - a sour margarita lover by heart - I was recommended the Scouts Honour, a sweeter twist on the classic with tequila, fresh lime juice and smoked marshmallow syrup - expertly made by Elliot (another of the charming co-founders). Upon arrival the creativity and detail continued as I was handed a silver thermo camping mug decorated with a small tin can and roasted marshmallows on a skewer, I found myself delighted to open the can like a mischievous boy scout and was gifted with a small toy car and campfire joke.
Heavily influenced by the Prohibition era, the increasing popularity of drinking experiences and most importantly by their passion in the industry - Elliot, Olly and Andy have made the Cocktail Trading Company one to be revered by their speakeasy peers hidden across the city!