An Elegant Little Number…
Seeking a classy little cocktail joint…? Look no further, Dickie’s Bar at Corrigan’s Restaurant delivers the alcoholic goods with panache
Review by Rupert Watkins
Those feeling thirsty in W1 have another option – Dickie’s Bar. Wandering in on a school night to their Upper Grosvenor Street location, my guest and I were confronted with an elegant, rather Art Deco inspired watering hole. Leather bar stools, a gleaming marble bar and groaning shelves lend the appropriate clubby air to proceedings though the colourful, almost tribal art inspired, banquettes provide a cheeky splash of colour.
A collaboration between Richard Corrigan and Gregory Buda of New York’s Dead Rabbit bar (voted 2016 best in the world by World’s 50 Best), you know you are in for something special, quirky and eccentrically English the moment you peruse the cocktail menu. You are spoilt for choice. Whilst trying to narrow down our choices, an example of the bar’s daily changing cocktail was placed before us – gin based, tart and refreshing it was a lovely start to proceedings.
Given the heavyweights behind the collaboration, it is no surprise there is a focus on fresh ingredients and precision serving. This even goes as far as their home infused sodas and tinctures – mixed and infused onsite. Proving understandably rather popular and thus flying across the bar, there can be a shortage of the most popular numbers later in the evening – everything is made that morning after all. Get there early…!
I eventually alighted on a Stage-Door Johnny, a mix of Jameson Black Barrel whiskey, peach, bergamot, vanilla and lemon. The hit of the whiskey was softened beautifully by the peach and vanilla, the lemon meaning there was still a lovely tart hit and the bergamot combining splendidly with the Jameson on the nose. My guest’s The Pavillion was likewise a well-balanced drink mixing Tariquet VS Armagnac and Plantation five year old rum with a dash of Pineau des Charentes (a regional French aperitif), fig, elderberry and lemon. The fig and elderberry especially played well with the earthiness of the Armagnac and the bite of the rum.
Glancing over the bar snacks menu, it is clear as much consideration has gone into these as the drinks. Options such as Cornish crab on brioche and crispy olives stuffed with goat’s cheese – as well as Corrigan’s homemade vegetable chips and popcorn – take the eye. The crab on brioche was fresh and light whilst the pungency of the goat’s cheese worked well with the earthy taste of good black olives. The smoked ham hock and black pudding croquettes also proved distinctly moreish.
Deciding one round of drinks just wouldn’t do the courteous, friendly and knowledgeable bar staff justice, we moved on to an Educated Bootle and Capability Brown. The Bootle was our highball drink for the evening; mixing Beefeater, Green Chartreuse, almond, pear, saffron and nutmeg with soda it was both refreshing and distinctly herbal on the palette. My Capability Brown in no way could be described as rustic fusing Macallan 12 year with Sacred amber vermouth, Lustau Pedro Ximénez sherry with hazelnut and Bitterman’s Xocolat Mole bitters. Rich, nicely bitter and elegant it was a damn fine final snifter for the evening.
Being a school night, it was quiet though even towards the end of the week Dickie’s discreet location may keep all bar the cognoscenti away thus preserving the refined feel we found (fingers crossed). There is perhaps seating – including bar – for 24 so there is a pleasant, intimate feel to Dickie’s. This is a bar for serious cocktail drinkers; as one might expect in this neck of the woods the prices will be appropriate to the postcode with drinks being £16 plus and bar snacks around £7 upwards. However, this really is somewhere to treat yourself – a place to unwind and be looked after by people on top of their mixology game.
Enquiries: Dickie’s Bar Corrigan’s, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London W1k 7EH / 0207 4999943 / www.corrigansmayfair.co.uk/dickies-bar/