- The bartender
Part of me thinks it is a shame that the location is Chiswick as it means I'm unlikely to make it back there very soon, what with being an East End gal. But I guess it's only fair for the West to get a ‘dose’ of this kind of stuff too, and E & P have done it very well.
So, it turns out I might like beer after all. At least when it is mixed with aquavit, gun and Peychaud’s bitters and served as a cocktail. The beer taste was definitely there but I felt it served to deepen the flavours already there, almost as a spice rather than a flavour.
Hercules the bartender knows what he’s doing, and I’m not just saying that because I got a peek at his manly chest.
Let me back up a bit. The mysterious Evans and Peel, known until recently for their detective work (I must admit I’ve yet to place a case with them) have branched out and have moved into the highly lucrative (I assume) world of pharmaceuticals. Their new pharmacy is located in picturesque Chiswick, the last place I’d expect to find this kind of secret speakeasy joint.
Arrive and ring the bell and you’ll be allowed to see the pharmacist. He has a small area full of medicines and tinctures to solve your ailments. It seemed most of us were suffering from dipsomania when I went, prompting him to retreat behind a door and plonk a mysterious brown paper bag in front of me. But lurking behind this door was the best cure of all – more alcohol.
Stepping through and you enter your typical speakeasy – low lighting, brown everywhere, but with touches that hark to the fakery up front – chemical apparatus – beakers, bunsen burner stands, and other accoutrements like fake legs adorn the bar and walls.
There was a small menu for us on the night and so we tried everything. My surprise favourite was the Vitae-Aquavit-A with beer, but the Genus: Rhus is a Must was refreshing and The Dandy also tasty although I’m not sure how much it really improved our attractiveness (it guarantees a 35% increase in charm per dose).
Despite chatting to the Pharmacist quite a bit, my friend and I went home alone.
They also do some food in the form of grilled cheese sandwiches but we were only able to try one kind – this was the Artery Tester with truffle mac n cheese (fairly light on the truffle I thought) and bacon (my friend doesn’t eat bacon). I can’t say they’re battling with the titans of grilled cheese out there (Morty and Bob, Cheese Truck et al) but it was nice enough.
Really delicious were the nutella, banana and mascarpone brioche grilled sandwiches. They’ll perk you right up like any upper to be found in the drugstore.
It’s a lovely intimate bar, the only thing we thought was lacking was pushing the pharmacy element a bit further. A speciality cocktail served in a bulbous beaker would go down a treat, or a few (elegant) shots in test tubes could be a nice touch.
Part of me thinks it is a shame that the location is Chiswick as it means I’m unlikely to make it back there very soon, what with being an East End gal. But I guess it’s only fair for the West to get a ‘dose’ of this kind of stuff too, and E & P have done it very well.
Find out more on Evans & Peel’s website