Dave and I spent last weekend in London
getting pleasantly sozzled celebrating our wedding anniversary. I was particularly excited about revisiting Mr Fogg’s Residence which we were introduced to in May when our friends Grant and Kylie got hitched. The cocktails were amazing and we both knew that we’d have to come back as soon as possible for more. Our 13th anniversary seemed like the best possible excuse for some libations!
Mr Fogg’s is tucked away in a nondescript lane in Mayfair, just behind Berkeley Square. It’s the sort of place that you’d walk past, perhaps with a curious glance at the Dragoon guard on the steps or perhaps the more enquiring amongst you would stop and read the blue plaque on the wall. However I doubt even the keenest minds would discern that just behind the imposing door lies a charming and eccentric bar, the home of the fictional adventurer Phileas Fogg, Esq.. Unless you’re in on the secret of course!
Upon giving your name to the guard, he performs the secret knock and you are ushered into the very grand drawing room of Fogg’s home. The walls and shelves are festooned with treasures, curios and objets d’art from Fogg’s travels around the world. There is even an elephant’s leg umbrella stand (faux) tucked behind the door for our delightfully unpredictable British weather.
We were ushered to our table below Mr Fogg’s famous hot air balloon by a sari-clad maid, where we settled in and perused the menu. Apparently Passepartout and the household staff occasionally like to reminisce about their travels with Mr Fogg and hold themed afternoon teas to travel whilst staying firmly at home. (Which I should imagine suits Passpartout nicely!) We were lucky enough to take tea during a visit to Sri Lanka, which explained the beautiful sari!
We sipped a small aperitif while good-naturedly wrangling over our cocktail selections. In keeping with our travels I opted for the Royal Rupee, a fruity blend of Hennessy V.S. cognac, mango, pineapple, yoghurt and topped up with champagne, while Dave had the English breakfast tea-infused Woburn Abbey gin cocktail. Both arrived promptly in their own charming tea pots followed swiftly by a tiered stand laden with goodies.
There was a rather good selection of savouries on the bottom of the stand ranging from pitta breads filled with chicken tikka and chicken samosas with mango chutney for dipping, to tiny brioche rolls filled with gin-cured salmon and cream cheese. Tiny eclairs filled with chocolate ganache and strong coffee creme patisserie were the star of the second tier, although the Victoria sponge was feather-light. We finished with amazingly moist and flavourful coconut cakes, a decadent chocolate truffle and a large, juicy chunk of fresh mango. There was just enough food to leave us pleasantly satisfied, given we’d had a substantial breakfast and were expecting a three-course dinner. Also, any gaps were nicely filled by another cocktail…
Delicious as our teapot cocktails were, we opted to have further drinks from the main cocktail menu rather than upgrade to the bottomless tipsy tea. The main menu at Mr Fogg’s is a hefty leather bound, numbered volume with lively recollections of adventures from Mr Fogg in each cocktail’s listing. There is an index, that’s how comprehensive it is, and the House Rules page sets the tone nicely! After flicking to the rum section–always my favourite–I settled on the Penny Farthing. I’d love to tell you what Dave drank, but neither of us can remember it’s name or anything else other than that it was delicious. Did I mention that the drinks are strong?!
My Penny Farthing cocktail arrived in a tastefully etched glass with a chunk of ice large enough to sink the Titanic, and equally large enough to keep my cocktail cold without diluting it too much. If my memory can be trusted, this was a heady blend of rum, Benedictine, and chocolate liqueur with a hint of spice. Oh, and a square of chocolate on top. I must mention that the garnishes on the cocktails are seriously gorgeous, I had a stunning fresh orchid to match my dress when we visited previously and a gorgeous dried pineapple ‘flower’.
We sipped our drinks and chatted away happily as the resident pianist started to play songs ranging from the classical, wartime favourites, and even some Coldplay. It made a lovely change from the usual canned music in bars and made the whole experience–yes, this was truly an experience–even more special.
After two hours of frivolity and libations, we ventured unsteadily into the afternoon sun and modern-day London. Everything was so bright and noisy, although the cocktails may have had something to do with my slight disorientation!! Our sojourn at Mr Fogg’s was a perfect way to spend our anniversary, but equally, it would be a splendid way to spend any Saturday afternoon! We’re already planning a return visit to experience the delights of Hawaii with no fear of sand in the sandwiches nor spending twenty hours on a plane…
Mr Fogg’s Residence
15 Bruton Lane
Reservations essential! Call for on the day reservations.