I’d been meaning to visit the Zetter Townhouse for some time having heard rave reviews, plus it was one of Drinks International’s World’s 50 Best Bars 2013 (along with one of my favourite’s Nightjar). Knowing how popular it is we decided to err on the side of caution and visit on a Monday night, yes you read that correctly – a Monday night! As expected it was pretty busy, but they do keep a few tables for walk ins which is great. The Zetter Townhouse is a 13 bedroom Georgian boutique hotel located behind The Zetter Hotel (which is more modern), which is eccentrically decorated – complete with stuffed animals! The cocktail lounge, on the ground floor, is managed by mixologist Tony Conigliaro (of 69 Colebrooke Row fame) and is quite affordable with the house cocktails coming in at around £10.
For my first drink I opted for ‘The Second Husband’ which was a short drink comprising of Earl Grey tea infused whisky and ‘bitter almond poison’. I mainly chose it out of intrigue but was rather disappointed both by the miniscule size and by the fact that it actually tasted pretty vile! I love almonds and the ‘bitter almond poison’ was ok however I wouldn’t really describe this as a cocktail – it was in essence a shot of whisky with a little something added to the top! Not good. After that I was in need of a long drink and the ‘Milk Collins’ was the perfect choice – a simple combination of Beefeater gin, homemade milk syrup, lemon juice, soda and sugar – it was refreshing and easy to drink. Although this cocktail reminded me why I love gin, it did not display the flair I had been expecting at the Zetter. We also enjoyed delicious some ‘Rarebit Spuds’, which were not added to our bill as they took so long to arrive.
Before we left there was time for a little nosy around …
Whilst I loved the decor at the Zetter Townhouse (it’s quite unlike any other London hotel I’ve been to), and the staff were very friendly and helpful, I was really quite disappointed by the drinks. If it’s the ambiance you’re after then I would recommend the cocktail lounge, but for amazing cocktails go for Nightjar, Lounge Lover, 5CC Exmouth Market or the London Cocktail Club (I could go on…).