This organisation slightly back-fired when this month's payday cocktail club was coinciding with a work awards dinner I was told recently I could attend. However, having diligently attended every month since its inception ("it would be weird if we had one without you", my sweet co-founder said), I rather ambitiously decided I would do both.
Namely because this month it was at Purl and I would be damned if I was going to miss this one. Purl is a required pilgrimage for cocktail lovers and well-known by reputation as a fantastic speak-easy. So I speedily left work promising my boss I'd be at the event for 8pm which gave me less than an hour's window to enjoy mostly likely just one drink at Purl.
Thankfully, it's not too far off from Bond Street station and amusingly hidden between a pasty and a clothes shop.
Somewhere to sit. Tick. Stag mirror and china tea cups (quirk requirement). Tick.
Once entering, there's the main bar - where braces and dickie bow ties appear to be the requisite uniform for the men (I ain't complaining there) - but round the corner and down some steps are arches with private drinking areas.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I never eat the crusts. I'm not entirely sure why sandwiches was in quotation marks when they were indeed sandwiches.
I had an Our Tai. I did actually ask for the Mr. Hyde but I was told it was quite strong. Yes best not to turn up to the work thing drunk. I don't usually ask for a Mai Tai, being horridly snobbish about trying mainstream cocktails but this is no ordinary one, turning up in a sweet little shell and bottle. Love, love, love.
Considering I'm not Cointreau's biggest fan - it's a bit of a man drink - it was a pleasant drink, something I feel like I should have been on a cruise watching the sunset maybe rather than beneath an arch like some sort of troll. It came with a glass so I didn't have to drink straight out of the bottle, although that would have been fun to re-enact some sort of Willy Wonka or Disney potion scene ("Oh, I feel ever so queer now").
Seeing as I normally have a couple to talk about, I'll share the Purl Open No.1 cup my PCC co-founder was nursing when I arrived (she's been having a stressful time at work and home the poor alcoholic).
A super diddy version of a Pimm's jug and recreating a sweet little garden scene. It was sweeter than the usual Pimms which I liked (but I was banned from ordering one for myself, hence the original Mr. Hyde choice).
Purl is a great place which takes cocktails seriously but with a great sense of humour. Really good if there's a big group of friends (could probably fit about 8 people in the private arches). It's definitely not the place to just rock up so make sure you book a table. There's no minimum spend which is great.