Friday, September 09, 2016

Bar review: THE ESCAPOLOGIST (Covent Garden)

I visited The Escapologist bar with my friend Rebecca to use a Groupon deal (here we are at the place in question), where I’d bought six cocktails for £24. Unlike previous experiences using Groupon, LivingSocial or Wowcher, where the vendor gives you a completely different experience from the one advertised by way of passive aggressive punishment for you had the temerity to buy their product from a discount website, The Escapologist’s cocktails were just as immense and fabulous as if we’d gone there and paid full price for our drinks.

The cocktail menu of this Covent Garden bar is an absolute beast, and the waiters and waitresses certainly don’t scrimp on alcohol content of the drinks. My Old Fashioned was actually even more boozier than the one I’d had at Dandelyan’s, despite the fact that £24 would not buy you even two drinks at Dandelyan, haha. By the end of the night, the three cocktails had gotten me thoroughly drunk. Three drinks of comparable size in Slug and Lettuce won’t even make you vaguely merry.

The first drink I had in The Escapologist was the Flaming Zombie, which, true to its name, was served in a zombie skull and even featured the visual flourish of having a passion fruit on top, set on fire. This meant that in addition to it tasting great and getting me in a suitably light-headed mood to chat crap with my girl, I was also treated to visual pyrotechnics with my drink! Video below.

Obviously, because the deal is £24 for any six cocktails on the menu, it makes economic sense to order the most expensive cocktails, so in addition to the Old Fashioned and Flaming Zombie (both retailing at £11.50) I had an equally priced Cuban Orange, which I don’t think I’ve ever (knowingly) ordered before. It was sweet but not saccharine and the amalgamation of vanilla-infused Bacardi Oro, Gran Marnier, fresh lime and brown sugar worked a treat. I have a new tipple to order when I'm in bars now!

It wasn’t just the flavours and alcohol-levels of the beverages that were on point in The Escapologist, because the music was ace, and after a few sips of my first drink, I was bopping along, imagining I was singing it at the karaoke [admittedly, it doesn’t take much for the inner out-of-tune songstress in me to be unleashed]. The background music in The Escapologist was a great blend of popular music that’s currently in the charts, as well as hits from previous years that you might have forgotten about. Eminem and D12’s ‘My Band’ is an example of this – after my visit to The Escapologist, I had it stuck in my head for days.

Overall, I had a sick time at The Escapologist. I do, however, have to retell a sorry incident that happened at the start which made me feel sick in a different sense of the word. Before the serving of our first drink, a guy pushed in in front of me at the bar, and the waitress served him, despite the fact that I’d been queuing quietly and politely for well over ten minutes (it was Happy Hour, thus, rammed).

I know it’s churlish to fault The Escapologist for this, because it’s not like the waitress had eyes on the back of her head and could be aware where everyone was every second of the day, particularly as it was packed. How was she to know that I’d honoured the code of common decency and he had not, but merely been ruder, and thus, inadvertently awarded him for it?

It’s definitely the bellend who did so (#WhiteMalePrivilege, just saying) who was in the wrong, for being so entitled that he thought nothing of trampling all over me. The alacrity with which he swooped in ahead of me indicated that this wasn’t the first time he’d pushed in, so I shouldn’t take it so personally. But, nonetheless, this incident was fairly irritating.

I would love to make like the Taylor Swift lyric and Shake it Off, but these microaggressions happen far too frequently in popular London bars and I’m sick of this shit plus when have I ever been the bigger person and passed up the chance to hold a grudge about anything? #GoneGirlDNA. Thus, it is perhaps a little unfortunate that I must dock points from The Escapologist for what would otherwise be a perfect A grade.

Grade: A-

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