There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a place to go, that you could only really know about if you live in a place. You know those places you can only stumble across after years of walking down the same street? They’re like gateways towards earning the badge that says ‘Insider’ on it. And especially in London, where everyone claims their place is cool and niche and secret places, it’s always fun to find one that genuinely is.

Roll up Exhibit A.
I was on a hen day for my delightful six in six with six challenger KM, and this is where we went at the end of a treasure hunt for drinks before dinner.

Getting in was a little like having to run with your luggage trolley at a brick wall to access platform 9¾. Between two brightly lit shops, was a grey and unassuming door, with flaking paint and no sign. A couple of people were hanging around outside it, chatting away – one, a woman, was smoking a cigarette.

The clue for our treasure hunt was clear that this was the right place, and we knew we were looking for a bar, but this looked like the entrance to a central London squat.

We approached, tentatively, and the conversation between the couple slowed and then stopped as they turned to look at us. ‘Um,’ we mumbled. ‘Is there a bar behind this door?’

Unsmilingly, the man stood aside and let us pass with the tiniest of nods. We walked in, up the stairs and into the hidden delights of the Experimental Cocktail Club. A real secret. A real find.


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