As the temperature plunges warm your cockles at Mr Fogg’s Tavern, St Martins Lane, the perfect quirky venue for a cosy drink and a night with a difference.
The Victorian tavern named after the Jules Verne character Phileas Fogg, has an upstairs/downstairs theme. According to folklore, whilst traversing the globe Phileas Fogg receives the news that his much beloved aunt, the celebrated actress Gertrude Fogg has passed away and made him the sole beneficiary of her estate, including her enchanting pied-à-terre on St Martin’s Lane.
Duty bound to honour his aunt’s dying wish, Mr Fogg permits his devoted life-long housekeeper, Fanny McGee to create a ‘tavern’ downstairs, whilst keeping the upstairs salon as a refined refuge for friends and theatrical acquaintances.
Needless to say I fraternised with the ‘riff raff’ downstairs in the more traditional tavern.
From the moment you step inside, Mr Fogg’s engulfs you into its themed fun house. Appropriately located in the home of theatre land you are transported into a world far away from 2016. The wooden panelled pub is a melange of trinkets and artefacts collected from around the world to celebrate the life of the fictional explorer. Hanging branches and taxidermy adorn the ceilings and walls; the theme is carried right throughout the venue.
With tables squeezed into every corner, cockney tunes playing and people buzzing everywhere, the atmosphere is fun, gregarious and raucous.
Staff dressed in full Victorian costume; ‘buxom bawdy wenches’ shout orders at knowledgeable bar men who feature as the main characters in your fictional journey, ensuring that you have a night to remember.
As you can imagine drinks are a plenty: Gin based cocktails such as ‘Mother’s Ruin’ are served along with ales in tankards and pewter cups. For the food think hearty English pub grub with a Victorian twist created to feed the weary traveller. I ate the Treacle glazed salmon with brussels and beetroot, my companion, had the Beef and Bacon pie with mash.
The clientèle are a mix of locals and bemused tourists, however, everyone joins in the joyous mood –it’s hard not to in this hidden gem!
Mr Fogg’s Tavern is a true testament and a welcome addition to the award winning Inception Groups’ portfolio. This is the perfect place for a group of friends to have a night out or a pre- theatre drink with a twist, so dust off that Dry January head and get involved in some old fashioned debauchery!
Price – A very reasonable £55, considering its central London location and the quirkiness, this venue is great value.
Ambience – Fun, busy and quirky.
Service – Fantastic, attentive staff who kept to the theme.
Bathroom – 4/5.
For reservations and further information please visit: mr-foggs.com