If you’ve got the travel bug, you might want to temporarily satisfy that itch with a trip to Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration.
The cosy and eccentric bar, located underground just off the Strand, is themed around Phileas Fogg and his journey in the 1873 Jules Verne novel Around The World In 80 Days.
Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration imagines what his secret liar would have looked like, complete with regal leather armchairs, a wood-panelled map room and main bar area stocked with knickknacks, from antique ornaments to travel books and encyclopaedias.
Adding to the zaniness, is a replica Orient Express train carriage and a rather marvellous custom-made machine that mixes punchy negronis at the press of a button.
Venturing to the basement cavern of curiosities on a Friday night, I was greeted by two polished doormen who led me downstairs.
From there, two women dressed in Victorian-style outfits directed me to a table within the train carriage.
This is definitely one of the better spots if you’re looking a quiet catch up, with the tables nice and roomy.
We settled into a seat at the back of the carriage and one of the charismatic waiters served up the food and drink menus.
The drink books are an adventure in themselves, with dozens of punchy libations to choose from inspired by globetrotting adventures.
These are divided by spirits to make the choice process a little easier to tackle!
I ventured to the ‘Grand Canyon’ section of the menu for a Native Lands cocktail. This drink featured a deliciously clean mix of Hendrick’s Orbium gin, green chartreuse herbal liqueur and apertif wine.
Meanwhile my friend opted for another gin-based drink. However, his choice, the Valley of Silence, hailed from the ‘Mount Everest’ run of things and contained a blend of Bombay Sapphire gin, sake, milk and vanilla mirin, lime and egg white.
One thing you should expect at Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration is the unexpected.
Drinks come served in bizarre vessels, which might require you to sip carefully.
The house negroni, mixed by the magic machine (Star of Bombay gin, Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino vermouth and Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter aperitif), also comes highly recommended as do all of the classic cocktails for those who fancy more conventional glassware.
On the food front, there’s an array of delectable nibbles to keep you satisfied throughout your journey.
The charcuterie and cheeseboards are both winners and you should definitely indulge in a dish of tender tempura chicken pieces.
Another moreish morsel is the plate of mini scotch quail eggs with a mustard and mayonnaise dip.
In total, we spent a good couple of hours conquering the map one drink at a time…
So, if you’re feeling intrepid for your next night out, I encourage you to burrow down to this Aladdin’s cave for adventurers…
Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration is located at 1A Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9HH
To book a table or to view menus visit mr-foggs.com