Equus Bar was a location we were considering as a venue for a work event and we rather liked the feel but in the end went for a different venue. Sorry Equus Bar!
However when I saw a deal pop up on Travel Zoo for cocktails and canapés at a significantly reduced price it was hard to say no, especially as we'd seen some yummy cocktails on the menu during our last visit.
The setting is very Mad Men-esqe, with lots of dark wood, masculine soft furnishings, brass plates and iron railings at the door. It felt a bit like a high end gentleman's club in fact (not that I’ve ever been in one!). However, in direct contrast to the traditional feel of the lounge areas, is the back-lit perspex bar and funky light feature in the recessed ceiling which lifts the feel slightly to make it “old school” not “old fashioned”. Despite visiting in early October, I also felt very festive. I think it's because it reminded me of a New York hotel bar I visited one Christmas, and all cosy bars, dark wood and "croony" music immediately makes me think of NYC, that's just me though
The cocktail list is short, but well formed with names in homage to famous former guests, including Winston Churchill, and hand-picked ingredients to compliment them. The bar tender was very helpful and talked us through each drink and helped us pick cocktails according to our likes and dislikes. He was also rather lovely and made us some freebies, which always puts a bar in good stead in my mind!
The cocktails were tasty, the canapés were delicious, although not enough to fill us up so I have to admit we did walk round the corner for Mexican food afterwards (and it would have been rude not to have a margarita as an accompaniment) to fill the hole.
The setting was chilled, most definitely not buzzy and it did lack a bit of atmosphere, but it is essentially a hotel bar, it is on a deathly-quiet road and it was a Wednesday, so we weren’t expecting a rave, to be fair. The clientele varied from well-dressed ladies returning to their hotel for a cocktail after a day hitting the shops (I had paper bag envy in a big way), little old men snoozing in to their cognac in the private dining rooms after dinner, middle aged couples on date night and relaxed business meetings. We were the youngest patrons by a mile, but that also meant we got some great service!
The event manager in me always has to check out the toilets, and I wasn’t disappointed. Shiny, new, monochrome and spacious with lots of mirror and surface space for make up touch ups and with nice smellies on offer.
I won’t be hurrying back, not because it was bad in any way, I just need a bit more “buzz” in my bars. However, if I’m passing with my dad I’d take him in for a drink, I think he'd like it!