Welcome to the Nightjar, one of London's finest speakeasy-style drinking establishments located a 7 minute walk away from my friends' apartment. I recommend calling and reserving seats. Depending on the day and time there may or may not be a doorperson checking your name against a list.
Regardless, you'll be greeted downstairs. Notice the brick walls, dim lighting, antique devices. An antiquated charm fills the air.
Booth seating beneath swooping art deco birds?
Table seating facing the piano? Live music occurs a few days a week.
Bar seating underneath the tin plated ceiling?
We came for drinks, so without further ado let's begin. We were seated at the the farthest edged table facing the piano. We were waiting for 3 other friends, but we were on time and ready to begin. As I glanced through their menu, I was filled with questions. What is this liqueur? Why is this cocktail named as it is? Is this infusion for real? And I kept glancing back at the bar. Noting my wagging head, my friend just told me to begone.
Even the little breads with chutney relish couldn't keep me from the bar. I asked a server if I could sit at the bar. Since I was in another country, I thought it best to ask. They asked a bartender and I moved seats.
Switching seats did have benefits such as the those two matching delicacies of bacon and jelly. Please notice the playing card labeled "Moby Dick". This cocktail features whaleskin infusion, one item that struck my curiosity. You can also buy the Nightjar card deck for £4. They get their whaleskin infusion from Japan.
Here are some quick Nightjar notes:
1. It's difficult to understand some of the bartenders.
2. Questions are brusquely answered by the bartenders.
3. The bartenders don't want pictures taken at their bar station.
Overall, this doesn't add to a fun experience sitting at the bar. Because questions are hurriedly answered, it was hard to fully understand them through their accents. I understand they have a job to do, but I enjoy this interaction as part of my cocktail experience. Not only am I there to enjoy my drinks and socialize with friends, I want to learn something new and capture these memories in detail.
This is why I headed back to my original table with my Arabic spiced rum drink, The Arrack Julab. Garnished with turkish delight and rose petals it was a headily spiced drink. Now it was a table of 5 which meant much cocktail sampling and pictures. I will try to label the following pictures appropriately, but some might slip through the cracks.
The Moby Dick
129 City Road