Wandering down Sloane Avenue you may not expect to find such an elegant speakeasy nestled in a rather unassuming apartment block. If your a newbie to Barts finding the discreet entrance can be a little tricky but once you walk into the small, but perfectly formed entrance, with a fantastic comic strip wallpaper covering the entire space, you can't help but feel like you've found your own secret getaway deep in Chelsea.
Inside you will be treated to a cosy but eclectically decorated space that has enough knick-knacks plastered to the walls to keep everyone entertained long into the night. Go for one of Uncle Barts divine Perique Tobacco cocktails like the Smoke Screen, made with Perique Tobacco liqueur, Dewar's 18 Y. O. Scotch whisky, Angostura bitters, orange and sugar, served in a Dewar's Signature box filled with apple-scented tobacco and chocolates or cheese and honey, if you're feeling adventurous.
Be warned, these pack a serious punch with only a couple needed to get you in the mood to rummage through Barts extensive dress-up treasure trove. Best to stick to the Signature Park Avenue cocktail for a more civilised evening, unless you want to put on a show for your fellow revelers.
If you manage to get in early grab one of the few tables on offer for an intimate chat or just stick to the bar if watching skillful bartenders perform their magic is more your thing. Just make sure that Barts regular Prince Harry doesn't swoop in and steal your date. Nothing can kill your game faster than a royal interruption.
Try the delightful Jenga Jenga chips when you get peckish and the succulent Pulled Pork buns for something a little bit more filling that hits the spot. If the weather permits Barts minuscule garden is the perfect place for a cheeky smoke before heading back to the festivities. The staff at Barts always manage you give you their full attention, even when the bar is packed, giving a personal touch that other establishments can often lack.
Pop into Barts on any Wednesday and find the outstanding Michael Moore, better known as 'The Piano Man', playing any tune you can name and catering to everyone's musical tastes at one point in the evening. When the night gets going there really is an intimate vibe to Barts, with it feeling less like a bar and more like a close friends house party. Drinks are a little bit pricey at Barts, but as the old adage goes you get what you pay for and the bar has character in droves to make up for the relatively expensive menu.
It can be tricky to get the right crowd on any given day, be prepared to get stuffed between both flush bankers and the local Chelsea talent. At the end of the night sneaking into one of the unoccupied apartments above may seem like a good idea at the time, but you will come to regret this pretty quickly the morning after.
Barts, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DWSuggest a correction