Party like its 1899. That’s what the new Escapologist bar in Seven Dials is saying. I’m not sure they drank pornstar martini cocktails and ate peach-topped pizzas in the late 19th Century. But hey, there’s definitely a touch of the Victorian secret society when you visit this place.
I was meeting my friend Susannah for some end of week drinks and this place definitely had the Friday night vibe going on. In fact, the music was so loud and people in there were so giddy (possibly down to the fact it was cocktail hour), it was verging on becoming too difficult to hear each other (god, I’m showing my age), but this place is definitely popular, and quite cool too.
Escapologist is underground on Earlham Street, (on the same street as Flesh & Buns if you’re wondering) and inside, it’s all wooden panelled walls with high stools and some very hidden nooks that until we properly explored, had no idea were there.
The bar area is lovely – all shiny blue tiles, classic-looking flooring and bright lights shining through the glasses that hang above. We spotted some rather quirky skull tumblers which I believe are used for the Flaming Zombies. Yes, this is the place for you if you like weird and wonderful drinks.
As creatures of habit, we couldn’t resist a pornstar martini, but one of the more novel choices we made was the ‘Brit Spritz’, a mix of Kamm & Sons (a British bitter-sweet botanical made from Ginseng, grapefruit and honey), prosecco, soda and elderflower cordial. It was tangy, bitter and refreshing and I have to say, I loved it.
The story behind Escapologist, is of Baron Von Took, a wanted man who fled to the brewhouses of London and managed to escape the gallows. He was never found, so became known as, you’ve guessed it, ‘The Escapologist’.
We loved this dude who was on the wall next to us.
The concept food-wise, is pizza. Simples. And you can choose from around ten 12-inch savoury ones (all cost £12) and then two 6-inch ‘sweetzzas’ (mallow berry and Death By Chocolate if you’re wondering).
We didn’t get to the sweet variety as I think one pizza per sitting is quite enough. However I thought they were a bit mean on the toppings. (Much more cheese and ham please!) That said, the peach flavours on my ‘Just Peachy’ worked well with the prosciutto and it had good flavour. Susannah had the vegetarian option, which is pecorino, roast garlic, rocket, mozzarella and olives. If you’re at the start of a Friday night session and you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, I think despite the slight lack of cheese, most people will lap this up.
The cool interiors, expertly crafted cocktails and lively atmosphere make Escapologist a strong contender for Friday night frivolities. I probably won’t rush back for the foo, but I’ll definitely be popping in for a cocktail next time I’m in that side of town.
Until next time x
Escapologist, 35 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LD