Tiger Bar, 17th July. Jack Solomon's
On a balmy summer's evening (when I started writing this there didn't seem to be any other kind this year - oh how times change) we headed East, to play crazy golf at The People's Park Tavern.
That wasn't open. So instead it turned into a mini pub crawl when I realised The Tiger was up the road and I wanted to try it.
This is the new place from the people behind the Lord Morpeth and on a Tuesday night it was... dead. So it's hard to give it a fair write-up. The place seemed to have potential. The windows were wide open and we sat on a sofa that literally therefore backed onto the street which kept us nice and cool.
The bar staff were friendly enough, and one or two people came in - a couple getting food, a solo person reading, which made me feel like this was a nice place to hang out.
They've also got some decent BBQ from Cowabunga on the menu. We shared a platter - 3 ribs - juicy, 3 wings - sticky and crunchy (a plus for me, a negative for Richard) and 3 chicken strips (they actually gave us 4 - bonus!) which were nicely seasoned. You get a mound of nacho fries as well which were a bit much with the rest of the meat. We didn't get through them quickly enough and we left the rest of the kind of soggy mess. The coleslaw I really liked. And you get three sauces with them - we had a chipotle mayo, one of the BBQs and the naga mayo. These weren't anything to write home about to be honest. I wasn't completely sure which of the two was the naga mayo and it should have been very obvious!
We just had the one drink in there before popping into The Gun on our way back, a tiny little pub that feels a bit like a cocktail bar. (They do cocktails as well.) They were playing a great soundtrack of 70s rock and the food sounds fantastic although having just pogged on BBQ, we didn't try anything.
And finally. Last Friday I spent £12.50 on a single drink in a bar in Soho. Which wasn't as lively as I expected an hour before closing. Jack Solomon's is a secret bar at the Picadilly end of Soho. I won't spoil the surprise on entering but all I will say is don't be put off if it doesn't look like what you expect.
Inside it pure retro sophistication, both in musical terms and decor. As I said, it wasn't busy which might be just what you're looking for at midnight on a Friday - an escape from the terrible places above. This is a classy joint, and you can tell by the price tag. They do a few cocktails at around £16 a pop, and a few wines and beers, but their main thing is spirits which start from £7.50 and are served as doubles. I went for a mid-priced £10 whiskey which was smoky and slightly sweet but nowhere near as good as the one my friend had for £2 extra which had a distinct coffee flavour on top of the caramelly, smoky flavours I had. Delicious.