As a sort of foreward to what sounds like potentially my ultimate play den and a very dangerous new story indeed, a three floor fairytale inspired bar and restaurant set to open from the Drake and Morgan group, entitled Fable, we sample a similarly enchanted cocktail menu that’s just launched at The Folly. A prelude of, erring on the twee sounding, drinks and potions that deliver something a little more traditional fey than their names.
An invite to drink Fairytale Cocktails. I must be in my very own faerietale….
Entering the city based cavernous space of The Folly, a confusion of twinkling lights and loud voices, sharp suits and spiky heels, I, all Hansel and Gretel like, follow the chinking of pretty glasses to a room set slightly apart from the main area. Having nothing to go by, bar a couple of cocktail names on the invite, I feel reassured by the set up; low it appears on frou and fruit and high in good old booze and sparkle. My fear when faced with anything remotely ‘fairytale’ is that the focus is too much on the Disneyfied, rather than the far darker and intriguing ‘reality’. Have you read any of the original faerie tales? Those fey were naughty, soulless little creatures, intent on mischief and irresponsible fun…..
The Folly appear to have struck a good balance here, without delving too deeply into folklore, it’s a light hearted nod to the enchanting and magical. I can almost hear the pretty, tinkling laughter, just a drink out of earshot, of the faerie folk as our barman steadily creates each of the drinks from the menu. As I sip each potion, of love and of medicine, I can feel the naughty sprites dancing around me, cavorting merrily and trying to dizzy with their spells.
I’m an absolute sucker for violet, with it’s romantic floral scent harking back to a more charming era, and so The Princess in The Tower is a rather pretty start to proceedings; a classic champagne cocktail with violet liqueur and a dash of peach bitters, served on a dainty plate replete with iced gems.
Aesop’s Fable is, of course, a delicious whispered secret, a wink to the next location, of the next chapter of stories that will be told there. Served in a little bottle, it’s a short fruity number containing Whitley Neill gin, grand marnier, creme de cassis, cherry bitter, juniper and cinnamon syrup and fresh raspberries.
My favourite of the concoctions is a saccharine sounding Sugar Plum Fairy; it’s just like sipping wonderful face puckering sweet yet sour candy. Into a gorgeous heavy crystal glass, chilled with a giant gobstopper of a frozen plum, goes Tanqueray gin, maraschino, lemon, sugar and plum bitters. A potent, magical bewitchment indeed.
As we finish our last rounds of drinks, and each sip our very own Flowery Godmother; the prettiest, rose anointed gin mojito, heads a little fuzzy with deliciously poisonous tinctures, our barman, clearly a changling or a faerie folk in disguise, then tricks us into festive revelry with a preview of a selection of their Christmas menu…
Getting drunker by the second, we heartily indulge in spiced fig Manhattans and wonderfully tart clementine Martini’s.
A final Negroni, just to make sure they can and all that (they can), and I’m fit for a stupor to rival Sleeping Beauty….