The theatre of cocktail
Purl in Marylebone is a speakeasy that has nailed the pageantry of cocktail making. We’ve covered a lot of bars that put in as much detail to flavour as they do the delivery of the drink itself.
But Purl, oh boy, Purl takes it to a level that I haven’t seen yet (and I’ve seen a lot). I mean, this is the first time I’m opening a review talking about cocktails rather than the place itself. So, let me go back a few hours.
Purl had been on my periphery for a while but valentines is the perfect time to bring it to you, you beautiful people.
Purl is class, service, theatre and flavour.
Like all good bars, this place has a feel to it. In fact, calling it a bar is almost doing it disservice.
I love me an alcove, and this place has alcoves aplenty. In fact, depending on what part of the venue you’re sitting in, you’ll feel like you’re either in a lodge, a den or your own private party with your perfect date.
Purl does this by the subtlety of colour, lighting and décor change. Couple this with background music playing jazz and your journey into a Great Gatsby-esque party has started.
And I truly mean it’s just started. Because then come the cocktails.
The mixologists are of course all experts and can guide you through the menu or ask you your base liquor of choice and suggest something that is just perfect.
But there’s more.
The delivery methods, the way the cocktails complete, I mean, they literally come to life!
Their signature Mr Hyde, which involves dry ice as a way of cooling and changing the cocktail flavour signature. Their Cerez Joker, with a balloon which floats and infuses air with an aroma, to cocktails that literally bubble, have chocolate as a rim garnish.
I am holding a lot of info back because it’s one of those ‘you gotta see this in real life’ situations where I can’t do justice through words alone. If you want a sneak preview, check out their Facebook page which has some videos of the cocktails.
I’m struggling to keep this a short review because there is just so much to talk about. From the live jazz music on Wednesday nights to the magic that makes these cocktails a talking point, there’s just so much to cover that I can only sum it up as this.
You need to visit this place at least once (if not many, many, times more).
It is by far the best venue for valentines, it’s cosy, intimate and the cocktails will keep the conversation going, and for once, I don’t mean just because of the alcohol content.
Overall – 4/5 Did I mention that some of the cocktails come with desserts? Do I need to convince you further? Purl is true to its word, a sensory experience. Even if you go there for just a couple of drinks to get your night started, or to finish it, I would highly recommend it. Especially for valentines day because it will truly be a memorable evening!
Purl suggests that you reserve a table and I agree. Although you can chance walking in, it’s not worth risking it (as I once found out) because they can get fully booked. I would suggest you make this a priority if you intend to go on valentine’s day.
Cost – Given the West end location, this place comes with West end prices. The menu does rotate, but the average price is around £14 for a cocktail.
Dress Code – Can’t go wrong with a smart shirt, jeans and shoes! Hopefully that will impress your date, before your date is impressed by your venue choice.