Panda & Sons
Tucked downstairs on a corner of Queen Street, this hidden prohibition-themed cocktail bar offers unusual concoctions.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
This dimly lit basement bar invites everyone – except the strictly forbidden hens and stags – to escape the outside world inside a prohibition-themed vintage barbershop. Everything from the speakeasy façade, to the masquerading bookcase door and the old-fashioned hairdryer lamp screams exuberance, and the fun doesn’t stop there. The formidable cocktails with punning names such as Juan Direction and Monet Talks are garnished with the likes of unexpected paprika and burning incense sticks attached by mini-clothes pegs. Just try not to burn your cheek when you take a sip! These experimental concoctions may not be to everyone’s taste, but the Birdcage – theatrically presented in a glass dome filled with whisky, rhubarb and lemongrass shrub aroma – certainly turns a few heads. The staff encourage a quick turnaround policy although the complimentary salted popcorn may entice you to stay for another round.
- High point: Mellis cheeseboards
- Low point: Can feel intimidating if you don't have cocktail expertise
- Private dining: Up to 12 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: 80's Jazz and 70's Disco
- Live entertainment: DJs Fri and Sat
- Capacity: 90
- Largest group: 15 (£30 deposit for more than 10)
- Open since: 2013
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 8
- House wine: £19 per bottle