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Experimental Cocktail Club

13a Gerrard St, London W1D 5PS How to get here

Experimental Cocktail Club (Gerrard Street) | Cocktail Bar

Perched above the heaving streets of Chinatown, where red paper lanterns quietly dance to the rhythm of the evening breeze, behind the throngs of people leaving work or popping into restaurants, lives Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC). An unassuming door, worn with the passing of time, inconspicuously wedged between two Chinese restaurants. Behind the black door, up a set of stairs lit with glowing lights reminiscent New York speakeasies, music wafts through the air and the sound of ice echoes against a cocktail shaker.

Once inside, the chaotic streets outside are soon forgotten. ECC is a hidden gem bathed in exposed brick and mirrored ceilings. Low sofas surround marble and mirror-topped tables. A leather topped bar, and behind, bartenders welcome everyone with a smile. Upstairs once more, a marble topped bar built into an antique piano is the centrepiece and low-slung seating awaits.

ECC first opened its doors on a winter’s night in 2010. It’s the first cocktail bar to open outside of Paris for Experimental Group, a hospitality collective co-founded by Romée de Goriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros and Olivier Bon. Upon arrival in London, Les Trois Garçons asked Xavier Padovani to join their crew. Today, though cocktail bars are their core, Experimental Group has hotels, bars and restaurants across London, Paris, New York, Ibiza, Menorca, Venice, Verbier and the Cotswolds. It was here on Gerrard Street however where they started their international adventures, and ECC holds a special place at the heart of the group.

The menu is an alchemic adventure, on a journey from classics to originals. An Old Cuban is a nod to New York’s inimitable Audrey Saunders and the St Germain des Pres is so good, it’s never left the menu. A fine balance of soft and spicy, where gin and cucumber dances with spiced tincture, shaken with egg white. A Kota Ternate takes clarified milk, rum and pineapple to deliver a cocktail that feels like a sophisticates pina colada, if one did ever exist.

Take a journey back in time and order a Vintage Negroni, comprised of 1950’s Gordon’s Gin and 1970’s Campari. Or settle in for a glass of champagne alongside cheese & charcuterie. The perfect place to start the evening, or party well into the night.

Reserve your table beforehand to guarantee a spot, though ECC do accommodate walk-ins. All you need to do is find that elusive black door…

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