As we admitted before, we’re a fickle crowd when it comes to choosing our new favourite bar. Over the past 12 months we’ve swung between Hix Bar, St John’s and 69 Colebrooke Row. But just a few steps inside the brand new Zetter Townhouse Bar on St John Square in Clerkenwell and we knew there was a new love in our lives.
Created by the pair behind Colebrooke Row, Camille Hobby-Limon and Tony Conigliaro, ZTH bar looks as though it’s been around since the days of Phineas Fogg.
Although it’s ostensibly the reception area for this new part of the Zetter hotel, you enter into what looks like an Edwardian private club. There are two clear bar areas and a private dining area on the ground floor , while downstairs is a games room, complete with ping-pong table (or should that be whiff-whaff?)
On the food front – know only this, that the bar menu was devised by the Zetter’s chef-in-residence, Bruno Loubet. So there’s a range of supper bowls, including broad beans and lovage pesto risotto from £4.50, nibbles, like courgette fritters with tuno mayo and homemade parmesan biscuits from just £2.25 and everything from a range of charcuterie to Chicken Basquaise which is, at £13, the most expensive thing on the menu.
Cocktails are by Tony, so while his signature drink, the Twinkle, should be on your to-try list, you should also have a go at some of his new concoctions created for ZTH including the marvellously-named Flintlock consisting of a poweful mixture of Beefeater 24 gin, gunpowder tea tincture, sugar, dandelion & burdock bitters & Fernet Branca. Or perhaps a Nettle Gimlet, made with homemade nettle cordial would be more your thing? If you're abstaining (although we can't for the life of us think why) you could try that nettle cordial turned into a non-alcoholic cocktail, the Nettle Fizz.
As Camille explained to us, when we interviewed her before Christmas, 'It’s not going to be stuffy – it’ll be fun. If people want to dance on the tables they can.'
You'll find us by the bar, with a Twinkle in our hands as well as our eyes.