In Review

Devonshire Club: West End glamour meets East End chic

Cocktails in the Library Bar at one of London’s newest private members club

library_bar.jpg

“Mayfair style and glamour meet East End chic”. That’s how Devonshire Club founder Brian Clivaz described his venture to bring the West End members’ club experience to trendy Shoreditch.

The clubhouse, located in the warren of streets opposite Liverpool Street station, opened its doors in June 2016 inside a former 18th century warehouse and adjoining Georgian townhouse.

As well as 68 bedrooms, the sprawling building’s amenities include brasseries, a gym and a nail bar. But it’s the cocktails we’re here to investigate.

Each of the three bars has its own look, from the retro pink and green 1960s decor of the Cocktail Bar to the more pared-back charm of the Champagne Bar - but all of them share an ambience of relaxed comfort.

The Library Bar, where we find ourselves, is particularly easy to fall in love with: mellow lighting lends a warm glow to the room’s eclectic armchairs and well-stocked bookshelves, giving the bar a warm yet sophisticated vibe.

Our barman offers to “surprise” us, and letting the expert take charge proves a wise and eye-opening decision. Neither I nor my drinking companion would ordinarily opt for a floral drink, but the two variations on rose-inspired cocktails we are presented with are unexpected winners.

My cocktail - a melange of rose-infused vodka and peach liqueur, topped up with Veuve Cliquot - couldn’t be more different from my usual gin-based, citrussy choices, but I find myself loving it. The rose scent is fresh rather than heady, while the peach and champagne add a welcome fruity verve.

My friend’s drink, a Devonshire’s twist on Turkish Delight, is equally agreeable - a sweet and sippable concoction with similarly delicate rose notes.

We are promised two entirely different creations as a follow up, and my second drink, the bar’s take on the classic champagne cocktail, proves even more lethally drinkable than the first, a perfect balance of sharp and sweet.

Meanwhile, my companion’s follow-up certainly takes the prize for the most visually impressive. Served in a metal mug which gives off a distinctly Game of Thrones vibe, it comes with a stirring stick dripping with honey, to be turned upside down and swirled into the drink to balance out its bitter notes.

Offering an authentic private members’ club experience with all of the glamour but none of the stuffiness, the Devonshire Club is a welcome addition to East London’s cocktail scene. 

Devonshire Club, 5 Devonshire Square, London, devonshire.club/membership

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