My lawyer friend recommended we meet here after work on a Friday. Now, I must make this clear before I start, I am not a huge fan of the City vibe or the smarmy, suited men, and pushy, hard-nosed, red lipsticked cocktail marinated women who inhabit it.
I could hear The Anthologist before I saw it, a buzz of suited chatter and the clatter of heels littering the pavement outside. We battled, literally fought a war of bag barging and drink dodging, through the plainly decorated space to get to the bar. I'm sure it would have taken far longer than the 10 minutes it did, had I not thrust my attractive blonde friend in front, ergo parting the seas as men fired lines at her from all sides.
The menu was a try-hard-gourmet selection of cocktails including a number of 'Signature Skinny' drinks with calorie counts, priced at around the nine pounds mark, It took a fair while of screaming at the top of my voice for my friend to understand what I wanted over the top of the droning, bass-y Chelsea-club music which filled any of the canteen reminiscent space not already crammed with people.
After 20 minutes of waiting, during which the bar tender faffed, disappeared, faffed and disappeared I finally had my Skinny Honey Passion; a mix of Pommery Brut Champagne, passion fruit and honey water and my friend had something which strongly resembled a Sanctuary body scrub served in a jam jar.
I also had a desperate need to escape the drone of music and women who seemed to communicate only through flirting or elbowing. On the street outside I supped the cocktail, which was pleasant but not earth shatteringly good and wondered how I'd come to spend nearly £10 for the privilege of a drinking on the street like a tramp.
In conclusion, this place might well be great for a Sunday afternoon something different, or a midweek drink. But as I saw it, on a Friday post-work time, it was a heaving mess of smarm and arrogance which certainly didn’t fulfil its website promise of being ‘The perfect antidote to the city’.
I won’t be returning any time soon.