Always looking for a new London adventure, one night Victoria and I took Diane and her sister, Marilyn, to Mr. Foggs in Mayfair
for a drink. Hidden away on Bruton Lane, there’s no outward sign that an establishment of any sort is housed behind the Victorian facades that line the street. Up a few steps to the door, one has to knock in order to summon the door keep to slide the peep hole back. It’s at this point that one is tempted to say something suitably snarky, such as “Rick sent me” or “Let us in, we’e got a fresh body for ye” or even “The password is Brummell.” None of these are necessary as, unless one looks truly iffy, the door is typically opened to admit you into another world – the world of Victorian London and the townhouse of Around the World in 80 Days adventurer Phinneas Fog.
Here a review of the place from The Nudge –
Picture the scene.
You’ve instructed your date to meet you on Conduit Street in Mayfair.
They’re excited. And happy.
You stroll together through Mayfair, past restaurants and designer boutiques; past jewellers and art galleries. There’s a spring in their step, and a smile on their face…
….until you direct them down a dingy back alleyway – menacingly encased on every side by concrete, shadows and high-rise office buildings – which they intuitively believe can only lead in one direction: towards their brutal and untimely death.
But just around the corner relief sets in, as they spot Victorian lanterns hanging outside the immaculate exterior of a truly glimmering beacon of peculiarity: the fictional home of Mr. Phileas Fogg… which you can call “Mr. Fogg’s”.
Because that’s its name.
After climbing the steps to Fogg’s abode – having possibly just manoeuvred yourself around a horse and carriage in the street, depending on which night you go – you’ll enter the madcap home of one of fiction’s most eccentric adventurers, which overflows with artifacts and trinkets collected from his travels. Stuffed Indian tiger heads, whole crocodiles and umbrella stands made from elephants’ feet; portraits of Fogg’s ancestors; wall-mounted busts of the man’s favourite pets; annotated maps and pictures from his travels; birdcages, bicycles and one large penny-farthing swinging from the ceiling, alongside the very hot air balloon in which he travelled the world for 80 days.
Expect to see staff clad in military uniforms – coloured according to their seniority within the household – serving up absinthe aperitifs, sazeracs and stirrup cups. Expect to enjoy live sing-alongs around the piano; expect monthly visits from Mr.Fogg himself, who will regale you with tales from his most recent travels…
…and expect your date to be excited. And happy.
And happy we were, as you can see by the photo below – drinks in a Victorian parlor, served up by attractive men in period uniforms . . . . . . bliss.
Period details abounded and were arranged around the walls – and floors, and ceiling – as far as the eye could see. In fact, period details were also found in the ladies loo.
From here we took a cab to Soho for dinner – stay tuned for that adventure, coming soon!