Le Chalet Pop up @ Selfridges, Bond Street

Type of Bar: Pop up, Winter, Bar/Restaurant
Damage££
Ideal for: Hot Chocolate, Date, Small Groups, Food

 

One more month of winter!

With the weather getting harsher and seeming to go on forever, the Hoodooist thought we better cover another warm-up cocktail spot for the rest of the season.

The Le Chalet bar/restaurant pop up at Selfridges has been set up by the excellent Q Grill London on the roof of the department store with its own express lift to hot choctails and winter comfort food. A becouched and bequilted indoors and heated outdoors make for a versatile experience regardless of the weather outside.

Foreground: 'The Dominican'; Background: 'The Hazelnut'

Foreground: ‘The Dominican’; Background: ‘The Hazelnut’

Let’s get down to business though, in drinks, Le Chalet offers either winter-themed cocktails, or boozy hot chocolate – not as thick and indulgent as the hot chocolate at Floridita’s Ski Chalet Pop up (Click HERE for Review!), but making them easier to drink here. The most successful of the hot choctails tasted was easily the Hazelnut, hazelnut liqueur, almond liqueur, dark chocolate liqueur – tasting pretty much like a liquid Ferrero Rocher. A perfect dessert drink.

The Dominican adds Brugal spiced rum and cinnamon liqueur to the hot chocolate, to warm you up nicely – however, there seems to be some conflict in flavour, although this could be up to personal taste. The rum brings the toffee and caramel, as well as some pepper, maybe Demerara? Worth trying out to make one’s mind up. An enjoyable topping of whipped cream and cinnamon.

The Choc-work Orange (brilliant): Orange liqueur and dark chocolate liqueur in a hot chocolate: somehow, the weakest of the three – too intense on the orange, doesn’t quite work.

 

'The Honeycomb Old Fashioned', the 'Gingerbread Slipper', 'The Choc-Work Orange'

‘The Honeycomb Old Fashioned’, the ‘Gingerbread Slipper’, ‘The Choc-Work Orange’

Let’s check out the cocktails:

The Honeycomb Old Fashioned is actually a great idea: Maker’s Mark whiskey, whisky barrel aged bitters, and instead of sugar, a slowly melting slab of honeycomb. Initially the Maker’s Mark is intense, but increases in honey sweetness as the honeycomb melts away. Halfway through, the honeycomb becomes intense with a buttery sweetness, and takes longer to finish. Give yourself a good while to drink this, and though great when bitterly cold, I can’t imagine having something so dense and sweet on a warmer day.

Brugal spiced rum, gingerbread, lemon and egg white make up the Gingerbread Slipper, not too a fairly citrus drink that takes the edge off the lemon with the gingerbread, that mainly mellows it out. Nothing complex, and lacking a bit of character.

 

Service-wise, no complaints. In summary, Le Chalet is a great place to pop by when in the area before the end of February, hot choctails to enjoy after a wee bit of shopping.

Drinks: ***
Atmosphere: ***
Service: ***

 

Selfridges London

400 Oxford Street,
London, W1A 1AB

http://www.selfridges.com/content/le-chalet

Floridita Ski Chalet pop-up, Soho

Type of Bar: Pop up, Winter, Tiny
Damage££
Ideal for: Date, Food, Hot Chocolate

 

Alright, first things first, this isn’t a review of Floridita the bar, but of the ‘Ski Chalet’ pop up they have opened at the bar. With its own menu, the chalet presents a very different variety of drinks from the bar.

Floridita Rum Chalet (2)

Alright, rum. It’s in all the drinks on this menu – 6 drinks, one of which is a sharer between two.

Let’s start with the best.

This can’t *really* be called a ‘cocktail’ as such, but is enough of a reason to visit: the Ski Break presents rich, dark hot chocolate, with Plantation 5yr and cinnamon. Warm, slightly spicy, slightly bitter, slightly sweet, all indulgent. A very short drink in a teacup – but that’s all you need, this is a very heavy drink.

The other at the top of the list would be After the Storm, a mixture that is essentially mulled wine and rum: Red wine, Element 8 spiced rum, heated with citrus infused agave, mandarin Napoleon, raspberry liqueur and Wray & Nephew overproof rum. Skipping the effort of actually mulling the wine and instead heating it up with liqueurs, a heavily alcoholic drink served with a rim of brown sugar and cinnamon is presented. An excellent winter warmer.

 

After The Storm

After The Storm

A little further down, the White Ice: Brugal Anejo rum, Araku coffee liqueur, Grand Marnier, double cream. Wise to not go for the obvious Kahlua, the Araku makes the drink. Nostalgic, the nose is shockingly similar to the orange chocolate in a box of Macintosh! As far as White Russians go, this doesn’t stand out as much as ‘it is a White Russian’ – the Grand Marnier seems to be more effective on the nose than in flavour – but if a White Russian’s your thing, this is an obvious choice.

 

Finally, the Adam’s Apple: Appleton (geddit) V/X rum, heated with apple cider, apple liquor, sugar and apple juice. I’m sorry to say that this drink just doesn’t work. Especially at it being the most expensive on the menu, it is one that can be easily avoided. With excellent drinks like the Ski Break and After the Storm, it is best skipped. Its attempt to adhere to the apple theme was not thought out well enough.

The Ski Break

The Ski Break

Décor-wise, there isn’t much to be said, it is a sectioned off area with a few ski chalet paraphernalia like furred rugs, etc. Its seclusion from the rest of Floridita is appreciated, but not much to rave about. Considering it is under the staircase, I do wish they gave the underside a new paintjob.

Service was impeccable, on the spot, and very attentive, with Patagonian tapas constantly making its way to the table. On that note, fabulous tapas.

 

In short, the Ski Chalet is a great spot to pop by on an evening if you happen to be in the area, if only for the Ski Break hot chocolate. Simple but satisfying drinks, and excellent tapas. Pop by.

Drinks: ***
Atmosphere: ***
Service: ****

 

Floridita Ski Chalet,

100 Wardour Street,
London W1F 0TN

http://www.floriditalondon.com/