At a glance:
You might be familiar with Mr Fogg, the Victorian explorer who circumnavigated the world in 180 days in a hot-air balloon. But did you know the well-known explorer now has an expanding drinking empire?
Mr Fogg’s is a collection of Victorian-themed bars in London and in 2018, the famous globetrotter opened three new bars. One of these, the House of Botanicals in Fitzrovia, has fully bloomed and so, being an intrepid explorer myself and a sucker for all things from the old-world, I had to pay a visit.
Instantly, I felt like I’d stepped into greenhouse minus the humidity (thank God). On ground level, high ceiling allow the most towering plants to soar above you and during the day, floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light for us to bear witness to these exotic collections of plants. No reservation needed for this area, just walk-in!
Upstairs is a more intimate and exclusive affair, a Victorian lounge complete with ornate paintings and furnishings reserved only for those who RSVP’ed ahead of time.
And that’s not all, ‘The Language of Flowers’ is a special menu available only upstairs featuring cocktails inspired by plants and botanicals. I’m no connoisseur, but I was mightly impressed by the concoctions that I did try: ‘Empress Honeymoon’ and ‘Viola’.
I was blown away by the endless list of cocktails available at Mr Fogg’s Residence in Mayfair (180 cocktails!). I’m no good with decisions so perhaps mercifully, the menus here are a lot simpler this time around with only a selection of the best making it over to the House of Botanicals. Even then, the choices are wide. Cocktail connoisseurs well-versed in their tipple of choice shouldn’t have a problem figuring out what they want but if you’re like me and just can’t make up your mind what libation to try, the brilliant household staff of Mr Fogg’s will find the perfect liquid refreshment for the evening.
The House of Botanicals lives up to its owner’s lofty reputation and comes recommended from yours truly. The drinks are smashing and much more accessible than other bars. After all, it’s not often you can pop into a bar without a reservation. Like I said, if a bar is themed in some way, I’m all for it and I love the Victorian theme. It’s like stepping back in time.