Hold your horses, The Whip has opened! The bar (www.thewhipmayfair.co.uk) may be new, but it’s situated above the oldest pub in Mayfair, The Running Horse. The venue, which pays tribute to all things equestrian, was created by James Chase, of Chase Distillery, and Dominic Jacobs, former bar director of Sketch and Harvey Nichols.
"Dom and I have always had a vision to create a game-changing new experience for London that allows us to showcase a few forgotten techniques along the way,’ says James. As a salute to the Julep (a popular tipple at the Kentucky races), they have used gin and vodka from James’s distillery, which is flavoured with homemade preserves and served in pewter cups.
I began with the Juniper Julep (William Chase Single Botanical Gin with fresh mint leaves, sugar syrup and a soda water top), which was fresh and fragrant, and my companion had The Whip Julep, a little sweeter, which included rhubarb vodka and basil leaves. The bar snacks are created by Andrew Justice, a quarter-finalist from MasterChef: The Professionals. We enjoyed plate after plate of mouth-watering small dishes, such as scallop ceviche with pickled cucumber citrus dressing, a range of lovingly prepared oysters, including some with sorrel foam and sea rosemary, and tender, perfectly cooked lamb cutlets with sherry vinegar and garden mint sauce.
With its nostalgic interior, bygone cocktails and exceptional food, The Whip is certainly a dark horse on London’s bar scene.