Sick of the totally un-spring-like weather in London at the mo? I was too, hence why I suggested The Rum Kitchen for a drink with a friend last week. A Caribbean-inspired beach shack on the first floor of Kingly Court, Soho, it was the perfect choice for sheltering from the torrential downpour and pretending we had escaped to far warmer climes!
The transportation occurs as soon as you arrive. The space showcases the vibrant spirit of the West Indies, with colourful weather-beaten planks covering the walls, some corrugated iron touches, and plenty of painted slogans – my favourite being RUM MAKES D’WORLD GO ROUND. Staff are laid back and friendly, moving at a pace of life not normally akin to London.
Holiday-worthy beats are supplied by DJ Fast of The Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Reggae Collective’s Reggae Roast, so you can expect everything from reggae to Latin to calypso to Afro-funk!
Oh and there’s a hidden cellar housing over 100 varieties of rum. So yes, the menu is somewhat one-dimensional, but there are plenty of ways to choose just how you want your rum served!
For the boring, there are beers. I don’t even know if there’s a wine list, but who cares when there’s a rum list!? The cocktails are punch-like, and first up was a Rum Punch – a good place to start, it was a minty fresh pineapple concoction served in an enamelled mug – the perfect opener.
My second drink (I can’t remember the name) was served in a shallow glass punch cup – kind of like a stumpy, rounded martini glass – and was short and strong, with flavours of caramelised roasted bananas. This stuff certainly packs a punch! Looking down the bar at other drinkers, I had a bout of cocktail envy when I saw this long drink being served – I think it’s a Grog Rumbustion, and it looks gooood!
Sitting up at the bar, enjoying the slower pace of life, I was able to convincingly hark back to holidaying in Barbados a year ago, where many rum shacks were visited, and much rum was consumed (I remember I filled my suitcase with my full customs allowance of Mount Gay rum when I left, haha)!
The Rum Kitchen also serves food, though I didn’t sample any myself. Think Jerk Chicken Wings, Island Spiced Baby Squid, Saltfish Fritters and Rainbow Salads – all great beachside fare. I believe they serve brunch too – what a winning hangover buster!?
The Rum Kitchen
1st Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby, Soho, W1B 5PW
Also in Notting Hill: 6-8 All Saints Road, W11 1HH