New bar of the moment Cahoots is the latest immersive venue from public schoolboy-run Inception Group. I must confess to finding the Inception Group’s OTT poshness mildly irritating, however this latest bar totally works with it – when you’re greeted at the door with “What oh, old chap – do you have a ticket?” it really kickstarts the evening!
And the Inception Group do have an incredible talent for creating totally immersive and quite extraordinary venues. Mr Fogg’s (Mayfair cocktail bar) and Bart’s (Chelsea speakeasy) are two of their previous hits that certainly don’t skimp on the details; Cahoots (for which they sought decor advice from London Transport Museum) is the latest addition, in Soho’s Kingly Court.
Enter down a subway-tiled stairway to the sound of an old-fashioned TfL tannoy, and down to the free cloakroom that masquerades as a ticket office. Little details along the way are spot-on – vintage fuse boxes, sandbags, wartime Underground posters, signs for the Victoria line.
You are in an Underground air raid shelter in 1946, no question about it.
Our table was fashioned from an upended trunk; there’s also a train carriage filled with booth seating. Music is swing, staff are dressed in forties garb and remain in character throughout, and Union flag bunting criss-crosses the room, all convincingly creating an ex-air raid shelter which is now playing host to a post-war party!
Unlimited salted popcorn is served with your drinks – the menu for which is a pretty convincing wartime newspaper, listing out a host of amusingly named cocktails (£8-£11), many of which are served in novel vessels.
If I’m honest, the quality of the drinks is slightly lacking (the liberal use of treacle as a cocktail ingredient is not to everyone’s taste, despite being a ration book staple!), but since you’re coming to Cahoots for the incredible experience I am happy to accept this. Snacks in the form of crisp sandwiches are available for £3 too!
You must book if you plan to visit Cahoots. We arrived for our reservation at 6:30pm on a Monday and it was already full! It’s worth the hype though – this is one themed bar that really hits the mark.
13 Kingly Court, Soho, London, W1B 5PG