Escape to Another Time at Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals
By Tom Wilkinson
Having had the opportunity to visit Mr Fogg’s Tavern on occasion, I am already a fan of its particular brand of Victoriana. As such, I jumped at the opportunity to explore their new cocktail offerings at Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals in the heart of Fitzrovia.
While the Tavern is styled like a patriotic pub from a fanciful version of the Victorian age, the House of Botanicals feels more like a conservatory in an impressive country pile.
Palm fronds, curios, and the wallpaper are all reminiscent of an eccentric style that wouldn’t look out of place in a Sherlock Holmes novel. A spiral staircase commands the corner of the room and leads you up from the bar below (no reservation required) to the first-floor lounge. Upstairs tables for two-four people are laid out and full table service is provided.
My companion and I had a chance to sample the Language of Flowers menu that is available to anyone with a reservation for the first floor.
Here are a few of our very favourite libations… enjoy!
For my first cocktail I opted for the Hibiscus: a blend of whisky, vermouth, Grand Marnier, Peroni Ambra, and hibiscus. A long drink that is bitter with a slight sweetness. As the ice melts it lightens the flavour making it into the perfect drink to while away the hours.
My companion’s first drink was the Cherry Blossom: a Star of Bombay gin-based cocktail with Evangelista Ratafia, falernum, and sakura (cherry blossom) tea. Served in a miniature terrarium with an edible butterfly, this cocktail is almost worth ordering just for the spectacle. Underneath its showy exterior there is a creamy, sweet, and delicate floral drink.
Having a hankering for gin after trying the Cherry Blossom, I moved onto the Pink Rose. A mixture of Hendrick’s Orbium gin, maraschino, and a pink rose and lime cordial, this pastel pink drink served with a rose petal might not have been as visually stunning as the Cherry Blossom, but it makes up for it with its bold taste.
VII Hills gin, yellow chartreuse, and crème de violette led to a light and floral beverage for my friend’s next drink. Delightfully presented in a lightly dusted glass, it was adorned with a yellow flower floating on top.
For my final drink, this rich mixture of mezcal, Galliano, absinthe and chrysanthemum seemed just the thing. The warming nature of this drink is how I imagine Jadis’ drink that warms Edmund as he joins her on her sleigh. The intricate chocolate design on the glass further adds to the magical air of this delicious beverage.
For her final drink, my partner tried mixed love tea, vodka, rose and rose lemonade for a fruity yet sharp libation. The fruit flavours blend subtly into a delightful aftertaste of tea that is reminiscent of lazy summer afternoons.
Overall, Mr Fogg‘s, once again, transports you to an alternative past that gives you the perfect opportunity to get away from it all while you drink some truly unique cocktail concoctions. We would recommend reserving a place at the House of Botanicals to sample the full menu of flower themed drinks.
To learn more, visit their website at www.mr-foggs.com/house-of-botanicals/
Contributing Editor Tom Wilkinson makes cocktails in his spare time and podcasts about their history at Dr Wilko’s Campaign for Better Beverages. He also produces 2 other podcasts: Hat of Many Things, on random topics drawn from a hat and Unparliamentary Language about the state of British politics.