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Dans Le Noir: 80 – 78

designmynight.com's Nick Telson offers his expertise and insider tips on the best nightlife in London

Written by . Published on October 21st 2011.

Dans Le Noir: 80 – 78

Montgomery Place
Stepping into Montgomery Place is like being transported into a low-lit, warm drinking den from the 1920s. The beautiful drinks bar flanks the right hand side with a mirrored back and the alcohol bottles gleaming and sparkling like polished diamonds. Old horns and trumpets hang overhead and even account for some of the lighting. The dark wood floor and dark wooden furniture instantly cocoon you in. The inspiration for the bar is the 1920s, with clear Parisian, Cuban, London and New York influences. Think Hemmingway, the Rat Pack, The Ritz and Cuban Revolution. This era of prohibition is backed up by display cabinets housing old bottles of booze and 1920s rhetoric. As you walk through the narrow bar the space opens up to more communal leather seating and American diner-esque booths. Candle light flickers the faces of those illegal incumbents about to pick their tipple for the night. The cocktail list is expansive to say the least with Montgomery originals, inspirations from around the globe and the eras that the bar leans towards. I sampled a 'Relight my fire' which was a blend of Rum, ginger licquor, vanilla sugar and fresh chilli. I was warned that it "is served with a kick; the perfect blend of flavour, heat and alcohol. Delicious! Cocktails range between £8.75 – £10.25. Worth it? Yes. Montgomery Place is a perfectly executed cocktail bar and one of the best in Notting Hill, if not, London: Thoughtful and authentic decor, divine drinks and warm and friendly staff. Perfect for after work drinks, catch ups with mates or a lucky date.


Powder Keg Diplomacy
Powder Keg Diplomacy is a brand new dining and drinking establishment with a nod firmly in the direction of the British Victorian age and of historical adventures of a bygone era. We waltzed into the front bar that was a scene of young Clapham-ites mingling and drinking on a selection of candlelit tables adorned with decorative and oldey-woldy artefacts and a few gentlemen sampling the cocktail delights at the bar served up by head barman Matt. Real effort has gone into creating an environment fit for the finest Kings, Queens and captains of South West London. The drinks list is a delight as there are enough enticing tipples for a Captain Cook voyage and back. Cocktails, reasonably priced at £7.50 a pop, are crafted with homemade liquors, juices and bitters with the Starboard Taquiri and The Drake (a British Mojito) extremely tempting as well as the beautifully named Somerset Rose, consisting of shipwrecked cider, home-made brandy and Lemon. The wine list has many stand outs and bottles start from £16 and a glass around the £3 mark. Soak up this new, innovative, Victorian offering that is re-defining the way Londoner’s can drink and dine. The Baron and his Lady cordially invite you to join them in the merriment and I would highly recommend you accepting.


Dego Wine Bar and Restaurant
After a few too many extra minutes trying to find Dego, we realised it is just off Great Portland Street not on Great Portland Street. Look for Costa and it's next door! The upstairs is rather unassuming but sleek with a long red and black table in the middle and bar stools all around...this is the wine bar part of Dego! Pull up a pew and choose from the vast selection of wines or boards of cold cuts and cheese - a great place to come and escape the hustle and bustle of nearby Oxford Circus. As you descend the stairs on the side of the wine bar, you are immediately sucked into a black and red, intimate dining space. It's like no other restaurant I have seen, as there seem to be only about ten tables, most of which are large and square, surrounded by black and red leather booths. Although the restaurant was full, it didn't seem overly busy, simply due to the fact that their aren't many covers in what is quite a large space. There is also a bar down there where you can snuggle in and just sample the boozy delicacies. Each dining booth seems to get its own little team, as if in a Michelin restaurant, but without any pretense. Another point that becomes apparent is the great attention to detail. The food menu, while not expansive, demonstrates a chic selection of beautifully crafted italian food. Expect plates of delicious food that is delightfully cooked and tasty, really tasty: One of the best mains I have had in London for a very long time. My only negative would be the lack of "buzz"; with so few tables in quite a large space, there is quite a snoozy ambience. However, with michelin stared service, wonderful food and an expansive wine list, this is a truly fantastic London restaurant (and wine bar).


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