The Handbook
The Handbook

Powder Keg Diplomacy

By | 18th October 2011

The newest addition to the Lost Group stable (Lost Society, Lost Angel, Citizen Smith, Blind Tiger) is Powder Keg Diplomacy on St John’s Hill in Clapham – its colonial-style setting matched with Victorian influenced concoctions.

Head chef Warren Beesely and libations maestros Murray Slater and Matt Roberts are the trio behind the new venture and dedicated to celebrating British food, wines, spirits, beers and ales. Their manifesto? “honouring tradition whilst subverting convention.” Which probably explains the giant map of the world stretching across the ceiling and the 3D antelope sculpture coming to life from within an oil painting on the wall.

The central bar is drenched in deep blues and focused on a large oval dining table. Raw brickwork surrounds a working fire place in turn surrounded by comfy sofas and chairs while booths are decked out in House Of Hackney Empire wallpaper and weird and wonderful antiques and curiosities. Towards the rear of the venue an atmospheric conservatory area features old fashioned gramophones reclaimed and repurposed into light fittings.

On the main menu you’ll find Gypsy Pheasant, Victorian Game terrine and a selection of Edwardian desserts alongside accompaniments such as Whitstable rock oysters, Saffron scented potato rosti and Kentish apple tart tatin while the bar menu features rustic breads, Scotch eggs and mini game pies.

For the cocktails, historical gins such as Nettle Gimlet – a Plymouth gin medicinal infusion, used by British naval officers – along with mixed with hand-made liqueurs, cordials and bitters. Or you could try the Chatham Artillery punch – mead honeyed wine, cherry wine infused Rye Whiskey, gun powder green tea, Kentish cherries, topped with Chapel Down. The 19th century artillery regiment from which it takes its name was better known for its carousing than its battles. Go figure…

147 St John’s Hill, SW11