What: Cahoots is a disused underground tube station themed bar that transports guests back in time, to post-war 1940s complete with cocktails and sing-a-longs around an old piano.
New? It opened in March 2015 and is part of the award-winning Inception Group whose other venues include Bunga Bunga, Maggie’s and Mr Fogg’s.
Where? 13 Kingly Court, Carnaby, Soho, W1B 5PG www.cahoots-london.com
On the Menu: A selection of home-made sandwiches, not afternoon tea sized bites either but the full sized ones you would find in an actual picnic. A couple of hot bites like a spinach and ricotta roll and then cakes that you would imagine having in the 1940s. Cocktails? Slightly less so.
First Impressions: It’s hard to find in the bustle of Kingly Court with only a grate door with train signs on to alert you to its location, despite this there was still a queue. Cahoots is bookings only at the weekend and several inquisitive diners were sent away. Once through the door a train assistant calls downstairs to confirm there’s space and off you go down the stairs to this wonderful post-war 1940s themed underground tube station.
The Look: Besides the obvious nods to train culture like the train carriage section that runs up one side of the venue with train seats and various train signs you can also spy mismatched furniture, trinkets from the 1940s and a piano on a small stage opposite the bar. The lighting is dim but not dingy and all the staff were kitted out in theme-appropriate clothing.
What We Ate: Our picnic is set up for us upon arrival with the sandwiches wrapped in paper bags inside a wicker basket on the table. They weren’t wildly exciting but you get a full sized sandwich and a half (3 half sandwiches in different flavours) meaning you’re at least full. The next course fares better with 2 small heated pastries served hot in a mess tin. The sweet section was the most disappointing comprising of shortbread, Battenburg cake and scones all out of a packet.
What We Drank: We were greeted with a welcome drink made of vodka, berries and lychee syrup before settling down to order our main drink which comes served in a large, old fashioned milk bottle. Top marks for Blowin’ Sideways, a mix of Russian Standard Original Vodka, pineapple syrup, banana liqueur and cherry, almond milk. There is also the option to have a bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial NV.
Go With: Anyone, everyone, it’s so much fun and such a quirky idea that it’s definitely one to cross off while in London.
Final Word: The thing that makes Cahoots so much fun is the entertainer who sings and orchestrates audience participation including a conga line all while cracking jokes along the way. I give Cahoots high marks as an overall experience, the only foul marks would be the food but if you remember that Cahoots is predominantly a bar it is forgivable, and certainly worth a visit nonetheless.