Goldfish In the Bag, and a Damson In Distress, behind it
The Bank area isn’t the first place I’d head to for a couple of drinks, but when The Folly invited my food-blogger friend Tash and I down to try out their mixology class, I definitely didn’t think twice — booze; booze-education; boozing in a different part of London…sounds dreamy, right?
All manner of spirits, syrups and splashes were stocked on the workshop stations; mixologist Cuan went into great detail about each spirit we used on the day. Booze AND education!
Far from being the sort of bar you’d expect to see the city’s suits chugging back pints in after a successful day’s economy destroying/restoring, The Folly looks like it’s been styled by whoever handles the artistic vision for Anthropologie. Vintage finds dotted the walls; flowers bloomed from all areas, and if it wasn’t for the boutique cocktails being clutched by the drinkers, you could’ve almost assumed you had walked into a lifestyle shoot for an interiors magazine.
Chief mixologist Cuan, talking to a customer behind one of the workshop stations
Cuan, our Ryan Gosling-resembling mixologist, was both equally skilled with cocktail-making as he was the small-talk. Telling us all sorts of stories about the cocktail world (including a recent education trip to Paris with his workmates, where he visited something like 25 cocktail bars in one day), he also deftly showed us how to make two really summery cocktails, the Smoke & Mirrors and Fairground Millionaire, which feature on The Folly’s carnival-themed summer menu.
Smoke & Mirrors; a masculine cocktail with rum, mescal and passionfruit syrup
As a sister bar/restaurant to Southwark’s The Refinery; Canary Wharf’s The Parlour; the Heron Tower’s The Drift, and the City’s The Anthologist, The Folly’s billing as a secret garden within the city certainly seems apt, and given it’s far from the maddening crowd of Soho, the fact Cuan and his colleagues cater for hen dos keen to learn a cocktail recipe or two seemed rather more appealing than the usual options. I’d be concerned what the bar would look like when it’s at capacity though — the place is absolutely cavernous, with various rooms downstairs catering perfectly for a corporate event (or even wedding reception, which they do offer), so it may be difficult straining to hear every word of the class if that was the case.
Fairground Millionaire, which was my personal favourite — a given, considering it consisted of sloe gin, rum, and apricot brandy. As you can see, it’s served on a printed-out dollah dollah bill, yo
The cocktail classes cost £20 per person, and include two cocktails (which you make), so are priced pretty fairly I would say. While it’s not the usual sort of bar I would choose to drink in, mostly because of its location, I’d definitely recommend it for a work function or hen ‘do or something, given its really pretty theme and huge size. Plus, the cocktails were stonkingly tasty — so much so, Tash and I stuck around for a third one, ordering from the bar this time, which provided me with the perfect excuse to plump for the novelty Goldfish In The Bag; a G&T served in a Tesco freezer bag with grapefruit peel goldfish. I reckon if I’d have had one more drink in my system by that point, that goldfish would’ve gone home with me. Ooer.
Tash, and a bouquet of beautiful roses
The Folly was kind enough to serve us food during our class; this chorizo flatbread was incredible
One of the “speakeasy” rooms downstairs, which would make for a most excellent private event
Even the bathroom was beautiful…
Fairground millionaire recipe
20ml Haymans Sloe Gin
20ml Pampero Blanco Rum
20ml Bitter Truth Apricot Brandy
15ml Lime Juice
10ml Gomme Syrup
Dollar bill and lemon peel
Add all the ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice & shake.
Double strain cocktail into a coupe/champagne glass.
Serve with a dollar bill and garnish with lemon peel, which you have rubbed around the rim of the glass.
Tash and I attended The Folly’s class as guests, but as usual, all reviews are completely impartial.