Victorian hideaway The Four Sisters Townhouse has opened in the City of London, reports Mark Ludmon
Tucked away down narrow cobbled streets behind St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London is The Four Sisters Townhouse. Reminiscent of a secretive Victorian gentleman’s club, it is the second bar from Andrew Green and Simon Bastable who opened The Four Sisters Bar in Islington two years ago. Working again with leading hospitality designer Steve Curtis of 360 International Group, they have built on the first bar’s cosy, Dickensian charm to create a luxurious hideaway filled with Victoriana.
The 720 sq ft bar features gilt-framed mirrors, beautiful Victorian floor tiles, gargoyle heads on the ceiling and original Victorian cast iron detailing as well as William Morris-style pink wallpaper with a wild flower pattern and a carved rhino head wall light set in an antique ornate picture frame. Other curiosities range from a stuffed raven atop a skull to pinned beetles and butterflies in frames. “The concept developed around the Victorian townhouse theme and included a collection of eclectic curiosities collected from and inspired by travels around the British Empire of that time,” Steve explains.
Victorian-style banquette seating with plush modern velvets and leathers is set against the backdrop of deep red walls and dark oak panelling. Much of the furniture and furnishings was sourced from reclamation yards, markets and antique dealers.
After gaining plaudits for the cocktails at the original Four Sisters, bar manager Andrei Marian offers a weekly-changing drinks menu using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients as part of his “market to glass” concept. Behind the green marble bar, shelves brim with homemade bitters, tinctures, curds, foams, syrups, sodas and cordials to complement the premium spirits on offer, including an international range of bitter amaro liqueurs, including one made in house.
Classic cocktails sit alongside contemporary signatures such as the sweet, sharp Beetnick combining Beefeater gin with beetroot-infused sherry, granny smith apple and cucumber water. The Johnny Be Good is a mix of Whitley Neill gin with Gabriel Boudier Elderflower Liqueur, Becherovka, lemon juice and rhubarb marmalade, while Jim Beam Double Oak bourbon is given a fiery twist in the Kentucky Rhapsody mixed with pepper, pineapple, lemon juice and scotch bonnet soda.
Special lunchtime aperitifs are available such as the Income Tax Spritz with bitter aperitivo Berto, Cynar and Double Dutch pomegranate and basil tonic. Alongside wines and champagnes, beers include Camden Town Brewery on draught. Trading only weekdays, it is open from midday until 11pm Monday and Tuesday and to 1am Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Unlike their original bar, the 54-cover venue offers food, with a menu of light bites, artisan sandwiches, bar snacks, sharing dishes, grazing boards and mains such as slow-roasted Suffolk pork belly with Bramley apple and wild mushroom risotto. Simon adds: “Although adding elements such as an artisan food menu to our original concept, we retain The Four Sisters Bar’s ethos of contrasting the dedication and professionalism of the bar team with the personality and tone of the venue itself which is elegant yet mischievous with a wicked sense of humour.”
The Four Sisters Townhouse, 5 Groveland Court, Bow Lane, London EC4M 9EH
Tel: 020 7248 5551
Behind the scenes
Design: 360 International Group
Wallpaper: House of Hackney
Originally published in the November 2016 print edition of Bar magazine.