February 2017 marks the sixth anniversary of my eating adventures and, as ever, I'm excited about what the coming months will bring for us foodies! In case this is your first visit (if not, welcome back), I'm a 30-something female with a very healthy appetite!...I promise to share with you my experience of each restaurant, café or bar in which I set foot...so, let's go out!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Door 34 Cocktail Bar - Bath

Never one to turn down the opportunity to check out a new cocktail bar, I jumped at the chance to attend the launch of ‘Door 34’, a funky new venue situated a stones-throw away from the Theatre Royal in Bath, Bristol’s picturesque neighbouring City…

Date and Time: Wednesday 29th June 2011, 18:00
Name of Establishment: Door 34
Location: 34 Monmouth Street, Bath
Reason for Visit: Launch Night Invite

Fronted by award-winning cocktail shakers, Craig Edney and Andy Walsh, Door 34 provides a sophisticated watering-hole for the discerning drinker. Though openly targeting an adult audience and in a prime location for a pre-theatre tipple or two, I wondered how this intimately arranged space would also cope with Bath’s huge student presence – not to say that the younger clientèle will shun their beloved Vodka Revolution Bar for a classier alternative but what is essentially a pretty small space could become overrun with students at the height of ‘term-time’. 

Musings aside and back to the evening at hand. I noted that Door 34, had an eclectic buzz which was both inviting and engaging. Besides a plastered unicorn head which became quite a talking point as the evening progressed, the bar itself is effortlessly stylish, the focus resting firmly on the quality of the cocktails which are well-measured and knowledgeably prepared to say the least. I started with a ‘Mary Pickford’ which combined Pampero Añejo rum with pineapple juice, a dash of Luxardo, lime and finished with Maraschino and a ‘bar-spoon’ of grenadine. A complicated arrangement I’m sure you’ll agree but the outcome was a wonderfully contrasting bitter-sweet concoction which was hugely refreshing on such a warm evening. The Boy opted for the ‘Bees Knees’ which muddled Tanqueray gin with freshly-squeezed lemon juice and runny honey – a lot more simplistic in terms of its make-up but equally as delicious! It’s worth noting at this point how reasonable the price tags are (cocktails averaging six to seven pounds each). I thought that, given the bar’s central-location, the somewhat elite range of available liquors as well as on-hand expertise, that the damage to one’s pocket would have been a lot worse! Quite the contrary and a great excuse to stay for a second round…

Unicorn walks into a bar - why the long face?!

Next up, the Mojito drink-off – I ordered the classic version and The Boy upped his game and chose the ‘Ultimate Mojito’ which, enhanced with 23-year-old dark rum, was by far the highlight of the evening for him. In fact, both drinks had been prepared with a real attention to detail - even the mint had been specifically selected to balance the flavours of this signature cocktail.
Mojito Magic
For my final drink of the evening (indulging in a third purely for research purposes) I let the experts guide me towards a Raspberry Martini with a (Tanqueray) gin twist. I loved the fruity sweetness and the delicate foamed finished in which nestled a single boozy raspberry – just divine! Subsequently, I enjoyed the friendly, unassuming nature of the bar staff who, upon being given a vague brief or a favourite base-line spirit, could conjure up something spectacular. There really were no pretensions nor were you made to feel daft for asking for something off the beaten track – as per the bar's ethos, the focus remains on accommodating individual taste and simply, creating 'good drinks and 'good times'.
Raspberry Martini...with a gin twist
Canapés were served courtesy of Theresa Faggetter of ‘Nibbled Catering’,* constituting a lovely array of top-notch titbits. The Boy made it his mission to try them all and concluded that the blinis were the best he had tasted and the asparagus spears wrapped with parmesan-sprinkled parma ham were very tasty with flavours that married together perfectly. Although well-received at the launch, Door 34 would be wise to offer accompanying nibbles as standard in order to soak up the (very generous) alcohol content of the venue’s beverage-list!
Canapé Creations
With its funky vibe and balanced appeal, I see this bar moving from strength to strength as its reputation for high-quality, no-nonsense cocktail creation disseminates amongst the City’s socialites. I certainly hope so as, for me; Door 34 is definitely a new favourite and a reason to visit Bath more often!

And now for the second opinion…
The Boy gave Door 34 a rating of 9/10 and his three words depict the sole recommendation derived from his experience…‘drink Ultimate Mojito’! Enough said…

* http://www.door34.co.uk/
* http://www.hydromelevents.com
The Door 34 Cocktail Academy also run master-classes and team-building experiences whereby a ‘mixologist’ will take participants through an interactive lesson of how to create their own concoctions. Craig Edney also heads Hydromel, an events company which brings the bar to you – genius!
* www.nibbledcatering.co.uk

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