Sunday, December 9, 2018


My pal Joanna and I were in the Pembury bar, in Roux at Parliament Square, a ritzy watering hole if ever there was one, and not my usual stomping ground, but since we're being Christmas, every London pub was exploding with people, most of whom it seems only ever go to a pub once a year, so the Pembury was the quiet option, though it wasn't quite as quiet as it looks in this pic from their website:

The cocktail menu featured a James Bond Vesper Martini – that old cookie - in this case “Sipsmith Gin, Belvedere Vodka, Lillet Blanc,” though as any fool knows, the modern version of Lillet Blanc is made to a different recipe from the one Bond would have known.

The Vesper cost 15 quid which seemed pretty steep but that’s how it is with ritzy watering holes, and given that the non-alcoholic "One For The Fox" which either contains or consists of “Citrus Agave” cost £12, our Vespers could conceivably be thought of as bargains.

The drinks came and they were perfectly decent, good enough that we drank them and then tried to order two more.  However, the waiter told us they’d run out of Lillet – by which I suppose he meant that we’d just drunk the last of it - but that we could have a version made with vermouth instead of Lillet so we had that.  And they were perfectly decent too, though in smaller glasses, even if the pour may have been the same size.

Next day I was walking down Kings Road and came across a shop selling classic James Bond posters, like this one for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

I don’t remember if George Lazenby drank cocktails as 007, but even if the film ruined him, he did at least get a gig selling Kronenberg.

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