The Evans and Peel Detective Agency, Earl’s Court

Evans and Peel Detective Agency Earls Court
Wearing that dress is a step in the right direction (Detective Dick Tracy)

The Vibe

Welcome to the year of the speakeasy. Like the proliferation of joints springing up around London, The Evans and Peel Detective agency is hard(ish) to find, admits only those who book in advance and isn’t shy about plunging punters into darkness. Unlike the others it has a little less swagger, a little more warmth and a lot more focus on recreating a bygone era.

Knock on the door and the detective will buzz you in. This is usually a tiresome process but this Northern country gent is a sincere charmer, and very easy on the eyes. Open up the bookcase and you’re led down some stairs to a 1920s themed room, complete with period music, bartenders in costume, antique-style tables and an overall theatrical vibe. There’s a no standing policy so it’s never overcrowded and you can be left to enjoy your session in peace.

The Order

American-style food is served, from sliders to small plates of mac and cheese. These are decent but shouldn’t be what you focus on, more of a playful stomach liner if you will. The cocktail list is hard to read in the dim setting but the bartenders are more than helpful about talking you through options and introducing their speciality: infused spirits. Think lavender and Earl Grey infused gin or peppercorn flavoured vodkas, either delicious alone or incorporated into a cocktail mix; well presented, beautifully done. Although the wine is hilariously presented in a brown paper bag don’t bother with it, only the spirits will impress your date.

The Game

Get into conversation with the staff and bartenders; since you’ve chosen a place that could be interpreted as convoluted, try and diffuse this by putting your date at ease with banter and sarky remarks (you may know a thing or two about your bourbon but now isn’t the place to bring this up). Be gracious about letting the staff guide you through the drinks, offer to get some food to accompany them and hope your date decides to just stick to the hard stuff. Stay for a couple of drinks and act smouldering, seductive and coy, swirling the ice cubes around as you drop in some louche comment about the intimate setting. End the night with a corny ‘let’s get outta here’, and try and take them back to yours.

The Faults

Dress sparingly as it can get a little steamy down there. Also, the wine is not on the same level as the spirits so best avoided.

Sex Factor

4.5. Providing your date appreciates a bit of drama and likes to swill spirits all night long, your chances are pretty high. The tipping point is whether your final destination is able to maintain the decadent vibe- a student flat right now would be a buzz kill.

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