It’s worth knowing that London’s Basement Sate is the sister bar to Sherry Butt, one of Paris’ most reliable cocktail haunts. And while the sexy, low-lit vibe of the French original pervades its London sibling, with its leather couches and little hideaways, that’s not to say that it’s a simple carbon copy. While Sherry Butt aims for classic speakeasy, Basement Sate skews a touch livelier. It also places the same weight on its menu of desserts as it does its pedigreed drinks.
As a punter, it’s well worth paying equal attention to both menus. Instead of pedestrian sponges, desserts here speak with a French accent, and feature surprisingly haute techniques. The Vacherin, a delicate white disc of lime meringue, came dabbed with basil cream and tangy cranberry orange coulis; subtle, complex – and an ideal cocktail pairing (the Arboriculturist, a Calvados affair with sherry and cinnamon pear syrup, was a willing partner). But even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, there are options. Like the Salty Granny, which features Japanese whisky, granny smith syrup, and wakame (that’s seaweed) infused vermouth. Oh la la.