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The Graphic Bar at Ask for Janice

SEEN hasn’t been to The Graphic in Soho’s Golden Square, but judging by this city offshoot underneath famous wine bar Ask for Janice on Long Lane, there’s a retro vibe to both establishments. With a hip hop playlist and graffiti (‘That’ll Learn ‘Em’) on the walls, this intimate venue (hitherto A for J’s private hire room) is delightfully old-school.

With a fabulous wine list (and a few g&ts) upstairs, the Graphic Bar is the place for serious cocktail lovers, where a lovely range of gins is on offer. London has always had a dark love affair with gin (mother’s ruin and all that) and The Graphic Bar has a few SEEN didn’t know. Fancying something quite dry, I asked the friendly and knowledgeable staff what they recommended. They brought me a Soho Soda, which had quite a kick to it: Heyman’s gin, Cocchi Torino, bitters, prosecco and soda. It was indeed delightfully dry and a jolly good accompaniment to the flatbread pizza. That arrived (appropriately enough for Halloween) with pumpkin, chilli and kale on it. Yes, it sounds an unlikely combo but was truly delicious, the crispness of the kale and the heat of the chilli lifting the sweetness of the pumpkin.

SEEN being a bit of a lightweight on the gin front, I was glad of the carbohydrate hit to get me home. The menu is Mediterranean with a twist, the cocktails can be quaffed from paint tins, should you so wish, and I am reliably informed that the joint is jumping on a Thursday and Friday. Good. Why should Golden Square have all the fun? SEEN recommends.

The Graphic Bar (at Ask for Janice)
50-52 Long Lane