Bar Tab: Bloomsbury Club Bar

A hard day at work deserves a little magic, and the dark wood-panelled walls of the Bloomsbury Club seem just the place to find it. Downstairs beneath the louder attraction of the now-autumnal Dalloway Terrace – all billowing blinds and auburn leaves – two intrepid office types find themselves swept back to the golden age of drinking and dancing, as the swing band tune up the double bass and adjust the Shure 55 for added legitimacy. A glance at the menu, which draws upon the experiments in mysticism undertaken by the Bloomsbury Group of the 1920s, and our workers are now more bashful than intrepid as they try to decide whether they’re feeling dreamy, charismatic or wise. Fortunately, before any real embarrassment can develop, the magic intensifies with the arrival of the cocktail diviner. With a read of your palm, this mysterious creature from exotic lands can reveal your deepest thoughts and prescribe a cocktail to cure what ails you. Whether you’re feeling seductive or envious, somewhere in between (or even both), a potion exists to counter or enhance nearly every state of mind. The Ananda helps you begin your quest for eternal bliss if it cannot simply be found in the combination of cognac, mango and spiralling hickory smoke. For those seeking courage, the Warrior of Venus offers liquid self-assurance (which tastes of rhubarb) under a sticky sweet foam of lemon and vanilla. By the time our explorers have swallowed concoctions inspiring charisma (bourbon and red plum gives way to cocoa and rich red fruit) and enduring love (a scent of fresh-cut grass, but a taste of spiced red apple and beurre noisette) they are converted to the mystery of the tarot, palmistry and more. Maybe, just maybe, there’s something to it after all? (16-22 Great Russell St. 020 7347 1222.)