Jazz and juleps at Sips & Sounds, Kensington

As soon as we arrived I knew I could have cracked out a dress at least two octaves classier than the one I was wearing.

drinks-with-menu1The K Bar is located in The Kensington hotel, which should have sent alarm bells ringing when I picked out my decidedly average get-up for the evening. I was briefly a little bit embarrassed as the bar is quite fancy – lots of wood paneling and wonderful old tomes lining the walls – but they’ve actually managed to achieve that rare balance of glamorous-casual. It’s like the bar equivalent of a pair of unexpectedly comfortable sexy knickers. This is done by way of subtle (read: forgiving) lighting from both quaint table lamps and epic chandeliers, and deep, squishy armchairs that could swallow a man whole.

bartenderbartendersWe were there to toast in a new weekly jazz and cocktail night running every Thursday through the winter called Sips & Sounds. The former are delivered via eight specially-created cocktails containing spirits from local distillery Sipsmith, including the brand new (awesome btw) Lemon Drizzle Gin. Drinks, all £8.50, fall into two camps: fruity and sweet, or fragrant and interesting. The most interesting was the Winter Julep, which is served warm in a copper mug. (Rumour has it that there are designs to add heated outdoor pods for bigger groups that’ll line the streets outside the hotel. Sort of like Winter Wonderland but not shit and actually quite posh.)

copper-drinksSnuggling up on the carnivorous sofas with our warm Sips was complemented marvellously by the sultry Sounds of The Farrah Joy Trio, an outfit consisting of a double bass, a guitar and one cracking set of lungs. We were serenaded by both classic jazz and reworked pop songs, but I was most impressed by all the requests they took. Do all three of these people just know all the songs off the top of their heads!? The mind boggles. I’ve since learned they’re Kind Of A Big Deal on the London jazz circuit and I can understand why. They really were great.

band3I went to Sips & Sounds with my boyfriend Andrew, but it’s just up the road from our place in Putney so I’m already making plans to go back with girlfriends. I would recommend it to anyone trying to impress on a date, but I’d also proudly take my mother. It’s that sort of place.

Sips & Sounds, every Thursday evening at The Kensington, 109-, 113 Queen’s Gate, London, SW7 5LP


Author: Carla Juniper

Carla is a proud Putney-dweller and newly-minted vegetarian. She loves pickled beetroot and experimenting in the kitchen, especially when accompanied by a very large glass of wine, which is known to aid creativity and culinary prowess. In her spare time she uses her degree in Illustration to create bespoke digital portraits (you can check our her work here).

She also sucks at the flying trapeze.