The Walrus Room, London
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and—ships—and sealing-wax—“
Of woodland negronis – and Valkyrie.
Might as well cut to the chase and introduce the London bar inspired behind the looking glass: The Walrus Room.
Just a brisk walk from Clapham Junction over on Battersea Rise lies this vintage and elegant cocktail bar run by dynamic duo Alfonso Califano and Simone De Luca. Pumping with a range of rockabilly, electric swing and jazz when live music isn’t breathing soul through the bar, this cosy, unpretentious place is perfect for any sophisticated palate.
Simone, the cocktail genius of the two prepares Botánicos, a refreshing blueberry Brockmans cocktail, whilst Alfonso reminisces about working in his family delicatessen in Italy from the age of seven. His mother didn’t know what to do with him for the three-month summer so she sent him off to work in a coffee bar where he began solving life’s problems with the local regulars. With a tourism degree under his belt, he made the choice to move to London to perfect his English. He fell into a pub in Kilburn and hasn’t looked back.
It was around six months ago Simone poached Alfonso to help build The Walrus Room, which had only just opened a few months prior. The two of them set to work on redesigning the cocktail menu, working with Simon Lamont on a ‘bits & bobs’ bar snack menu (yes complete with oysters), and bringing that neighbourhood feel to the area. Simone changes the cocktail menu as and when he pleases, mostly when he feels inspired. His current obsession includes Asian exotic flavours with curry and wasabi making menu appearances. The goal is to keep it simple, stick to 4 ingredients, while bringing the alcohol to life. And inspiration isn’t too difficult to uncover with #TheCocktailExchangeProject. TWR exchanges a cocktail with a bar from across the world to feature on the menu. The current cocktail hails from Bar Trench in Tokyo and next month’s will arrive from Liberty or Death in Helsinki.
With Alfonso’s infectious hospitality and Simone’s talent for inventing flavours, they’re making waves in the London bar scene. And filling the bar full of women, something the two credit to their good looks…
We’re a cozy neighborhood bar, serving classy but not pretentious drinks and high quality bites.
Best thing you’ve ever overheard at your bar?
Two good regulars divorcing in front of us. We actually helped them getting back together.
Why do you think gin is so popular?
It’s an accessible flavour and it’s easy to mix with.
What is it about Brockmans that appeals to you?
We like the fresh blueberry notes.
If you could have one last drink before you died, what would you choose?
By Simone De Luca
- 50ml of Brockmans Gin
- 50ml of Blueberries sauce
- 15ml of Purple basil syrup
- Topped up with Vanilla Foam
Pour all the ingredients in a ceramic cup, add ice and mix all together. Garnish with red amaranth leaves, baby coriander and an edible flower.