"It’s not every day you stumble across a slice of the Wild West in Fulham"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
It’s not every day you stumble across a slice of the Wild West in Fulham, but that’s exactly what you’ll find when crossing the threshold of Kings Road’s Moonshine Saloon. The latest immersive bar experience from Inventive Productions, the team behind the notorious Alcotraz, the pop up has proven so successful over the summer it’s just announce it will be taking up permanent residence in wild (south) west London and opening up several more rooms to extend its cowboy-themed theatrics.
For those not in the know, the premise is BYOB; you provide the spirit, they provide the rest and service you up four cocktails during your time in the saloon. The experience centres around saloon owner and notorious moonshine distiller Clyde Cassidy; I’ve not been to Alcotraz, but apparently that’s the next stage of the story of Clyde’s time behind bars. More on that another time.
They aren’t kidding when they say immersive; from the moment you approach the front door you’re in wild west territory. The look on my friend’s face when she realised these guys were going to be in character all night was hilarious to say the least… Kitted out with the right look from the local tailoring outfit. Led down to the saloon, what follows is two hours of theatrics and drama. Without giving too much away, Cassidy (who, by the way, is particularly easy on the eye) is trying to run a covert moonshine smuggling business away from the watchful eye of the local sheriff, who enjoys a drop of the hard stuff himself. If you’re the shy and retiring type it’s not for you; you’ll want to put on your best southern drawl and put your money where your mouth is as the card games and rounds of dice liven up. Cocktails are served expertly prepared by a world-class team of mixologists and barkeeps who will combine your smuggled liquor with bitters, syrups, liqueurs and garnishes. Taking a bottle of gin, I was marginally confused to be served what appeared to be a Pina colada. Not my favourite creation if I’m honest and a slightly confusing choice; the other three served were much more appealing, a classic gin sour topping the taste leaderboard.
It’s a hilarious experience and one you can’t help but get swept along in. By the end of the night the saloon was whooping and hollering, booing the sheriff, throwing their cowboy hats in the air and talking as though we were in cowboy country and not the wilds of Fulham. I’d be intrigued to find out what other rooms the extended offering will encompass, as the 20 odd covers it has been accommodating means the current experience is a fairly intimate and cosy one, though doubling the size would be no bad thing. When it comes to the cocktails, it remains to be seen whether a gin Pina colada is something I’ll ever willingly try again.
Laurel reviewed Moonshine Saloon on Thu 11 Oct 2018