There’s clearly a buzz about 812. The first time we arrived, cameras started flashing outside, and no, they hadn’t heard BarChick was on her way. Head bartender Vladimir had just won a competition in Amsterdam, and the local press was out to pap the bar. Seems they have quite the following. Good start.
We propped up the gorgeous copper bar, under chandeliers of Campari and soda bottles and watched the show. They mix up drinks with proper panache here using lots of crazy local ingredients – sea thornberry gin, anyone? Served in shot glasses, teapots and freaky glassware, they also do fancy things with blowtorches, much to our delight (toasting a sprig of rosemary for the twist in our Negroni). Try the Pablo Escobars with lashings of basil, vanilla and citron vodka and bitters, or the prize winning, if nutty, jasmine tea and clementine vodka concoction.
This place is understated and stylish with a kinda New York feel to it – but it’s all about the drinks really. On the weekend, the chilled soul classics (plenty of Stevie) are replaced with DJs and dancing. They serve up burgers to the hip St P crowd, which is totally in keeping with the dressed-up dive bar vibe. Do it.