The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell | The New London Cocktail Review
The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell ~ The New London Cocktail Review

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell

The Zetter Townhouse
49-50 St John's Square
London EC1V 4JJ

Kina Lillet & Jerry Boam

Scene: A country townhouse, in the city.

Fade in: The townhouse is full of thirty-something off-duty bankers and large groups of perfectly turned out women on hen parties. A woman sits alone at a small table in the corner. It is clear she's waiting for someone. A little while later a young man enters, wearing a navy blue double breasted blazer with gold buttons. It is clear that he's looking for someone. He spots the woman, smiles, and walks over to her table. He sits down. They don't speak. A menu is already on the table. He looks at the menu, takes his time and then signals to the waitress, who hurries over to take their order.

Jerry: "A Flintlock please, and a..."

Kina: "A Master at Arms."

Jerry: "and a Master at Arms for the lady."

The waitress notes their drinks down on a faded shorthand pad and winds her way between the tables back to the bar.

Jerry: "Quite something this place, don't you think? Rather reminds me of the Boam's Wessex pile."

Kina: "What, full of men in cheap suits and women who seem to be preparing for their impending nuptials by having botox and drinking themselves into oblivion with their 'girlfriends'?"

Jerry: "Kina, darling, why must you always find the objectionable in everything?"

Kina: "Why must you insist on bringing the objectionable to me? I want to like it. I really do. I'm trying to give the place a chance."

Jerry: "Ah, now then. Here, it seems, are our drinks. Splendid."

Kina: "Why are they in such small glasses? How peculiar."

J: "Oh gosh, well this is a charming little nip. It's like neat gin, but with a delicate floral sort of note or two. And she lit the side on fire – did you see that? How delightful. Rather reminds me of the Boam's ancient duelling pistols. Did I ever tell you that story of Old Deadeye Boam and those fig-leaved natives...?”

<<The gaggle of women at the next table chatter away, "Have you seen Almedia's bridesmaids dresses? They're absolutely atrocious. I mean sea green. Really. What was she thinking.">>

K: "I'm sure that someone might like this sort of drink, but it certainly isn't me. What have they put it in, anyway? I can't even remember. Evaporated port and rum. Why didn't I just order a Bloody Mary? I like Bloody Marys. I don't like this."

Kina attracts the attention of the waitress, who comes to their table. Jerry winces.

K: "I'm so sorry, but I really am not enjoying this drink. It's made beautifully, but it just isn't to my taste. Could you take it back and bring me a Bloody Mary?"

<<"Letitia, they did such a magnificent job on your forehead. Did you go to John on Harley Street? Didn't I tell you he was the best.">>

K: "So Jerry, what's the news? How was Mogadishu? Did you manage to track down your mother in the end."

J: "You know mother. One can only find her when she wants to be found, but Mogadishu was lovely as ever. The whole place is up in arms over elections or something. I forget exactly what. But never mind that all that. I drank all the Château Lafite in sight and did what I had to do.

K: "Here's my Bloody Mary, thank the lord. Yes, that's much better. Yes. Parsley vodka and beef consommé. Peculiar. It tastes rather like a Bloody Mary but with an Oxo cube chucked in. Much better than that other ghastly thing I was drinking before, but it's no classic. Dearest Jerry, let's never come here again."

<<"Of course I'm marrying Benedict. Just because he dallied that one time with the nanny, I'd be mad to abandon the flat in Chelsea, the Range Rover, and the little place in Dorset....">>

J: "I'll admit that I'm not overly fond of the dreadful company in which we find ourselves, Kina, but I am rather fond of nearly neat gin. Have I ever mentioned my Oxford days? I have? Right you are. Shall we depart? And yes, let's never come here again."

Fade out.

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