‘Welcome to the 1950s,’ bids the hostess at the stairs to Control Room B, which first opened back then for a very different reason. It’s now home to the first bar in Battersea Power Station, brought to you by Charlie Gilkes as well as Duncan Stirling of Inception Group, behind Mr Fogg’s, Cahoots, Bunga Bunga and Maggie’s.
Designed by Alan Ellis of Ellis Design Studio, the circular, walk-in-only bar is studded with furnace-like lights and overlooks banks of dials and levers, with the massive turbine hall to one side.
Bar manager Simone Spagnoli’s drinks are designed to impress. A bergamot and passion fruit-scented concoction called Gas Wash is served in a fluted porcelain cup echoing the soaring internal pillars of the power station. Meanwhile, Burning The Midnight Oil, a pine-scented, white Negroni, is especially dramatic, rendered black with activated charcoal to evoke the coal of yesteryear while a white Prosecco-soaked foam cap hints at the once-smoking chimneys. The Existential Rebel offers a convincing non-alcoholic take on the Aviation cocktail, with a silvery colour suggestive of the London sky on a grey day.
While I had to get home to bed, Gilkes tells me the bar, with its Fifties playlist and furniture, plus 2am licence, ‘definitely has a Night at the Museum vibe’, which I hope to see for myself in the future.