Revolution and The Alchemist Bar

   Seeing as I finished my studies for the year and my best friend - Katie - had an interval between her law exams, we decided to take some time off for ourselves. What better way to treat yourself than to explore some beguiling city bars?


   We had our hearts set on visiting The Alchemist bar in London, which is renowned for its captivating chemical cocktails. However, after spotting a Revolution bar, we decided to dine there and taste a few of their concoctions first.

   As it was already edging towards the evening, it was understandably starting to get crowded. Thankfully though, there were spaces for us in the upstairs dining area, which overlooked the entire downstairs bar section.

Me holding my mango and pineapple flavoured Blank Canvass cocktail in Revolution bar.

   We kickstarted by ordering our first drinks; we both selected the Blank Canvas but I chose the mango and pineapple flavour whilst Katie opted for sour berry. These were very interesting drinks as we were both served vodka mixed with lemon juice, sugar and soda but the actual flavours were in prepared pipettes!

   Simultaneously, we both ordered a chicken caesar salad, which did not take long to prepare at all. Disappointingly, our drinks did not come for 45 minutes, which was outrageous! How on earth can it take three times longer to make some simple cocktails than preparing two meals? Fortunately, salads don't tend to be warm so we did not have to worry about them going cold whilst waiting for our drinks (We were very thirsty!).

Not so impressive: Katie and I ordered Revolution's Chicken Caesar Salad.

   The salad was not at all what I anticipated it to be. The menu stated that it consisted of chicken, bacon, parmesan, croutons, anchovies - which I had never tried before - and lettuce. The bacon was so minuscule that you could barely taste it; the chicken was spicy, which I really did not expect and that spoiled the taste for me. The croutons resembled and tasted like ripped apart stale bread! I fancied myself as being healthy and adventurous by opting for a salad as opposed to a mouthwatering burger. That prospect came back to slap me in the face because, despite my leafy gains, I did not enjoy it at all and the anchovies made me feel sick!

Life lesson: Just get the burger, you pretentious fatty.

If you're going to dine out and pay the earth, you might as well order something you'll actually enjoy!

Delicious: Revolution's Salted Caramel Fondue, which Katie and I shared.

  Luckily, the dessert was so scrumptious. Between us, we ordered a salted caramel fondue with marshmallows, strawberries, bananas and these sweet, soft, breadsticks. It certainly compensated for the main meal but I definitely would not recommend having the whole thing to yourself unless you have a huge appetite! Everything melted in my mouth and the fondue was so sweet.

   The cocktails were 2 for 1 as it was happy hour (between 5 and 7 - ironically, 2 hours) but it was getting past 7 o'clock by the time we wanted to order more drinks. Therefore, we would have to pay for our individual cocktails from that point. We did not mind this. I wanted to order the Salted Caramel Mudshake and Katie wanted the Cherry Woo Woo. The bar staff assumed we both wanted one of each so we ended up with four cocktails on our table even though we each specified what we wanted. This led to the belief that, because we arrived during happy hour, we could keep paying 2 for 1 on drinks. Wrong. We got charged extra for drinks we did not even want! Thankfully, the bar staff were understanding and refunded us the difference.

Cocktails: Cherry Woo Woo [Left] and Salted Caramel Mudshake [Right] with the Salted Caramel Fondue [Centre].

   Overall, the service wasn't brilliant as it took extremely long to get drinks even though it was not busy in the dining area at all. There was only one waitress taking orders so my guess is that Revolution was very understaffed.

The Alchemist

   At last, the part of the night we eagerly awaited. I was determined to purchase the most interesting looking drink with vigorous puffs of gas, colour changing and fizzing! So, of course, my first action was to look at the menu and then ask one of the bartenders for recommendations. 

"Hello," I said, "It's our first time here and we would like to order something very exciting and reactive with all the steam and everything... like that one you just served!" I motioned to the bubbling green brew on the bar next to me. 

   Watching them serve exciting and convincingly scientific looking cocktails to other customers, you would think that they would know exactly what you were talking about. You would think that, with their experience, they would have a rough idea what to recommend. 

   She points out three cocktails to me on the menu but urges me that one particular rum based cocktail was the best. Excited, I agreed to buy it. I watched expectantly as she poured various liquids into a tankard. The tension was building. She then put it over a Bunsen burner and there was a spark for a split second... and then she put a stick (as in an actual stick the bartenders probably foraged in the woods) in the drink and presented it to me. 

I tried not to grit my teeth as I entered in my debit card pin. 

Me [Left] with Katie [Right] enjoying the atmosphere at The Alchemist bar in London.

   Katie ordered the drink I was originally going to go for. It was called The Colour Changing One and it was remarkable. It is served as a glass of dry ice (which produces the nitrogen gas) and two liqueurs in separate beakers. As you pour them in, the dry ice melts, producing the gas, and then the drink changes colour as soon as you pour the other beaker in! 

   The rum based cocktail was a little bitter for my liking but it's still alcohol so I had no trouble finishing the whole thing. If you happen to order the same drink, the accompanying stick is not edible. I checked.

The Alchemist cocktail: The Colour Changing One, which produced a very fun chemical reaction!

I would certainly recommend The Colour Changing One as a first drink if you ever happen to visit The Alchemist. Its vibrant display certainly won't disappoint and the fruity taste is delicious (Katie let me try it). 

   Despite being chatted up by men nearly ten years our senior with the promise of drinks that they never bought us (otherwise, what's the point?), it was - on the whole - a splendid night! 


  1. The dessert you ordered looks amazing, I can't believe it took 45 minutes for your drinks to come though! Looks like you had a lovely night x

    Erin // Everything Erin

    1. It tasted absolutely delicious! I couldn't believe it either; I expected the food to take longer but the drinks were ridiculous. At least they tasted exquisite and I really did have a lovely night on the whole!

  2. It's a shame that your experience of Revolution was so disappointing, hopefully it's just a one of for them! That cocktail looks amazing as well, if I'm ever in London I will have to find the bar!

    Lauren :) x

    1. I'll definitely try to go back another time; I have one in my home town so I might try there! Definitely, I would recommend! x

  3. The Alchemist is amazingggg! We have 2 here in Manchester and I love going for special occasions! Altho it can be v pricey!

    1. It really is lush but, agreed, it is very pricey! If you know which drinks to buy, definitely worth a rare treat!

  4. oooo the food looks YUMMY! especially the fondue!

    Hannah @ The Northern Writes |

  5. It sounds like you had a great time, I love revolution bars because their cocktails are always great. We have a lab bar which has drinks out of test tubes and other science utensils, no cups or anything and it's amazing. I love the sound of the food, love a good munch.

    Jordanne ||