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Cellar Door

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by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
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Published May 24th 2011

Sometimes looking around London can bring up surprises. I was wandering around the Strand when I came across this weird-looking subway entrance (see picture above). Now, my curiousness as it is, I couldn't resist a little scan around the structure to see if, first of all, this had anything worth descending for.

As it turns out, it has. Cellar Door, is a bar located at zero, Aldwych - the stairway entrance being the only obvious indication to what lies downstairs. Though the bar is small (it used to be a gents public toilet, frequented by the likes of Oscar Wilde after all), what they lack in room they make up for in both substance and style. They can mix up a vast array of cocktails from their cocktail menu, or even off the menu and serve various flavours of snuff (a chewing tobacco obviously used to side-step the ban on cigarettes in pubs and bars in operation in the UK).

There are some innovative features too - they have an SMS jukebox, and entertainment-wise there are a variety of acts to choose from, based around cabaret/ jazz style musicians and burlesque dancers. The performance area is small, but the air of intimacy that is created with the performers makes this a unique experience for even the most jaded of entertainment junkies.

Also, a little insider tip, don't forget to whisper your secret word (available via the website) into the ear of the Fallen Angel (you'll know who) and receive a little glass of something special!

Entry is free for most nights, but expect to get there very early if you want this to be the case. Still when you're inside, you might just not want to leave again.
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Why? Because snuff, burlesque and cocktails in a cellar is just what you need
When: from 4pm 7 days a week
Where: Zero Aldwych, London
Cost: free before 4pm
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