This month has seen Mr Fogg’s arrive in Mayfair, a recreation of the actual home of Jules Verne’s most famous adventurer, Phileas Fogg. Mr Fogg’s will be the first West End project from Inception Group, whose founders Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling have also created Chelsea speakeasy Barts, 80’s themed nightclub, Maggie’s and most recently the acclaimed Bunga Bunga, an Englishman’s Italian, Bar, Pizzeria and Karaoke venue.
Modelled on the very Mayfair house in which Phileas Fogg would have lived after travelling Around the World in 80 Days, the bar will be refined but at the same time truly off-the-wall, breathing liveliness and fun into the West End. Guests will encounter all the wonders of the world without setting foot outside of London.
As a private man, Mr Fogg’s home will be well hidden down a small side street off Berkeley Square and will maintain an element of secrecy like The Inception Group’s bar, Barts, the first speakeasy to open in London in 2009.
A small plaque will mark a door with Victorian lanterns hanging outside. On arrival, guests will enter an immaculate hallway where Mr. Fogg’s trusty valet Passepartout will be on hand to take guests’ coats, umbrellas and calling cards.
Mr Fogg’s will be modeled on the eccentric explorer’s period drawing room laden with artifacts and trinkets collected from his travels. The walls will be adorned with everything from stuffed Indian tigers and crocodiles to ornaments collected through his worldwide voyage.
Annotated maps and pictures from his travels will also feature prominently throughout the bar, as will clocks, given the importance Mr Fogg places on punctuality. A piano for sing-alongs and an open fireplace to welcome any weary traveller to its hearth will provide focal points. As Fogg was a hero of the Victorian age, guests will be able to toast an imposing portrait of its matriarch, Queen Victoria, hanging alongside paintings of him and his ancestors.
Under the brilliant stewardship of Bacchanologist, Mark Jenner – formerly Bar Manager of The Coburg bar at The Connaught Hotel – Mr Fogg’s will provide an elegant global drinking adventure on each occasion. Mark will continually source rare and unusual products from each continent, seeking to open up guests’ imaginations and palates to new and daring combinations.
The menu will be a unique interpretation of Victorian Cocktailian Culture, with many classics from that era being revived with a modern twist, such as: Absinthe Aperitifs, Gin Fizzes, Grog’s, Sazeracs, Stirrup Cups and Pouce Cafés. There will also be sharing drinks straight out of the pages of Jules Verne’s novel, served in the form of globes, steam trains and antique punch bowls.
Founder and lifelong Fogg fan, Charlie Gilkes sums it up:
“We’ve created Mr Fogg’s with a sense of history, adventure, fun and imagination. We hope to take you on a journey very soon – just don’t be late, we’re on a tight schedule!”