A new bar celebrating exploration and adventure will be opening at the Strand in London this September.
Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration has been inspired by the adventure novel Around the World in 80 Days and will feature a train carriage-style bar, a map room and other “hidden wonders”.
The bar is operated by the hospitality firm Inception Group which is known for its unique concepts including the Barts bar in Chelsea, designed to look like a 1930s apartment and the Cahoots bar which resembles an abandoned post-war Underground station. In 2014, the company’s founders Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling were named in a list of 1,000 most influential people in London.
Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration is located near Charing Cross station, where novel protagonist Phileas Fogg and his trusty valet, Passepartout set off on their voyage. The walls will be adorned with portraits of Mr Foggs fellow pioneers and their tales will be depicted and narrated at regular society meetings.
The downstairs Map Room will house a collection of both antique and modern-day maps, host regular evening events with a resident explorer, and will also offer global drinking adventures, from cocktail masterclasses to spirit safaris.
Guests will enter through a lobby with an oversized rotating globe marking the places visited and modes of transport that the pair took. Downstairs, there will be cabinets of curiosities, souvenirs and artefacts handpicked by fellows of the explorer society. There will be a life-sized model of a Victorian Orient Express, complete with banquette seating and gleaming brass lamps. The main bar area will feature wooden panelling, shelves laden with travel books and encyclopedias and leather armchairs.
Mr Foggs Society of Exploration will also give drinkers the chance to participate in the making of their drinks by pressing a button to trigger a chain reaction in a mechanical machine inspired by famous inventor Rube Goldberg.
The multi-sensory drinks menu will have different chapters focusing on one location each, ranging from ancient man-made creations to wonders of the natural world.
The group have five venues based on the Mr Fogg character, including Mr Fogg’s Residence, a Mayfair-based bar that is modelled on the actual home of the adventurer, Phileas Fogg and its sister venues, Mr Fogg’s Tavern, a Victorian-inspired pub, Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour, which serves over 300 gins, and Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals, a Fitzrovia-based floral oasis serving up cocktails inspired by the botanicals found along Phileas’s journey. 2018 will see the arrival of another Mr Fogg’s concepts; Mrs Fogg’s, with further Mr Fogg’s planned to follow in 2019.
Gilkes said: “It’s been five years since we opened our first Mr Fogg’s, we’re thrilled to add a fifth venue to the collection and look forward to welcoming anyone with a love of travel, cocktails, or both to The Society of Exploration.”
Photos by Johnny Stephens