Cardiff’s latest cocktail bar offering is the intriguing Deaths & Entrances, set in the same building as Cardiff’s iconic ‘The Dead Canary’ on Barrack Lane. It has the same secretive concept as its sister bar ‘TDC’ and really offers something quite unique. You first ring the door bell , eagerly await an answer, then enter through the secret back door entrance and receive a welcoming greeting. It adds some real excitement to the traditional bar visiting experience. It’s main focus is to offer meticulous individual cocktails that evoke the senses. The bars name refers to the volume of poetry “Deaths and Entrances”, written by the famous welsh poem extraordinaire Dylan Thomas and focuses on the traumatic effects of World War II.
“I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me.”
The decor combines 1940’s nostalgia along with current day offerings. It has a simplistic approach whilst maintaining that feeling of being part of something mysterious. I particularly liked the antique typewriter, which greets you as you approach the bar entrance. It really felt like I was being transported to a different era and enhanced my desires to see more. The bar area is really intimate and somewhat captivating due to the use of monotone colours and curious surroundings. The ceiling was decorated with fairy lights which gave a feeling of being in an outdoor space, this added to the warming ambience. The use of raw materials such as wood and leather add to the simplicity of this bar. The Bob Dylan portrait is also a nice association to the bars name.
The cocktail menu was really alluring as it states just the ingredients in the cocktails not labelling them with traditional names. I first opted for the ‘TURMERIC, BERGAMOT, LEMON, GIN, YELLOW CHARTREUSE’ cocktail which was superb. The fragrant citrus notes from the bergamot along with the sweet flavour and aroma of the yellow chartreuse made it truly enjoyable.
My second cocktail was the ‘LACTO FERMENTED PLUM & PEACH, LEMON, PISCO, CAMPARI’ offering. It had a perfectly balanced sweet and sour taste from the fermented plum and peach juice along with notes of sweet cherry and orange from the Campari. It was delectable.
The menu I was presented with was just the sneak preview, but had some really interesting combinations that would wow the most choosy of cocktail connoisseurs. Their cured meats selection are perfect additions to these enticing cocktails. I would recommend this bar to anyone that’s looking for a unique personalised experience with an eerie twist. The bar tenders knowledge was exceptional and his recommendations were really absorbing. The bar will be open to the public from Thursday the 31st of January. You can make a reservation by calling or emailing them but it is not always necessary.
Reviewed by Brett Salway
Deaths & Entrances