If we were in the business of judging bars by their atmosphere, then the Unforgiven would be an instant winner. We're not, but the moody, cosy space at Darling & Co immediately leaves a lasting imprint. Think leather couches, a backlit bar, a jukebox playing vinyl and candlelit corners.
That's what this intimate hangout in one of Paddington's newest haunts serves up — i.e. the kind of not-quite-secret bar that makes you feel like you've stepped into a completely different space. And that's before you even look at the drinks list. Cocktail fiends best get excited.
First, a host of classics — the negroni, old fashioned and martini, for example — are given Australian twists, with local spirits enlivening the traditional tipples. Then there's the 13th Floor Menu, aka a selection of eight concoctions that are guaranteed to make your mouth water in anticipation. The two-person King's Punch is our pick, because who doesn't want to share a mix of Ketel One vodka, pineapple, coriander and vanilla wasabi with a friend? An array of wine, beer and cider is also on offer, should you be after something not so strong — but where's the fun in that?