When you step into Tattam’s in Guildford, you realise that Surrey’s cocktail scene is really starting to pick up speed. “I don’t think I’ve taken this place as seriously as I should have” was my friend’s comment when a deconstructed Porn Star Martini (cheekily named Fans Only) landed in front of me and he immediately regretted his safe order of a G&T.
With a frozen passionfruit, containing a concoction of Passoã, pineapple juice and vodka that required spooning out into my Prosecco, the artistry and presentation of the drink was that which you’d expect of a central London hotel bar.
And underestimating this bar because it’s not nestled in the middle of Soho would be your first mistake. The second would be not ordering the Dalgona Martini, currently featured on the menu. Taking a trend that fell to the wayside after the pandemic, the dalgona coffee, the team at Tattam’s have breathed new life into it. Presumed to be an interpretation of an indulgent Espresso Martini with the genius addition of crème de mûre, adding a subtle hint of blackberry that cuts through the coffee. When the cocktails get the table talking beyond a sip and a nod of the head to agree that it’s “nice” you know you’re onto a winning formula.
Tattam’s has struck the perfect balance of professionalism and playfulness with the menu, that’s serious about drinks but not serious about the atmosphere. The staff are helpful and knowledgeable and the menu is regularly updated, featuring seasonal specials with unique twists from the team. What I possibly love most about Tattam’s though, is the 1920s façade that looks almost like you’re walking past a coffee and cocktails shop from turn of the century Paris. It’s inviting and not intimidating, and the décor is what can only be described as curated minimalism. It’s not fancy or too excessive, but it’s thoughtful, and the little touches of the florals on the table, marble tops and black chalkboard don’t go unnoticed. On sunny days, outside tables are available, very much playing into the cafe culture we’d all love to see more of in England.
During the day, coffee and sweet treats are on offer and at the weekend, Bottomless Brunch makes an appearance with bagels (not an egg on sourdough toast in sight). Fortunately, the talented team decided not to limit their cocktails to Guildford only and offer masterclasses and cocktail-making for events beyond Surrey. This is, in part, down to the roots of the bar, starting out as a pop-up before heading to bricks and mortar. With future ambitions to develop their own spirits, Tattam’s is one to watch on the drinks scene. Sitting opposite The Ivy Asia in Guildford, which no doubt distracts passers-by with a big name and glossy exterior, your third and final mistake would be not to look across the road to Tattam’s. Whether you venture in for an apéritif or post-dinner cocktail, this is the top pick of the bunch for tipples in Guildford this year.
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Chatting Food contributor: Lucie Rhoades is a freelance food & drink copywriter, with a passion for cocktails. Find her @ScenicSipping.