Hemingway's, the new bar from George McLean and Paul Fraser, offers a cocktail called the Miffy - a shake-up of house-infused vanilla rum, falernum, orange and lemon. And no, it's not a misspelled tribute to yours truly. Because that would be weird. No, it's their nickname for a mid-shift 'staffy' (drink).
As you walk into the bar, you'll see a collection of old telephones, buckets of paint, tea lights and church candles, teacups and pickles. The walls are lined with books on all sorts of stuff, from Bill Cosby's Fatherhood to old cookbooks, sporting records and plenty of faded editions on everything in between.
There are two separate cocktail lists - one upstairs (classic drinks) and one downstairs (the new stuff). Both are hidden in dog-eared Golden Book encyclopedias. Wander upstairs and check out the walls lined with pictures of Mr Papa Doble himself, doing all kinds of manly things including shooting, boxing and smoking a pipe. It's up here that you can order off the classic cocktail list (including, of course, the Hemingway Daiquiri) and have dinner.
Back downstairs, it's much more casual. Either sit at the bar on one of the very, very comfy bar stools, or take one of the white wrought-iron garden tables. You'll fnd the usual stubbies to hand and Little Creatures on draught (the only beer in tap in fact).
The snacks, by chef Ben Pichon, are dude-a-licious, including a nacho hotdog as well as bowls of Froot Loops for brekky, chicken nuggets and a ‘chip degustation'. For us, a chip dego equates to spending too much time at the pub and not being able to move for dinner, instead buying packets of chicken chips, Burger Rings and cheese Twisties up the bar. Here, it's a trio of handcut chips - pumpkin, sweet potato and regular potato.
The bartenders downstairs are friendly and fun but they're not really on it in terms of knowing what's on the list or making drinks in a timely fashion. There are times when it's hard to know if the guy making our drinks is a bartender or a bartender-shaped statue. Which is a shame, because there's plenty of respectable tipples on the list as well as a page of set-ups (dark ale and rum, Passiona and tequila) and a slushie machine with a different cocktail every day. A few really crack bartenders could transform Hemingway's from a cute neighbourhood bar offering overly sweet drinks into the kind of place Ernest himself would be happy to park awhile.