1073 Cocktails and 238 Bars now listed
Perfectly located just off the city centre in the conservation area, the Treasury building once housed the money for the city council but now this listed unique building with twenty foot high ceilings and leather backed benches and seats is a regular hang out for the professional mature crowd of Plymouth.
The first sight of The Treasury Bar is the scene setter, a rather beautiful and grand looking building built in the 19th Century and utilised as the city Treasury building, also the inspiration behind the name. Sat just off Royal Parade on the corner of Catherine Street, it has a small group of trees and a grassy area to segregate it from what is the main city centre road of Plymouth.
Proprietor Ben Shearn has looked to maximise the visual impact of the building with delicate up lighting amongst the trees and the well-presented outdoor furniture and it does not disappoint. To get the best visual impact then arriving after sun down is the way forward.
When you get to the bar, the first thing you notice is the amount of products on the back bar, it is very extensive and has something for even the highest trained industry expert. Though I am not befitting of that description, I do have a very high standard when it comes to drinks so I always appreciate a large back bar, especially one that is as easy to see as this one.
If there was a negative, I would say that, although it is a large selection, it is a very safe selection of products, many of them the more recognisable brands over the last 20-30 years. I really like to see new and exciting products, products that the staff and management have discovered and love and have a great deal of passion working with, though this is perhaps not something that affects every day clientele.
The drinks menu is not too large, which I always like to see, we go out to be with friends rather than to spend all night reading, after all. It has a steady supply of the usual and recognisable classics as well as some of the Treasury’s own inventions, which I believe is important for any bar wishing to appeal to a more discerning market. The prices are all very reasonable at an average of £6.50 – £7.50 for a cocktail and approx. £3.70 for a bottled beer.
The first round my partner in crime and I ordered was a Daiquiri for her and a Manhattan with a Tiger beer for myself. The Daiquiri, made with Havana Blanco was very well balanced by Christian who appears to enjoy what he does (always a plus). It perhaps lacked a little depth of flavour, but that is more down to the product than the bartender. My Manhattan, though made with the delicious Buffalo Trace was very overly diluted with 90% of the starting ice diluted into my drink, no garnish offered and too vigorously stirred; leaving froth on the top of what should be a very clean and velvety drink. The bartender making it, not Christian as with Daiquiri, seemed very unsure and under confident whilst making this and led me to believe he was new. Unfortunately, this is not the drink to make when you are unsure how to make it; with such few ingredients it is very easy to get wrong. Still, it was whiskey and it was mine!
The second round, my partner opted for a signature of the Treasury drinks menu the Treasury Spring Punch, although we were coming to the back end of summer on our visit, this spring punch consisting of mixed berries, vodka, crème de mure, crème de cassis, lemon juice and champagne was very drinkable. I could imagine this being very popular with the local revelers and for me actually improves as the drink dilutes and goes down. The dryness of the champagne becomes ever more prominent, the berries drifting into a more subtle role as it develops. I opted for a Plymouth Gin Martini with lemon zest and an olive this time, again made by Christian, this time my delicately stirred down drink was not over diluted and it didn’t last long, as is the rule with a good Martini.
Finally we finished the night off with a Havana Especial & Coke and a personal favourite shooter of mine from page 113 in the Savoy Cocktail Book. This is a nose dive, the original bomb about 80 years before the Jagerbomb. Served in much the same style, substitute the red bull for ginger ale, the Jager for Gin and drop an olive in your shot glass. Down the lot, catching your olive in the mouth and have a chew. If you like all those ingredients, it will be the best thing to ever happen to your nights out in a long time!
Although the evening was quiet, all be it a Friday night, there was still a very nice atmosphere. The DJ enjoying himself, staff dancing and joking with each other, something I really like to see. The atmosphere was that of a relaxed, more professional feeling, one where friends can gather and chat without being too disturbed by unruly revellers or unnervingly loud music. A thumbs-up for a group of friends looking to enjoy each other’s company.
To conclude, this is an absolutely beautiful venue and really sets a scene and there is certainly something to offer the more fussy and educated drinkers among us. It was quite quiet at the time of reviewing, despite it being 9 pm on a Friday. A little tender loving care and this bar has all the tools to becoming one of the top bars in Devon & Cornwall. Don’t let these small negatives put you off though, no matter who you are you will find something to drink in an environment that is more suited to a group of friends enjoying each other’s company than a raucous party.
This reviewer will certainly be back and recommends that you take a look for yourself as well.