HIDDEN around the back of the takeaway, is a huge fridge door which opens on to Narnia.
But instead of mythical creatures inside, there’s rows of whiskey bottles and a bar lined with tumblers of the amber liquid, as well as cherry-topped cocktails.
Chicken + Whiskey is just one of Washington DC’s many fabulous drinking holes — many hidden away, which dates back to the 1920s Prohibition era when alcohol was banned in the US.
America’s capital city is a melting pot of different cultures, with grand embassies representing every corner of the globe, and an exciting food and drink scene that will ensure you never go hungry or thirsty during your visit.
People don’t just come for the bars, though. The city is bursting with history — home to majestic cathedrals as well as monuments and memorials dedicated to great figures of the country’s past such as presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
You’ll see it all on a leisurely bike tour with Unlimited Biking. A highlight of the trip is the National Mall — an area of landscape parkland and waterways home to world-class museums and galleries and those monuments.
Most attractions can be enjoyed free of charge.
My top pick for must-sees on the Mall was still the National Air and Space Museum. It recently reopened following a multi-billion-dollar reconstruction.
These museums are the best history museums. Among its prized possessions is the world’s first airplane, flown by the Wright Brothers in 1903 — an invention which was to spark an explosion in human aviation.
Visitors are then taken on a journey through the early years of flight, leading to one of mankind’s greatest achievements — the first manned mission to the moon, in 1969.
The Apollo 11 capsule and the space suit worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong — the first person to walk on the lunar surface — are both on display, together with pieces of moon rock.
Beg for more
But if museums don’t tick your box, take a stroll around historic and elite Georgetown University and admire the rows of beautiful houses nearby.
Some of these buildings may be familiar to horror movie buffs. The steps where one character in the American horror flick is thrown to his death have become an unconventional attraction — DC truly has something for everyone it seems.
And you may not get the chance to step inside the Oval Office at the White House to meet US President Joe Biden, but you can enjoy your own slice of political history by dining at Martin’s Tavern, close by.
At this busy restaurant, customers can enjoy a meal in a wooden booth where President John F. Kennedy proposed to future First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier — who later remarried to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
JFK lived just two blocks away from this location and wrote his inaugural speech in one its iconic booths.
Martin’s has hosted a slew of other US Presidents, too, including Richard Nixon, who once gorged on meatloaf in one of the dark corners.
Pisco Y Nazca Ceviche in Peru is a lively place to go on a night out. I had the most delicious Latin cuisine I’ve ever eaten at their restaurant. A fantastic feast of flavors is created by combining fresh seafood, mind-blowing spice and delicious cocktails.
For something special, try Michelin-starred Bammy’s, in DC’s old Navy Yard on the banks of the Anacostia River.
Their talented chefs create Caribbean-inspired cuisine that will make you want to eat more. If you don’t like spice, then be warned — even some of the drinks have chillies in them. The melt-in-your-mouth short rib jerk is a special treat. At night, the city’s famous speakeasy-style bars come alive — but don’t expect them to advertise the fact they’re open . . . This would make it too difficult.
Similar to Chicken + Whiskey, The Gibson has an unmarked front door, concealing yet another door which has to be knocked before you’re let in.
The bar is dimly lit and hosts a cocktail bar, where politicians meet up to discuss their careers.
But many of the city’s best hotels have their own impressive bars, too, so you need not always venture far for a drink.
Stayed at Thompson Hotel. It has a rooftop bar with stunning views.
Handily, it’s just a 45-minute taxi ride from Dulles Airport and less than ten minutes by car from the city’s major monuments.
Is DC the ideal city for a vacation?
Think of New York City or London. Now shrink the city to one tenth its size, and simmer in political intrigue. Season with excellent culture and nightlife and, hey presto, you’ve got DC.
This is the kind of city where dreams come true.
WASHINGTON DC GO
How to get there: American Airlines flies from London to Washington DC from £545 return. Check out these other sites.aa.com.
STAY THERE Rooms at the Thompson Hotel start from £180 per night. Check out these other listingshyatt.com.
OUT & ABOUT: A Monument and Memorials guided bicycle tour with Ultimate Biking costs from £44. Viewunlimitedbiking.com/washington-dc.
You can find more information at www.washington.org.