LONDON’S SPEAK EASIES
Speak easies bring back memories of the the Prohibition era in 1920s America. Alcohol had been banned, but that didn’t stop America’s society finding ways to have a good time in secret drinking dens. In recent years London has got the speak easy bug with hidden ‘secret’ bars brimming full of alternative cocktails, jazz and retro dress code. Here is a pick of Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls’ favourite ‘best worse kept secrets’:
Barts in Chelsea is trully unique. Its dark red walls are adorned with a quirky mix of antiques, old signs, stag heads, fox tails and much more. The cocktails are fantastic, especially the Alchemist and the Charleston Crumble.
Once you have managed to locate the bar, you arrive in what looks to be your mad aunt’s house. Small and very kitsch, this bar does some mean cocktails served in jam jars. Though strong, they are small in size and you get a feel that the bar staff aren’t as knowledgeable on their drinks as they should be.
This bar in Hoxton gets a lot of hype, mostly for its secret bar hidden behind a wardrobe. Constantly busy the bar creates a wide variety of cocktails. The menu is displayed in old fashioned tape cases. Everyone we know says it’s worth going but never really worth the second trip.
You must be interviewed and state your case in order to enter this speak easy situated in Earls Court. Evans & Peel is a basement bar serving up some of the best cocktails in London, hiding behind the facade of a detective agency.
Hidden in a basement in Hoxton Square this unassuming cocktail bar has bare brick walls, a limited number of tables and a select number of cocktails. The cocktails are not glamorous, daring or themed but are just delicious, well presented and thoughtful. A firm favourite.
Lounge Bohemia in Shoreditch is a speak easy located in a small room filled with retro sofas, chairs and thermos flasks filled with water stand on each table. The presentation of the cocktails is trully amazing, with pieces of bark, and mysteriously swirling in smoke.
This speak easy in Bayswater is situated beneath the Mitre Pub. It is a secret bar in the servants’ quarters of Lord Craven’s house, paying homage to Mary, his lover. Serving up classic cocktails from the resident mixologists, great craft beers and hot dogs, it’s the perfect place to unwind after work.
Refreshing cocktails can be ordered in the Red Room of this speak easy, hidden in Soho, designed to look like a sitting room straight from the 1940s. The low lighting helps to create an intimate atmosphere.
It is the perfect place to hide away from the world and waste a few hours. Their specialities are Bloody Marys but their other cocktails are not bad either. You need to enter the bar through a 1950’s Smeg fridge – which although fun, may entice unwanted tourists.
Seats in this small underground bar are hard to get so book early. There is an additional fee to sit here after 8pm as there is live speak easy bands. The cocktails are theatrically presented with dry ice, props and edible items to suit the cocktail name or theme.