Bourne & Hollingsworth are well known for their eccentric Rathbone Place bar and popular themed events such as the Blitz Party. Now, below the more sedate B&H Buildings (just off Exmouth Market) another drinking spot has been added to the family.
In contrast to the bright and open ground floor, the new clubroom, snuck away in the basement, is living room sized, draped in medieval tapestry and takes on a little more of the fun and theatricality of B&H themed events.
The haremy décor gives instant atmosphere even when the bar has fewer people at the beginning of the night. Later on the place gets packed and the thousands of LEDs, hidden behind the tapestry really come into effect. All slaves to the music (flashing with the beat) or the bar, they can be made to create patterns, messages etc – we even got the inside scoop that the next theme for the bar (which will change regularly) might be retro gaming with the light-up walls hopefully being controlled by the punters!
Mixologist Jim Wrigley runs the little bar with a couple of other very helpful types and has produced a 4 cocktail, 2 punch menu, which he and the staff are happy to give advice on. Each cocktail has been lovingly thought out, with its own story. The current menu theme is centred around famous British creatives with drinks taking inspiration from such characters as Damien Hirst and Lily Allen.
Mocking traditional west end bar service (which let’s face it needs to be mocked), where your table gets a bottle of vodka and a carafe of room temperature orange juice, they decided to serve each cocktail premixed in a bottle that should pour about 7 glasses. Jim told us that these cocktails have been designed specifically to keep their flavour in the ice bucket in a way that wine or drinks with ice in might not. Groups will just have to vote on a bottle or buy all after some careful consideration. We definitely had clear favourites – the best (in our opinion) being a take on a Manhattan served with a piece of chili chocolate, the flavours working perfectly together. Other drinks also come with fun garnishes including home made marshmallows and real peacock feathers. If you order a punch, you can even get it in a giant Lego head!
If that isn’t enough there’s also a small selection of bar food available to nibble on which was pretty good too.
It’s open till 2am and the music is a great eclectic mix, cool but non pretentious and totally fun so whether you’re drinking upstairs or grabbing yourself a table downstairs, Below and Hidden comes highly recommended (and get there before it becomes too popular!)
Open every Friday & Saturday 8pm – 2am
(Tables, which seat 4 ‐ 6 people must be booked in advance and come with a £200 minimum spend)