Bar Hop, London styley

Friday, 23 May 2014

Let's just state the obvious and say I'm a total nerd when it comes to travel research. Archivist, collector or chronicler - I simply love to read about restaurants and bars to visit across the globe (let alone my own backyard). Now that the world has become that much tinier (an oyster perhaps?), no distance is too far i.e. challenge accepted! A 24-hour flight is a mere trifle (though ask me again en route and I probably couldn't string a sentence together). Presenting, a couple of London bars I 'dropped' into that I'd like to share with y'all.

Talented Mr Fox

1 Leicester St, London WC2H 7BL

Two years ago I could have sworn this place was something entirely different and I wasn't mistaken. Gone is the old St John restaurant and hotel to be replaced by boutique hotel digs of One Leicester Street (no prizes for that name). Talented Mr Fox has taken up residency on the second floor with style that could only be described as dashing. The understated modern fit out puts you at ease as soon as you stride through the double doors, only to be met with the far wall. It is TINY, like postage stamp tiny.

Loving how this place is decked out, the retro furniture is a big win Credit: Time Out London

It's clear from a quick perusal of the menu that one of TMF's founders, Matt Whiley loves his mixology (I have strong feelings about this word, but moving swiftly on...). The drinks bring 'molecular' to a head utilising some weird and wacky ingredients and techniques. These wouldn't go astray in a Michelin-starred kitchen, let alone a small bar! Perhaps not for the faint hearted but if you're feeling adventurous, TMF will fit like a glove.

The infamous Bloody Mary (left) and Urban Foxtail No 2 in all it's wheelie bin glory (right). More consomm√© than cocktail, the Bloody Mary takes the traditional and takes it to another universe entirely. Prepare yourself for the delights of pigs blood, black pudding, clarified tomato juice and spice hydrosol in a glass. Let me warn you it's pretty out there. It makes the Urban Foxtail look like a tea party. Made with diplomatic rum, cumin syrup, cider and tangy apple bin juice (no kidding)

TMF issues good vibes by the boatload. The staff are friendly and the place is as bustling as the streets outside. Snag yourself a window seat (or a seat at all) and you're in for a good time. The clear successes of TMF have led to another venture, Peg and Patriot which has just opened in East London (hot off the press, people!). Some of their house cocktails sound pretty funky e.g. Rice Rice Baby (in a 'I'm kind of intrigued' way?). Someone will have to report back because I didn't have nearly enough time to go everywhere I wanted (that my friend, would take years). Maybe next time :)

I come, I fox shit up, I leave. A bit of a hipster "Veni, vidi, vici" perhaps?

Archer Street

3-4 Archer Street, London W1D 7AP

As far as 'It' bars go, I think Archer Street is pretty up there. A multi-storey bar in the backstreets of Soho, the real challenge lies in getting a drink in the space of 20 minutes. Siobhan MaGill is the gal behind this bar backed up with 30 years experience in the industry. The interiors by designer James Halliday are rather chalet chic, with the street level cocktail lounge reminiscent of a hotel lobby in the alps. I'd recommend you make a bee-line downstairs for Piste Bar, where all the action is

It's hard to admire the decor when one is crammed like a sardine in the space so here it is Credit: Bar Magazine

On the surface Archer Street looks like any other bar but it certainly has a wild streak. Much to my surprise (and delight) the multi-talented staff would spontaneously jump atop tables and belt out tunes. And boy can they sing! We were privy to stellar renditions of Royals and You've Got the Love. It gives Idol a run for their money, quite amazing! Soon after they opened in 2013, the bar ran Archer Street's Got Talent, a singing competition as a tribute to the history of Archer Street as a hub for West End musicians and arty-types in the roaring 20s. 

Oozing class downstairs at the Piste Bar. I hope that was supposed to be a pun Credit: Archer Street

Archer Street has quickly cemented it's place amongst the after work trendy types. Perfect to have a few drinks and bust a move as some would have it! What's brilliant is that you can go to bars like this and be stumbling distance from Piccadilly Circus (hello London!). What can I say other than it was awesome fun (free-poured G&Ts may have come into it)! Hot foot it there, skates may be required.

Forget the sign, you can't miss the bass and the rabble ;)

Thanks for reading!


  1. I'm so stoked you went to Archer Street and heard the bar staff sing, I had no idea the staff got up on tables and sang when I first went there! The entire bar also did a conga line around one bar staff belting out a tune on top of a table in the middle of the room!

  2. Archer Street? Hmm.. I wanna travel there and have an amazing experience about the bars, attractions and foodies there.



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