Welcome to cocktail mecca, that’s how my colleague described Bourne & Hollingsworth so naturally I was eager to experience it for myself. Modelled on the idea of prohibition, the bar is literally underground – it’s in the basement of an old supermarket in Fitzrovia and the cocktails are served in teacups and jars to disguise it as it was done in the prohibition era.
Bourne & Hollingsworth is an underground bar, not openly obvious but those in the know certainly know it’s the place to go for potent cocktails made with flourish and interesting garnishes. We made our visit on a Friday night so it was busy and very loud, over flowing with after work drinkers. Even the DJ’s set was drown out by loud conversations and laughter. We had to stand around for about twenty minutes before a table became available, and it was quite dark, which didn’t bode well for my camera.
The décor of pale yellow floral wallpaper, frilly lampshades and cloth-covered tables feels like you are in a grandma’s front room only with a bar and a DJ but it works, it cosy and quite charming.
The drinks menu consists of around twenty cocktails served in a mixture of glasses, jam jars and cute tea cups, priced £8 – £16. Expect cocktails with quirky names like Knickerbocker, Hudson Cobbler, Mellow Manhattan among others. There’s also a ‘tea-time’ cocktail section which is also worth sampling, the options include Chimps tea, Storm in a tea cup and Colonial iced tea to name a few, all naturally served in beautiful china.
Bourne and Hollingsworth was quite the experience; quirky and off beat with cocktails that will have you going back again and again. It’s different from the usual slick London cocktail scene and doesn’t apologise for it which might be the secret to its success.
(Photographs by Jack Oughton / tastingbritain.co.uk)
3.5/5* (Expectations were met)
Bourne and Hollingsworth. Basement, 28 Rathbone Pl, London W1T 1JF
I was invited to review Bourne and Hollingsworth
4/5 exceeded expectations
3/5 met expectations and was very pleasant
2/5 did not meet expectations