Friday, 16 September 2011

The Hide Bar, London Bridge 14/20

Bermondsey Street

Visit: Friday after work, mid-week evening date

To Note? With some affiliation to WSET just next door there are some interesting wines and spirits behind the bar

Ambiance 2/5
Design 3/5
Drinks 4/5
Staff 5/5
Extra LBS star: Just not there

The Hide Bar should be cool. It’s on Bermondsey Street, an already popular area getting better by the day with neighbours like Jose and Zucca. It has a good name, making you think of nooks and crannies to tuck yourself away with a drink for the evening. It sits downstairs from the UK drink experts – the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. It has leather sofas and an interesting cocktail menu.

But… somehow it just does not quite work.

The space, although difficult to see into from outside thanks to darkened glass, is large and airy, and gives the dreaded fish tank impression. There are plenty of seats but wooden chairs are uncomfortable for longer than a drink and too high to cross your legs under the table. They seem to be half way towards the speakeasy design, popping up over London, but ducked out from going all the way. And this all leads to a lack of atmosphere, even on a Friday night. And I’ve been to a fair few here.

Staff are great, knowledgeable and happy to help. Similarly the menu is worth taking your time over with a well-considered wine list for a bar including a range of sherries, specialty beers changing regularly (the chocolate ale was especially interesting) and a good range of cocktails, never more than £8, with my stand out being “Blood and Sand”, a whisky sour with a twist. However – here it comes - it is very difficult for the quality of the drinks to live up to the time it takes to make them. There are a lot of theatrics form the bar men and when a group of friends are after a round of pints before heading out to eat, well, don’t hold your breath for that order.

Don’t get my wrong, I am sure being local I will be back and I particularly like the booths at the back. The issue is The Hide Bar could be a really great bar, but instead it is one I would not push with classic pub Woolpack and trendy Village East just a 5 minute saunter up the road.

No comments:

Post a Comment