Some say laughter is the best medicine, the Caribbean population swear it's rum, I say it’s both; lucky for me The Breakfast Group's’ latest venture, Burlock, serves up enough of each to exceed the doctor’s recommended dose. Hidden under the streets of Marylebone you can now find one of London’s largest rum collections and new late night party bar.
Since opening their doors in September, Burlock has been offering the shoppers and nearby workers of Oxford Street a 1920’s Havana inspired haven away from the bustling streets above.
With bric-a-brac furniture, a piano that doubles as a DJ booth and an antique collection your nan would be jealous of this is one establishment that doesn’t conform to the Marylebone stereotype. Instead, guests are invited to relax into the quirky environment and take a seat in one of the various settings around the room; from a barber shop to a grand house veranda there is no shortage of character to be found in this cosy bar.
The Food & Drink
Serving over 200 different types of the spirit, Burlock is primarily a Rum lovers paradise. Whether feeling experimental or just after a classic, you can find an extensive list of all the rums worth trying. For those not accustomed to the taste, the bar also offers a range non-rum based cocktails and wine alternatives.
Having been seated at a horizontal door doubling as a table we kicked things off with a Canchanchara (White Rum, Honey, Lime) and Rum-ember The Maine (Mezan XO, Cherry Brandy, Martini Rosso, Ipa, Cornish Pastis, Embers). The Canchanchara, a Cuban classic, is refreshing with a sweet, tangy twist whilst the latter packs a stronger punch. The brandy and the Martini Rosso are the overpowering flavours whist the pungent, Jamaican rum adds a tropical undertone to the taste.
After some guidance from the bar staff my friend opted for the Jammy Doble (Flor De Cana Extra Dry, Maraschino, Lime, Grapefruit Marmalade). The multi-award winning Rum, famed as one of Central America’s most popular, perfectly blended with the citrus aromas. Our favourite tipple from the list though was the aptly named Off The Hook (Mount Gay Black Barrel, Lillet Blanc, Mandarin Napoleon, Bitters, Coconut Ice). As the ice melts, coconut infuses with the dark, spicy rum, creating a delicious cocktail refreshing enough to drink all day.
From Curried Lamb to Sea Bass Ceviche, Burlock also offers a diverse range of Cuban and Caribbean bar snacks. The Molasses Glazed Pork Ribs are gooey and sweet due to the treacle glaze whilst the soft meat easily parts from the bone. The tender Jerk Spiced Fried Chicken with homemade ranch dressing and pickles dish is generous in size for the £7 price tag and a much welcomed accompaniment after a couple of stiff drinks.
The Caribbean is renowned for its laid-back lifestyle and friendly locals, an ethos Burlock manages to capture. We attended on a Friday evening and as expected the bar was buzzing with social groups celebrating the start of the weekend. With dim-lighting and ample seating the bar is also an excellent choice for a weeknight date location. Adding further character to the cocktail bar are the social and knowledgeable staff, happy to give customers a fun education into their favourite spirit.
Two things this bar is not short of is personality and rum, creating the perfect basement get-away for those who can’t afford a plane ticket to the Caribbean, and with a 3am weekend licence Burlock provides guests with everything they need for a fun-filled evening. The Caribbean theme continues from the menus to the décor, offering customers an insight into 1920’s Havana and the famous rums of the Caribbean and beyond.