Detroit is a cool, basement bar just by Seven Dials in Covent Garden. It inviting design full of cosy, intimate corners makes for an underground hideaway where you can wile away hours sipping incredible cocktails. 

The Venue

A subterranean bar, Detroit is dimly lit and has a curved and cavernous layout. Descending the stairs, orange and chrome tones and porthole-like windows on the doors, offer something of an ode to retro-futurism. Inside however, is an utter contrast; a series of hollows and caves create an intimate, almost Middle Eastern feel to the place. Private booths even have their own curtains, giving groups or a couples a truly clandestine experience.  The décor in the bar is minimal, with the architectural shapes doing the talking, I only wish the bar played up the quirky design a little more, perhaps with heavy, textural, Arabian or Middle Eastern furnishings to accompany the exotic feel of the design.

Secluded coves make this a select spot for a romantic evening

Detroit is cosy, homely and a great basement bar for drinks in Covent Garden.

The Atmosphere and Clientele

We visited on a Friday night; prime time for the Central London after-work crowd. The pre-club party was kicking off, with chatty groups of friends blowing off steam and digging into cocktails the size of flower vases. The vibes here are chilled, fun and unpretentious. While many, perhaps out for the night, were dressed up, the dress code is relatively casual.  The DJ spun a blend of contemporary chart and dance, though a few retro tunes were thrown in to mix things up. Some patrons bopped by their tables, though the ample seating and cave-style booths, meant most people took in the tunes from their chairs and there wasn’t a whole lot of mingling between parties.  

An off-menu, but equally delicious espresso martini

The cocktails at Detroit make them one of the best London cocktail bars.

Food and Drinks 

The cocktail menu is where Detroit really sets itself apart. The extensive list mixes well-executed staples with some more adventurous concoctions. First up was an Orchard Sour which came with the most incredible candied apple garnish, while the drink itself was a refreshing contrast to the candyfloss tasting accompaniment. Next up, a Berry Smash proved not too jammy, despite its vessel; a really tasty drink.

The staff here are rather wonderful; Tony, our ever-attentive server, recommend drinks throughout the evening, egging me on to try an absinthe-laced White Flag which was set alight before consumption. Even a rather cheeky request for an off-the-menu Espresso Martini was met with enthusiasm – and real coffee beans. Finally the downright delicious, British Cup, served in a teacup of course, was a gin-soaked cucumber-flavoured heaven in a glass; refreshing, light, and downright delicious. While we didn’t indulge in food, a bar snack menu offered ample fulfillment with nibbles, light bites and sharing platters.

A tasty Berry Smash in its signature jam jar

The overall ambience of Detroit is relaxed, perfect for a date night with that someone special.

Summary

A sweet spot, in a great location, with incredible cocktails. Detroit's chilled out vibes, alluring lay-out and fantastic service will continue to attract a crowd of eager revellers and enticed couples all out for good times and great drinks. Be sure to book ahead to bag your own covert cavern.