Foundation Bar Review
5 Langley Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JA
When I was told a new type of bar, a revolution, was cropping up in London's Covent Garden, I was very dubious. Too many times have new bars promoted themselves as the next big thing and always thinking outside the box when in fact all they deliver is a very generic, sleek looking, West End bar/club. So as I approached the diminuitive entrance of the brand new Foundation bar, I was praying for something different.
As I entered Foundation and descended the staircase I had their promises ringing in my ears; "A new way of living deep in the heart of Covent Garden. We are upholders of the party principle. Discarders of the rules and conventions of the everyday." I reached the bottom of the stairs and turned into the bar and a huge smile appeared on my face and a deep sigh of relief flooded my body - the bar looked amazing! Maybe Foundation really had broken the mould?!
Lounge Bar Area
The space is huge and is segmented into loads of different experiences. The main bar area itself has different areas from beautifully designed nooks and crannies to hide away, comfy retro furniture and even a magical garden with its own tree! If you book out a small or large area you really will feel like you are in your own secluded section. The music isn't banging here so you can sit back, chat and enjoy wonderful cocktails and nibbles. Walk through this space and enter the club area with deep red booths that can be completely sealed off, crazy hot pink cocoons that overlook the dancefloor and a wonderfully large, glowing drinks bar. The dancefloor isn't huge but with all the boothes full and the dancefloor buzzzing, this space will have a really exciting energy. We haven't finished yet though...walk around the bar and you enter into the retro restaurant, which serves top quality food from seabass to grilled steaks. Somehow the bang of the club doesn't infiltrate the restaurant area so you can have a natter over dinner but still get the buzz of the club seeping through. There are also some wonderful other small areas that can be booked out, all indivudually and beautifully designed.
The drinks menu is where Foundation continues to excell. Gone are the standard West End drinks lists or snoozeville cocktails, and in are luscious bubbling, foaming, sparkling concoctions. They really have taken the lead from some of the brand new cocktail bars (eg Callooh Callay and Purl) where cocktail making is an art and theatre. We enjoyed a conical flask cocktail filled with rum, juices and bubbling dry ice as well as a very interesting pear and cinammon mojito. If my wallet was an endless stream of cash, I would have loved to work my way through all the willy wonka-esque cocktails! Bear in mind that this is still the heart of the West End and drinks don't come cheap with cocktails from £7.50 - £9.50 and bottles of beer are £4.50. Worth it? Yes!
The food ranges from large sharing platters, that can be ordered throughout Foundation, which include chicken wings, spring rolls, popcorn and pizza slices (£17) up to a proper restaurant menu. So if you want quick nibbles after work or a sit down meal, you can be catered for here. The music was funky, upbeat house - what you want from a venue like this.
In summary, Foundation has lived up to its hype and I am writing this review while giving a standing ovation! They have managed to bring the intricate detail, design, effortlessley cool ambience and cocktail mastery of Shoreditch to London's West End. I really don't think there is a venue in this area that matches it. It's what central London has needed for the last 5 years (while Shoreditch had been taking all the plaudits). As long as the crowd matches Shoreditch and tourists and London weekend trippers are kept out, entrance prices aren't sky high and they remain true to their belief and identity, Foundation can become one of the best bars/clubs in London. Why not have pre-drinks in the magical garden, a 3-course meal in the restaurant and then dance all night in the club...Foundation is your complete night out in one, beautiful, venue.