Located just a stone's throw from Farringdon station, Barsmith takes up a great spot just around the corner from the historic Smithfield Market. The venue – run by the same guys behind The Marylebone –opened their doors last year with an irresistible combination; pizza and cocktails. A year down the line and the bar has already won the prestigious 'Bar of the Year' at the London Bar and Club Awards. I went down midweek to see exactly what all the fuss was about.
The bar itself is swanky, with a wonderfully stripped back décor that heightens the feeling of cosiness inside. Hanging lamps, touches of brushed brass and filament bulbs all complete the picture. For casual drinkers, the long bar offers plenty of space to stand and chat away, while the high tables positioned just to the left are ideal for those catching up on gossip and lingering over a few cocktails or wine. The venue also offers plenty of room for larger parties too, with a big tables and private areas perfect for that annual work do.
The Food & Drink
Décor aside, the area this bar gets really interesting is between the pages of the drinks menu. Specialising in house-infused spirits and cocktails, the mixologists here have crafted a constantly evolving menu that caters for every taste. Big hitters on the drink menu include the Red Light Martini with passion fruit and the house fave the Bar Smith with ginger and honey infused rum. However the special drinks you can see on the board by the bar offer even greater choice. My favourites were the creamy, rich and delicious The Fappening (£8.95) and the awkward but delicious Basil Fawlty which contained delicate notes of nectarine elderflower, cranberry, lemon juice and basil syrup.
Food wise, we were in for a real treat. Not only do they serve up authentic Neapolitan thin crust pizza made with tomatoes shipped in from Napoli, but they also sell Crosstown Donuts for pudding! The stand-out pizza for meat-eaters has to be the Nduja at a reasonable £12. The creamy mozzarella paired with the slightly spicy nduja sausage and chunks of pancetta is literally to die for.
The location of this bar, so close to Farringdon station, makes it ideal for that post work drink. The warm, inviting atmosphere also lends itself very well to that romantic first date; and it will certainly impress with the food and drink. The clientele are an even mix of corporate types kicking back with beers elbow-to-elbow with hipster designer types sipping martinis. While comfortably busy mid-week, the bar gets livelier over the weekend, when thirsty punters come to take advantage of the generous 2-for-1 cocktails…
Neatly ticking boxes with cocktail lovers and beer drinkers alike (they also have an excellent array of craft beers on tap and bottled) the bar is a proper crowd pleaser. If you still have even the slightest doubt in your mind about giving Barsmith a go, did I mention that they offer 2-for-1 cocktails every day of the week between 8-10pm? You're welcome.