Fitzrovia may be better known for its grand townhouses, cobbled little streets and swanky gastropubs, but hidden away from the Central London lavishness is Bourne and Hollingsworth’s bar, a cocktail spot that is mixing up the city centre norm.
The Venue and Atmosphere
Sat on the corner of Rathbone street, Bourne & Hollingsworth is hard to find, the type of place that requires more than the cursory glance at Google Maps. Next to a newsagents, the only indication of the venue is an old fashioned, life size, black and white picture of a gentlemen’s bar. Once in the basement, the interiors more than make up for any upstairs plainness.
Like a mad aunt’s living room, the bar is a small single room of mish mashed colours and furnishings. Walls are a glaring mix of baby pink and hot pink lines, a salmon-pink sofa runs around the side and armchairs are covered in geometric prints and crochet. Paintings look like a beloved niece's art attempts with slogans such as ‘he’s got the whole world in his hands’ and a set of Union Jacks.
Cosied around candle-lit tables and hand-holding near the gap in the wall that served as the bar, couples were out in force and Bourne and Hollingsworth was their date night choice. While very quiet at 7.30pm, it wasn’t long before the small room filled up with a mix of the young and stylish, bobbing their heads along to the amazing soundtrack of '80s tunes.
Clearly not one for conformity, B&H’s cocktail list is a selection of original concoctions that use little-known spirits and mixers. The Heisenberg Daiquiri (£10.50) was a luminous blue tropical glass with a mix of rum, lime and chartreuse, while Fitzgerald (£9.50) was a swanky, 1920s-style tipple of rose petal vodka, pomegranate and bubbles. As well as short and sweet cocktails, the bar also whip up a few long drinks that come with lashings of ice; Rapunzel (£9.50) is dangerously refreshing and brilliantly moreish as Polish vodka is paired with fresh lemon mint and ginger.
As much thought is put into the presentation of B&H’s cocktails as is put into the taste, with each drink coming Instagram-perfect. If you really want to notch up the likes, go for the Velvet Framboise (£19) - a muddle of London Dry Gin, velvet falernum, raspberry syrup, fresh lemon, and dry white wine - served in a whopping great golden pineapple.
Bourne and Hollingsworth ticks so many boxes: an intimate atmosphere perfect for date night? Check. Basement bar? Check. Wacky interiors and banging playlist? Check. If ever there were an excuse for a mosey into Central London, this may be it.