Positioned in the heart of Fitzrovia, just off Charlotte Street, Bourne and Hollingsworth is a secret speakeasy worth discovering. Descend the steps to this basement bar in Rathbone Place to find the perfect spot for city workers to sneak off to after, or during, work to sip cocktails out of teacups and taste vibrant, creative libations.
The interior décor will most likely remind you a little of your nan's house, with a kitsch wallpaper, frilly lampshade and cosy fireplace to complete the picture. Like many of the Bourne and Hollingsworth establishments, the interior design seems to hark back to the roaring twenties when cocktail drinking took place in hidden venues and everyone drank elegant martinis. The bar itself is very compact and comfortable, with a hidden toilet covered in wallpaper to the back. On some nights, a DJ will play some tunes at the centre of the bar as you explore the drinks menu, and they even host an illicit Prohibition party sometimes, which carries on until the police shut it down! But shhhh, we didn't tell you that…
The fold out menu is choc-full of creative cocktails, with an excellent blend of fruity flavours, classic mixes and fresh new twists. We started off with a Hollingsworth Fizz, a gin-soaked creamy mess with homemade strawberry syrup and topped off with a little soda. The refreshing Sandita with its fresh watermelon, dash of tequila and garnish of little baby watermelons will make you feel like its summer, even when the weather argues otherwise! Of the tea cup cocktails the bar is known for, the Gardener's Tea Break was my favourite, providing the drinker with a classic summery offering. Made from gin, cucumber and lemon juice with tea syrup and served with a lovely cucumber sandwich, you'll feel like putting your feet up and watching The Good Life.
With a relaxed atmosphere the bar is perfect for that mid-week tipple. Its location, right around Charlotte Street's busy after-work drinks area, makes it a favourite among city workers and well-heeled young professionals. As such, the bar is lively with colleagues catching up, date night couples and girlfriends sipping colourful cocktails. The venue has plenty of small tables than can be pushed together to host a large group, while the smaller quaint tables are ideal for couples looking to find a place they can really talk, away from the busy pubs. The fold out menu of beautifully drawn cocktails hooks you in, making the cosy bar feel a world away from the thundering buses and busy pavements of Oxford Street.
A fun menu of delicious drinks with a nod to classic British cocktail making and local ingredients; Bourne and Hollingsworth is deserving of a visit with friends or colleagues all week long. If you want a quiet drink, earlier in the week may be best, while Thursday and Friday will definitely bring in a more vivacious crowd of drinkers. Make sure to drink their signature tea cup cocktails, it's a must for any visit!