Originally a Turkish bath house in the late 1800’s, the now, Victorian Bath House has survived World War II and many office redevelopment projects, and has become something of a 2016 cocktail landmark in central London. With plush interiors and in-house infused spirits at the heart of their operations, I donned a dapper outfit and ventured down there on a Friday night to check out the much talked about space.
You’ll find the Victorian Bath House perched in Bishopsgate Courtyard and trust me when I say - you simply cannot miss it. The deceivingly small looking building has an otherworldly presence but downstairs is where you’ll find the real magic.
Like they say, never judge a book by its cover; although the Bath House may look small from the outside, a 150 person capacity venue exists beneath the surface. Descending the stairs you’ll find beautiful tiles and original pillars from when the Turkish bath house that was first built in 1895. Although some might be chipped and frayed-looking, the original interiors are what make the venue undeniably unique. After morphing from a nightclub to a cafe and many other things in between across the years, it’s a miracle that it’s in the pristine condition it is.
Throughout the space luxurious interiors, red velvet touches and low lighting create an intimate atmosphere that, if I’m honest, cannot be rivaled anywhere else. The icing on the cake of this grandeur establishment is an original bath from 1895 which resides at the very back of the venue (which is now filled with endless ice and gleaming bottles of prosecco). As you can probably tell, no words can do this spectacular venue justice.
Another positive element of our Victorian Bath House experience was the service. The minute our bums hit the patterned couch just beside the well-equipped gold and turquoise bar, we were immediately presented with one of the venue’s in-house infused G &T’s. Our Lavender and Rosemary £7.50 tipple came served in dainty china and carried refreshing summer notes from the first sip ‘til the very last.
Off to a great start (and thirsty for more intriguing cocktails) I took our server’s advice and opted for the Salted Toffee From Hipflask £11.50. A bit more expensive compared to the first round of drinks, but completely worth it (it is poured at your table from a massive hip flask and comes served with a soft date to chew on after each sip). To make this concoction, the mixologists at Victorian Bath House infused scotch whisky with salted caramel and toffee. The result? A smooth whisky cocktail with a smokey finish. Like our server said, the only thing wrong with this is cocktail is that ‘it’s too good’.
Going for another one of the pricier cocktails, I couldn’t help but order the Black & Blue Velvet £11.50; a Champagne and Guinness Reduction with blueberries. According to Mr P.J Hobbs it’s a great way to ruin two perfectly good drinks.’ But he couldn’t be anymore wrong; the blueberries added a subtle fruity kick to the drink that won’t be forgotten any time soon.
With plenty of solid options to choose from, my date for the night swung towards the Craven & Dunhill Ceramic Duo £8.50 as her preferred tipple. Fun fact: Craven Dunnill is actually where the original tiles of the Bath House were made, it's these little touches that tie everything together. Two rums are infused in-house; one with peanut butter, the other with butter and both come served separately for you to mix and pour to your preferred taste. It was a bit too rich for my palate but a lovely drink to finish the night.
The Clientele and Atmosphere
Camm and Hooper caused quite a stir with the opening of Victorian Bath House in April of this year, and rightly so. At one point you were looking at a four week waiting list for a single reservation. However, the evening we visited it was surprisingly quiet. A few loved-up couples and one group of fun-loving ladies were occupying different corners of the venue but I was informed that the coming weeks were completely booked out. And with their Appointment Only policy, bookings are essential; a bit of a bummer if you fancy an unplanned cocktail (which I always do) but it helps preserve the exclusive and somewhat glamorous feel of the venue. Catching the place on a quiet night, it’s hard to decipher the flow of the atmosphere but I’d imagine it to be relaxed, sophisticated yet unpretentious.
So...my conclusion of this Bishopsgate hotspot? Amazing. The Victorian Bath House manages to hit the nail on the head when it comes to in-house infused spirits this paired with their flawless attention to detail make for an unforgettable night. It more than exceeded my expectations. Watch out boys, if I ever get lucky on Tinder, I’m making you take me here.