Golden Square is just a stone's throw away from the techni-coloured jungle of Central Soho. Found on one corner of this media square is Graphic Bar, a cocktail haven offering an escape from the bright lights and tourist heavy streets of Central London. Graphic Bar is known for its low key, no fuss and no frills atmosphere, its cool selection of graffiti art and - of course - its cracking gin selection.
Moodily lit and with an industrial feel to it, this is the perfect antidote to the majority of shiny and sticky bars found around Soho and Leicester Square.
With blackened out light bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a smattering of candles occupying the various tables of this narrow and long venue, it's the opposite of light and bright. The artwork gives a nod to the name of the bar and of course the clientele, urban pieces and clever graphic posters can be seen pinned against the white brick walls. The front of the bar is slightly lighter; illuminated with images from a projector screened against the wall, skating videos and images that play against the concrete to add to the industrial, laid-back vibe.
In its setting of Golden Square, Graphic Bar attracts a mix of young media professionals, gin enthusiasts and general late night revellers. The dim lights and low ceilings make it intimate but be warned the music pumps out pretty loud, adding to the urban and edgy atmosphere but maybe not ideal for a first date or a quiet catch up. Despite the loud tunes, the overall feel of this venue is chilled out and cool without being pretentious.The staff are super friendly and attentive, and they made us feel very welcome and at home throughout our stay.
Food & Drink:
As a girl about town well experienced in gin drinking, I was eager to see if Graphic Bar - known for its gin cocktails and boasting over 300 different bottles - would live up to my highly set standards. Disappoint it did not. The drinks menu for this venue is as cool as the crowd that occupies it, and the choice is wide, varied and experimental. I opted for the Chaplins Fruit Fest; a scrumptious mix of Haymans Sloe Gin, elderberry and quince jam, lime sherbet and prosecco. It sounds like an odd combination but the mixologists at this venue clearly know a thing or two about their flavours, never having drank a Sloe Gin within a cocktail this was a taste revelation, and a much welcome new experience for a gin connoisseur such as myself. Do try this at home.
My drinking accomplice opted for an Uncle Jack’s Banana Jive - a delicious mixture of Jack Daniels and banana - and the punchy presentation matched the flavour with this drink as it came wrapped within a banana leaf and with a piece of banana cake to garnish (handy for the peckish as well as the parched). Prices for cocktails came in at £9.50, slightly more than I would usually be willing to pay but given the central location they are to be expected.
To complement the drinks menu, Graphic Bar has a decent selections of bar snacks. Equally as tasty and flavoursome as the cocktails we sipped on, we found it far too easy to scoff down a selection of pulled pork fritters and melt in your mouth cheese croquettes.
Mention must also go to the wine and beer list, which offers a good range of choice at a reasonable price; £5.50 for a large glass of wine and £4 for a can of Camden Hells.
This gem of a gin bar is the perfect place to share some after work drinks with friends and wind down after a long day at the office. Graphic Bar is also great to keep in mind if you are in the area on a weekend - perhaps after a stint of retail therapy on Oxford Street or prior to catching a West End show - it's the perfect place to whet your whistle and get your evening started!