Opium is a secretive bar in Chinatown, boasting unique cocktails, late night hours and a trendy crowd. I went down to Opium to see if it was possible to have a truly authentic and hidden place in such a tourist heavy area of London, and I was pleasantly surprised.
After you go through the inconspicuous green door, you’re let into a dimly lit spiraling staircase, leading up to the three floors that make up Opium. Each room is set up with it’s own bar and plenty of spaces for drinkers. Whether you sit around the large table at the bar to watch the mixologists work their magic, get cosy in one of the tucked away intimate spaces or relax with friends on some of the comfy sofas, Opium is made for chilling out until the early hours.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
With background music setting the perfect mood you’re sure to feel like you’ve been transported out of London. Arriving late on a Friday evening, the atmosphere was lively and buzzing whilst being chilled out and cool. The dim lighting and incense burning gave an authentic touch and made Opium feel exclusive and intimate all at once. The friendly and talented bar staff made everyone feel at home and took a genuine interest in making sure each and every guest had a good night.
The clientele was very mixed, with couples cuddled up at the more intimate tables and big groups of friends chatting and drinking at the bar. Opium is ideal for everyone and you’re guaranteed to leave having made a few new friends.
The cocktail list is a mix of unique, original concoctions and all the classic favourites. My first pick was the Opium 3, a delicious mix of fire and ice. The cocktail was served in a special glass, made with dry ice for a smoking effect, Jamaican Rum for a full flavour and a side of peaches on fire. Not only was it stunning, but it tasted amazing. The cocktail menu varies depending on the time of year and each drink is made to suit the season. The same goes for the Opium cocktail, which is always rum based, but with differing twists.
The Opium experience is unique, exclusive and achingly cool. Whether you’re starting your night with a few dumplings or ending your night chatting with friends and enjoying amazing drinks, there is no better place in Chinatown. The drinks aren't cheap so if you want to have a big night then be prepared to spend, but at the same time the drinks are worth the price tag. If you’re looking to impress a date or just meet up with friends at a truly unique bar, you should give Opium a spin.