An Exclusive Hideaway Under Italian Restaurant Bocconcino? We Tried Out Soho's Hottest Secret Bar

If there’s one thing Londoners love it’s a secret bar, and this place is pretty damn secret. Blink and you’ll miss it, speakeasy-style basement bar Sotto is tucked away under the popular Italian restaurant Bocconcino on Great Marlborough Street in Soho. It seemed that other people are better at sniffing out hidden hideaways in the city than me though, as when we arrived this tiny room was already filled with friends and couples alike.

Sotto Bar Soho Interiors | DesignMyNight

The interiors at Sotto bar Soho are truly marble-ous

This exclusive haunt had all the things you’d expect from a secretive watering hole. Think black and gold marbled walls alongside contrasting white-gold tables, intimate booth seating and alluring low lights, even featuring mini lamps on every table. The small but well-stocked bar continued the dark marbled theme, with a glowing orange shelf of spirits lining the back. 

We started with a prosecco (£10 each) before moving on to cocktails, the thing we really came for. First off, we opted for a round of the Citrus Botanica (£13 each). This was a gin-based blend featuring Italicus, yuzu and lemon juice, providing a sour hit that was countered by the sweetness of demerara sugar. Our glasses were adorned with pretty yellow flowers to match the colour of the enticing liquid, and it's safe to say that these refreshing sips went down pretty quickly.

Sotto Bar Soho Cocktails | DesignMyNight

Sotto Soho's reviews all sing to one thing - the cocktails are incredible.

Next up we chose two different drinks, the first of which was an exotic-tasting Tropical Orchard (£15). This was a combination of rum with homemade coconut syrup, alongside a triple fruit kick of pears, banana and pineapple. The short concoction packed a real punch, contrasting the taller and more refreshing Garden Serenity Spritz (£15). This mixed Grey Goose vodka with yuzu, spumante, elderflower and a fresh hit of cucumber foam, presented with a long, thin slice of cucumber wrapped around the inside of the glass.

It was at this point that we were also presented with a selection of Mediterranean small plates. Though their menu describes these as 'nibbles', I certainly wasn't left hungry after we split four of them. Our first selection was the Padron peppers (£8), served whole with a slightly smoky flavour - pairing nicely with the zucchini fritti (£8), which were very finely cut pieces of courgette coated in a floury batter, providing a pleasing crunchy texture. Our other two choices from Sotto Soho's menu involved decidedly less vegetables, starting with their truffle chips (£11). These skinny fries were topped with copious amounts of parmesan and shavings of truffle, so good that we didn't even ask for any sauce. Finally, we delved into an Italian cheeseboard (£14); a delicious selection of four different varieties served on thin, crispy crackers. The choices ranged from beautifully creamy taleggio to a harder cheese filled with pieces of fruit - though I must admit that the blue offering had too strong of a flavour for me.

Sotto Bar Soho Food | DesignMyNight

This is a seriously sultry setting for devouring Italian bites.

After we were suitably stuffed, it would have been rude not to finish up with one final cocktail. I settled on an Avocado Amore (£13), which honestly tasted like drinking a pizza - in a good way. This pisco-based concoction featured lemon, chilli and avocado of course, topped with a powerful basil foam. My partner went for the Golden Enigma (£13) instead, combining cachaça with banana, amaretto and lemons - a common addition to the Italian serves here.

The DesignMyNight Digest

Although this spot may be a little difficult to find, it's well worth the visit. This is a top choice for date nights when you feel like splashing out a little, as although Sotto Soho's prices are a little on the higher side, the exclusivity and the gorgeous interiors are priceless. Cocktails are definitely the star of the show here, although the Italian small plates are equally full of flavour, giving you a taste of Bocconcino Soho's menu upstairs.

  💰 The damage:  £143 for four drinks each and four small plates.

  📍  The location: 59 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7JY.

  👌 Perfect for: An exclusive date night spot.

 ⭐ Need to know: You have to enter Italian restaurant Bocconcino to find this bar.


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