Match Bar has now closed.
Match is certainly a specific type of bar – what I term a sort of “post work party”. Just 3 minutes from Oxford Circus, what the room lacks in width it makes up for in length. The “ground floor” stretches from the entrance to the back where the bar (and toilet) is located and is neatly lined with wipe down banquettes, tables and stools. A comfortable couch (couple territory) on the right marks the stairs up to the mezzanine level that offers more seating, all with plenty of space though I imagine this place gets really busy and this upstairs area ends in a nice little snug that would be perfect for a small group to book and where the DJ is based as it gets late. There are further areas to book, including a secluded back area, so do not hesitate to ask to see more.
Match Bar in London is a great place for cocktails with friends
We swapped the table we had been assigned from a wall position to overlooking the room and browsed the menus. The cocktail menu reads exceedingly well with tributes to several bar legends such as Harry Johnson and Gregor de Gruyther. Unfortunately the skill writing the menu is lacking behind the bar with luminous coloured sweet concoctions the only libations we were offered though the Hensel and Gretel was interesting and the best of the bunch. Most people were on beer or wine – the standard to buy when drinking rounds with colleagues anyway and with a standard range and price. As for service, a mixture of fantastic and surly depending on who we got but did not affect our night!
Plenty of areas and tables for a party at Match Bar
After a hard days work we were famished and so tackled the food. This offered the usual selection of platters (Mediterranean, meats etc) as well as burgers and pasta. The fish and chips consisted of a lovely juicy square of battered cod, thin fries and excellent mushy peas, of which I am not normally a fan. The baby back ribs did not go down as well, enough said.
Good times to be had at Match Bar in London
However you do not go to Match Bar for the food or for the best cocktail in London. You go for the atmosphere. The music got steadily louder as the night drew on but despite being by the speakers we could continue our conversation; this is quite important as this seems to draw quite a few first dates from the looks of the crowd. There was a constant buzz and looking around, simply put, everyone seemed to be having a good time.
If I find myself back in this area, which I probably will, I would not hesitate to recommend Match as a solid bar with a party atmosphere and - possibly – the room to get rather messy as the Dj pitches up and the night draws on… we’ll see next time!
Budget: Happily Affordable
Pre-Design: Pre Club Drinks, Fun Time Party Night, After Work Drinks, Chat Drink Dance