If you haven’t heard of Hide, are you even a Londoner? One of the biggest openings this year, the Mayfair restaurant is the brainchild of chef Ollie Dabbous. A multi-storey venue focusing on fine dining and filled with Hedonism wines (there’s over 6000 bottles), it’s a West End gem. A little less known, however, is Hide Below; the cocktail bar serving up some of the world’s finest spirits. Operating at a much more realistic price point for my pocket, I jumped at the chance to soak up some of the city’s finest concoctions, bringing a friend along to cheers to her birthday.
With Dabbous’ much-anticipated restaurant upstairs described by critics as “polished perfection” and “a special kind of genius,” we had nothing but high hopes for the subterranean space below. Eyeing up plates as we walked through the restaurant, we made our way down the iconic spiral oak staircase and descended below where a sexy low-lit bar stocked with an array of dark spirits awaited.
The sultry bar was packed with after-work imbibers and a few thirsty Christmas parties - all after a good drink. Welcomed with a palate-cleansing combination of elderflower, cucumber and gin, we settled in to order our first round. My Adam & Eve (£13.50) was a short, silky mix of Somerset cider brandy, Diplomatico Mantuano rum, fig leaf and clarified milk, while the birthday girl’s George Fox’s Batida (£14) was a longer and punchier combination of Yaguara cachaça, homemade oat milk and apple.
We may not have dined in the restaurant, but dishes are just as important here. Bar snacks consist of home-cured charcuterie, charcoal-baked flatbreads and elevated nibbles. Forget about peanuts and scotch eggs - we knocked back a couple of Native No 1 oysters (£6 each) before devouring a creamy chicken liver parfait (£12) paired with fig and hibiscus chutney and toasted brioche.
Washed down with two twists on classic cocktails, the food went down a treat. An attentive bartender explained how the Smoke & Mirrors (£14) was a twist on the Negroni, this time replacing Campari and gin with Ardbeg whisky, Kamm & Sons, Cocchi di Torino, Gammel Dansk and melon to round things off. My Peaches En Regalia (£16) was a punchier take on the Bellini; think Champagne, peach and Martin Miller’s gin washed in lemon verbena for a deliciously tart fizz.
With eye-catching interiors, charming service and, most importantly, a drinks list that tastes every bit as good as it reads, Hide Below should be on your radar. Whether you're looking to get your hands on delectable drinks, celebrate a special occasion or impress someone - I managed to do all of the above - then this is the place to do it. Winter is coming and we’ve found the perfect place to hide away.
You'll find Hide Below at 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NB.