The Fourth Wall is currently closed until Spring 2013.
Bourne and Hollingsworth are on the move. You will still find them - or you can try, as the entrance is rather difficult to locate at Rathbone Place however they are running a pop up version of their bar for a while. I thought it was just the month of November however on asking at the bar they said that they were on week 3 with a further 4 or 5 to go.
This pop-up does what it says on the tin. The Bourne and Hollingsworth bar floral wallpaper, Victorian fireplace, brass lamps, tablecloths and all is roaming between secret locations on a Friday and Saturday evening, 5pm to 1am. When I went the B&H team had set up camp in a furniture storage unit round the corner from Shoreditch Overground. As we sauntered along the street (I was confident from the cryptic map they emailed a few days before that I at least had the street correct) we spotted a half-open roll-up iron door with candles either side and oddly - a clothes rail of lab coats just inside. The candles gave it away however we still asked, a little hesitantly, if this was it. In response we were beckoned onwards:
Why not come inside and have a look anyway
Half the fun is finding exactly where the secret pop up bar of The Fourth Wall is.
So we ducked under and headed round the corner of the MDF exterior into¦Bourne and Hollingsworth. It was still early so we caught up over the first round, a Chimps Tea was my drink of choice and partly because I have always wanted a cocktail in a teacup. It was very tasty, well made and a reasonable £7.50 (with most coming in between £7 and £8). They may have had wine or beer behind the bar but it was not on the menu which consisted of about 15 cocktails and why make your way to The Fourth Wall for anything but a cocktail? By the time I moved onto my erm..¦ the bar had started to fill up with a mixture of couples, friends, gaggles of girls and even some people on their own: Had they wandered in or were none of their friends interested?! The DJ was also warming up but the music was mainly classics from bygone eras. They do recommend booking if you plan on coming after 7.30 but this is just a matter of firing off a quick email. There was a group of 16 booked in last weekend so this is obviously an option too! I asked if the bar got busy, if the atmosphere picked up as the evening went on; to be told it was only his second night but if Friday was anything to go by we better hope the temporary walls will not actually burst at the seams!
I tentatively enquired if toilets were available but have no fears; they have that covered with the permanent onsite facilities for the ladies and a portaloo for the men, which could get pretty dark considering the bar is entirely candlelit. The only gripe was that it was FREEZING. Obviously this is in a warehouse type space without radiators and they tried their best with portable heaters but we could not stay for much longer without loosing at least one or two fingers. Hot cocktails would be a great idea to wrap your hands around! Doubtless this becomes less important as the more brave adventurers pile in. The barmen were friendly but the set up left little opportunity for interaction; I always prefer the option to perch at the bar where available to watch the magic happen and have a chat.
The Fourth Wall is the wandering pop up bar of London
So what do you need to do to be able to fall down the rabbit hole? First of all log your interest at www.whereisthefourthwall.com then think about booking a table. A few days before it opens again you will receive a cryptic clue or map of the next location, and all you have to do is get there! Be warned, it is meant to be getting more difficult week on week (but if you get really lost just call!)
Bourne and Hollingsworth's pop up has all the joy of a good cocktail bar with excellent drinks and its unique grannys front room style but with the added fun of never being sure where it will be next. I am definitely booking in again before Christmas brings this venture to a close. Bravo for effort.
Budget: Happily Affordable
Pre-Design: Impressing Your Date, Sex and the City Cocktail, The Trendy Crowd
Service: 3 out of 5