Covent Garden is one of my favourite tourist spots in London. Despite having to wade through the crowds to catch a glance at some handmade jewellery or crafted magnets in the shape of British phone boxes, it still holds a place in my heart. The foodie scene is also top-notch, with amazing haunts such as Big Mamma Group’s Ave Mario, and the newly opened Gaucho which are both firm favourites.
Those who love to explore this area of London may have walked past this secret gem multiple times before, being blissfully unaware of the absolute beauty hiding below the bustling streets. Situated underneath Covent Garden Market is Stereo, a cocktail bar and live music venue. This stunning spot is inspired by the New York and London nightlife, with a hint of Parisian chic sprinkled in there. Being a mega fan of gigs and a tipple, this sounded like the absolute dream.
Now, first and foremost, this place is a TARDIS. The unassuming front door certainly doesn’t give anything away, making it all the more special when you reach the bottom of the stairs. You’re met with a huge venue and a gorgeous rounded bar, lit up by a soft white glow. The interiors are beautiful - we mean exposed industrial ceilings, curved leather booths and stunning hanging lighting.
Once seated, we ordered the Stereo Spritz (£12) which was a bubbly infusion of passionfruit liqueur and vanilla bitters. This was incredibly refreshing and flavoursome, making it the ideal aperitif prior to the meal ahead. We also nabbed the Californication (£12) (fit for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers) which was a tequila-based cocktail mixed with red pepper, agave, chipotle tincture and pink grapefruit soda. This one had a slight kick which complimented the sweetness perfectly, safe to say we were very happy with the choices made.
After speaking to our amazing server about which food to try, he picked out a selection of their best sellers. I wanted them all, but had enough self-control to whittle it down to a few plates, and thank god I did.
Now this is the ultimate spot for comfort food, and it was huge. Feeling excited, but a tad intimated, we tucked into to all our different plates. The deep-fried mozzarella (£9) was steaming, soft and the most delicious cheese dipper I’ve had in a long time. The marinara dipping sauce also added to the experience – I honestly wanted to stash a load in my bag for later. The friggitelli peppers (£6) came sprinkled with nori salt, which was a real winner for us. They were so fresh and juicy; plus having delish veg at the table made us feel like we were eating our five a day. To finish the starters, we dived into a huge pile of nachos (£15) that were covered in cheese sauce, guacamole, some succulent meaty goodness and crème fraiche. Once again, these were completely devoured.
The mains came out and although the starters had been heavy, defeat wasn’t an option. Our amazing server also brought out a surprise dish – the saucy Stereo hot wings (£8). I could have done with a bib, but what’s a couple of sauce stains when it means diving into delicious food? The classic cheeseburger (£12) was amazing, but a little too pink for my liking. However, my dining partner devoured it and appreciated how juicy it was being a fan of rare meat.
I had the fried chicken sandwich (£12) which was smothered in American cheese, pink onions and pickles. This burger was my favourite part of the whole meal and I savoured every last bite – allowing my boyfriend only a tiny nibble. This was all served with a side of fries (£5) which were also a lovely addition, although after developing quite the food baby I was pretty sure I never wanted to see any form of potato again.
Whilst letting the food settle, we moved over from the restaurant to the bar area, where we sat in a booth with a stage view and glass of wine (£13) in hand. The house band was brilliant and made for the perfect end to the evening. I especially loved the lead singer's shades and funky top – 10 out 10 for fashion sense.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Stereo in Covent Garden will forever be a favourite visit. With the combination of incredible staff, delicious cocktails and the most hearty comfort food, you really can’t go wrong. The house band is also a winner, meaning you get a whole experience alongside a scrumptious (and fairly affordable) meal. What’s not to love?
💰 The damage: Around £105, not including the service charge.
📍 The location: 35 The Piazza, London WC2E 8BE.
👌 Perfect for: A date night for lovers of cocktails, comfort food and tunes.
⭐ Need to know: They have a pool table by the restaurant which is completely free, just ask for tokens at the bar.
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