1 May 2014

Rev JW Simpson

Tucked behind an assuming black door, through a flowery corridor and down some rickety stairs, you'll find Rev JW Simpson. A English interpretation of a prohibition bar, this former brothel is Noho's smartest little secret.

The bar is one of the smallest I've ever seen but that doesn't stop them from conjuring up some seriously good drinks without a Woo Woo or Blue Lagoon in sight. Served in cut glasses collected from high and low, you'll find some ingredients you previously only associated with Henry VIII.

I started with a shake up of the classic Old Fashioned that came with lashings of bitters and chocolate spirit (always one for chocolate, you know me) that seems to have disappeared from the menu but is definitely worth looking out for. We then checked out for food and headed over to Icco - London's answer to New York style pizza and a serious steal - before returning and settling in with a Mead Feast (mead mixed with basil, honey and quince liqueur with lemon juice and bitters) that was surprisingly tasty. Henry VIII had a little something something going on.

I then continued the whole 'ordering from the unusual' theme and went for the Port Berry Stinger. No longer the realms of the post-cheese course at your parents' dinner parties, this concoction mixed the fortified wine with fresh mint leaves, sugar and blackberries. Yes, it's a little sweet and syrupy but it definitely sheds some light on that last bottle left in the cupboard.

The staff are friendly and happy to chat but a little slow (they like to talk amongst themselves, it seems) but you're never rushed from your table and the music they play? Good enough to make you want to stay all night.

Noho may not be your average night out but if you're in the area, it's worth the visit. Take a trip back to a bawdier London and soak up the subterranean atmosphere, just don't get lost in the secret corridor on your way out, you may never be seen again...
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