Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings
London-City and East London
May 11, 2018
From the same stable as Bourne and Hollingsworth, the quirkily mismatched cocktail bar in Fitzrovia, comes this airy elegant space tucked away behind Farringdon Road. It’s a far lighter and more summery venue than its basement-dwelling sister, boasting an attractive bar area at the front, complete with a grand piano, inviting sofas and a curving white-tiled counter at which you can perch, and a lovely conservatory at the back full of hang baskets and ferns with pretty floral seating. The latter is home to a 70 seat brasserie, but our sights were firmly set on the bar.
Fittingly a botanical theme flows through the compact but creative drinks list. The Hollingsworth Fizz blended gin with peach liqueur which had been infused with thyme, making for herbal but hugely refreshing drink that would go down a treat on a summer’s day; the Tequila Ginger Cucumber made the case for those three ingredients pairing incredibly well together, a smoky note of mezcal just detectable under the surface, while the Port Flower Stinger used white port as a base and came prettily presented with flowers floating on the surface. The Mead Feast – a favourite from sibling bar J W Simpson – was also a winner, mixing the titular mead with lemon, basil, quince liqueur and honey. These are fresh, elegant drinks, yet not without complexity, the focus on herbal and the floral. For us the stand out cocktail was the West Indies Gimlet, a deceptively potent thing made with gin, lime, house-made Falernum and bitters – there was a lot going on in that glass, all of it good. The bar tenders are genial and well-informed about the drinks, a level of care and attention to detail evident. From the short menu of bar snacks parsnip chips and cod tempura hit the spot though prices were a little high given the size of the portions. While this place looks like it will really come into its own on mild nights, we were very glad of the crackling fire.