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|Address:||39-45 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF|
|Tel:||020 7403 6655|
|Wine: £18.50||Champagne: £46.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sun 5pm-12M (Wed-Thurs -1am Fri-Sat -2am Sun -10.30pm)|
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It's a smile-free zone behind the bar at The Hide, which doesn't help when the service is so incredibly and frustratingly slow. Order a cocktail and out come all the ingredients to be lined up on the bar; then there's 5 excruciating minutes of ingredient assembling including at least 2 minutes of vigorous ice stirring; the little fruit flourishes are then laboriously sculpted; then back go the bottles, one by one, into their appointed places; then out comes the payment machine and back it goes. And only then will the next customer be acknowledged and served. Then the whole circus starts again which is particularly comical if that customer has ordered the same cocktail so the ingredients which have just been so meticulously put away get brought out again. It's a busy Saturday night but multi tasking would be asking too much apparently. I think you're supposed to get the message “We take our cocktails very seriously”. They also appear to take getting a glass of water very seriously too. The barristas at the Experimental Cocktail Club, probably the most serious cocktail venue in London and the one with the most potential for superciliousness, manage to smile and go as far as to impart a sense of passion about what they are doing. A smile costs nothing. Except customers. We switched to wine as it was less painful to order and nibbled on chips, tempura vegetables and focaccia bread which were all edible enough but nothing to make the journey to Bermondsey Street for. It's a reasonably convenient place with a pleasant atmosphere but I wouldn't come back unless I were in the area, and then I'd probably suggest Village East instead.