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The venue’s handle is self-explanatory to an extent. What exactly lies below and hidden - unannounced, down an unpromising-looking concrete staircase at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings - is in complete contrast to the genteel scene above. A hitherto deeply dreary cellar has been transformed into a table service-only, bonkers bar-cum-nightclub. Seemingly put together jointly by a 70s arcade game designer, Lawrence of Arabia and Anne Boleyn, its off-its-head decor combines Pac Man-esque constantly strobing LED lights (epileptics avoid!), tacky Tudor tapestries and the sort of seating arrangements found in a tribal leader’s Timbuktu tent. At its dispense bar, B&H’s Jim Wrigley readies pre-made bottled cocktails served on ice in pewter bowls; a tongue-and cheek take on West End pap magnet clubs. Inspired by Wrigley’s celeb mates such as Banksy and Lily Allen, ideas such as Banktown Special (Venezuelan right rum, lime, raspberry, honey and cranberry juice) cost £50 and will easily serve six people. Champagne (from £55), wine from (£43) and sprits and mixers from £100 are affordable by Made In Chelsea standards. Hopefully B&H will stay off their radar! (Weekends only for now).
Bourne & Hollingsworth near Charlotte Street has long been one of my favourite bars, particularly in the winter, due to its fantastic cocktails and cosy décor. Then they opened B&H Buildings near Exmouth Market which I tested out for brunch. And now they’ve gone a bit further and created a hidden space below B&H Buildings (naturally called Below & Hidden) which is all about a rapidly expanding trend of pre-bottled cocktails.
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Below and Hidden is the new mini club from Bourne & Hollingsworth that feels like your partying in someone’s house – except that the walls are all sparkly and awesome. It’s quite a contrast to the almost prim and proper upstairs, it most definitely designed as a den of iniquity with nights not even starting until a bit later in the evening and going on until 2 am. It definitely had the feel of an Arabian parlour, though the decor was actually very Medieval. We were treated to a condensed version of what they wanted the place to be like.
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