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39-45 Bermondsey Street
The Hide is a nondescript-looking bar tucked below the International Wine & Spirit Centre – and there’s the rub. Because it’s so close to London’s leading coven for experts in alcoholic beverages, you might expect it to be full of bartenders, emulating Tom Cruise, juggling shakers and practicing dance moves. The reality is less ritzy, though you may get to overhear the odd conversation about double parallel fermentation or suchlike. Instead, focus on the cocktail list, where you’ll find a fistful of classics made with great expertise. Most items cost under a tenner, such as the LDN Cobbler (made with Kamm’s aperitif, blackberry syrup and Roots lemonade) or the Big Lebowski (Moskovskaya vodka, almond milk, Pedro Ximénez and coffee tincture). There are also some spiffingly good wines by the glass and London craft beers to go with tacos, arancini, croquettes and sharing boards.
Best Cocktail Bars
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SquareMeal 2 Stars
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39-45 Bermondsey Street
London Bridge Station 379m
London Bridge Tube Station 557m
Fashion and Textile Museum 64m
Greenwood Theatre 346m
Tues-Sat 5pm-12M (Wed-Thurs -1am Fri-Sat -2am) Sun 5-10.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 2
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.
Food + drink: 4
An exhaustive and genuinely inventive cocktail menu, authentic and geographically unprejudiced wine list…oh and great nibbles – The Hide Bar has it all and within laid back surroundings (bar some interesting wallpaper at the back, that strangely grows on you after a while).
The cool factor is that it exudes hip and classy without the pretentious snag that often brings down some of the best venues in London. This probably has much to do with the clientele who are a mixed bag of suits and locals, so the demand for good cocktail know how without the ridiculously marked up price tag is high. The cocktails are particularly good, sharp and refreshing (literally) and even if your not a fan of fruity concoctions, do try something like the thirst quenching elderflower collins.
An all rounder for friendly catch ups, post work drinks, quick drink at the start of a long night out or indeed a nightcap and a local pleasure.
Another gem on Bermondsey st! Though the decor leaves a little to be desired, The Hide is hip, classy and not as pretentious as some of the other eateries on the street. It might look a like another overpriced joint but a decent bottle of wine will set you back less than the undrincable house wine of it's main comepetitors on the stretch. The sharer platters are great for an apero in the early evening and the selection of beers is quite impressive.
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