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3 Greek Street
To be sure of a seat in the cellar of this iconic single-malt emporium, you must book ahead. Head past the ground-floor bar, through a bookcase that doubles as a swing door and downstairs to a swinging scene overseen by Chester – The Vault's resident Jack Russell terrier. The scene reminds us of a sepia-toned bothy straight out of the celebrated 1940s Ealing comedy Whisky Galore! – Soho types fond of a drop of the hard stuff are in for a treat here. ‘Uisge beathe’ cocktails on show include Prologue & Epilogue (a Boulevardier manqué made with Springbank 10-year-old, fino sherry and Campari) – just one of a range of Old Fashioneds, and Manhattans that involve Scotland's finest. Other fixes go global with ryes and whiskies from India and Japan. If we are to be buried in a vault for all eternity, let it be Milroy's!
Best Soho Bars
3 Greek Street
Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 115m
Leicester Square Tube Station 428m
Football Association 29m
Soho Square Garden 87m
Tues-Sat 6-11.30pm (Fri-Sat 5pm- )
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
I confess that I am not really a whisky (or whiskey) aficionado (something to do with a bottle of Bells at school many years ago), but Milroy's offers something for both the serious whisky drinker and the pure novice at the copper-topped bar upstairs, and a fantastic (and regularly changing) list of cocktails downstairs, a space reached through the bookcase at the end of the bar.
The copper-topped bar in the shop is a great place to sit and sip, whilst watching the fun of Soho pass by, but descend into the Vault, and the mood changes: you can, should you wish, have a classic martini or Negroni, which will be made expertly with panache, but it is something made from one of the infusions that the team of Simo and Nat (both ex of Coal Vaults) create for their one-off concoctions that it is worth trying. The Di Barrel (a cherry wood infused bourbon based drink, complete with a chartreuse shard) or Smoking Gun (a smoke infused corn whisky based cocktail) are well worth a try, whilst lighter, fruitier drinks, with raspberry, blackberry and pomegranate infused vodka, for instance, for those who like something other than pure alcohol in their drinks, are also superb.
One of the problems that I often find of an evening out is that is that you have a great drink of something and then can't find it later: the joy of Milroy's (or one of the many rather), is that, being a shop (the oldest whisky shop in London it seems), all of the great whiskies that you taste can be purchased. This can be dangerous after a few drams, but makes excellent business sense!
So go and try a wee drop upstairs, buy a bottle of your favourite and then push through the book case, settle into a sofa and spend the evening with some fantastic cocktails: if you're really lucky, Chester the dog will be there to greet you too!
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