As drinking establishments go, speakeasies are among the coolest. Everyone loves a secret, the feeling of being "in on it" and there's something intoxicating about making your way downstairs to a hidden basement bar. We love unusual venues here at Hire Space, so let us clue you in on some of London's most hip and hush-hush basement bars.
Tottenham Court Road
With the word 'basement' in the title, this chic Soho bar seems like a reasonable place to start. The debonair Parisian feel is evident in the stylish leather sofas, exposed brickwork and dark-wood furnishings – and in the classily understated cocktail choices like the Provence, made from vodka, cucumber, mint and lavender syrup.
We stay in Soho but take a turn down tequila avenue with this Mexican-inspired bar, where spicy street food and zesty cocktails are served in a colourful basement space that forms the lower-ground floor of the ever-popular Wahaca on Wardour Street. Over 80 fine, 100%-agave tequilas and mezcals are the specialities here drink-wise, while entertainment can be added to private events in the form of piñatas, foosball and the hazardously riveting pastime that is tequila tasting.
Shoreditch High Street
Housed under two beautiful Victorian railway arches, Kachette is a multi-functional event space perfectly situated in the heart of Shoreditch. Exposed brickwork and atmospheric lighting give this venue a cosy yet urban feel and its blank canvas nature lends itself to almost any event; just add your favourite beverage.
This Georgian townhouse, close to iconic Smithfield Market, boasts no fewer than five floors – including a rooftop garden, and a basement bar, of course. Nicknamed The Birdcage, this underground space accommodates up to 60 people for private parties, which can be complemented by DJ sets, party food and even cocktail-making classes. House cocktails include the No.26, comprising gin, Chambord, grapefruit and blueberry.
The Prohibition era of the Roaring Twenties is evoked in the speakeasy-style décor of this comfy basement bar in Marylebone, where the music recreates the Jazz Age ambience. Forgotten cocktails from a century ago are reintroduced with modern techniques to appeal to all the senses. Highlights include the innovative Mr Hyde which mixes Anejo rum, Purl’s Homemade Falernum, Demerara syrup, Grapefruit, Orange, Coffee Essence and Calvados wood smoke. Just make sure you know the password to get in...
The basement section of this central bar and eatery, just a short walk from Oxford Street, is perhaps best known for its famous hip-hop karaoke nights. The space is a versatile one that can be tailored to individual events for up to 150 people, whether in terms of lighting, seating, DJ sets or live music.
With a prime West-End spot, Cahoots is the ultimate underground bar, in the most literal sense. It's themed around the London Underground, specifically from the '40s, post-war era, with the venue taking on an air-raid shelter feel – but with cocktails, swing dancing, live bands, and costumed staff in character. The whacky venue can be hired in its entirety or in part, for guests looking to sip cocktails like the Drambuster (Tullamore Dew, Laphroaig, Vermouth and Vanilla and Cassia syrup) and to dig into Blighty-based snacks like crumpets with golden syrup.
For more awesome venues, great deals on booking them and advice from our Venue Experts – go to hirespace.com.