Recently my friend and I attended the relaunch of Gem Bar in Soho. Just off Beak Street, five minutes from Oxford Circus, it’s perfectly placed for a post-shopping drink.
Before the event we were asked our favourite spirit and whether we preferred sweet or sour drinks, so we could have a bespoke cocktail waiting for us on arrival. I was given a Zamora, which included Amaretto, Oakheart rum, lime and Cola, and tasted like cherry cola. Sarah had a Watermelon Fresco, which she enjoyed so much she just kept having the same.
Mine was good, but the next cocktail I had was a Zoom, which was even better: Midori, vodka, Triple Sec, raspberry, cranberry and orange, unmixed to appear like traffic lights.
The place looks great following a massive refurbishment. The basement floor seems to be more of a club area, although they also have events there, while the main floor is a fairly big bar with plenty of booths and tall tables. I imagine it will get busy on Thursday and Friday evenings, but at least with this amount of space there is more chance of a seat! (And as an old lady at heart, these things are important to me. And no, the music wasn’t too loud either!)
As well as a little arcade area on the first floor, I also appreciated the lighting:
I need to get myself a light box!
An added bonus was that we had a chance to try the bar snacks. (Or, more accurately, stuff ourselves with a platter between the two of us). We got a classic sharer platter, which comes with garlic bread, calamari, chicken goujons, Bloody Mary meatballs, nachos and sweet potato fries. We also got some barbecue chicken wings, which were great, but obviously messy!
I don’t like calamari, so Sarah was delighted to have it all to herself, but I thought everything else was great, especially the chicken and Bloody Mary meatballs. As well as platters, they also have an offer where you can order three small plates for £10, or five for £15.
For those who work centrally, Gem Bar is a handy, laid-back place for a few after-work drinks, and, as I said before, ideal for those who have braved Oxford Street. The cocktails were great, the food is ideal for snacking and we really enjoyed our evening here.
Thank you to the Gem Bar staff for your kind hospitality, especially Mark and the lovely toilet attendant who complimented my accent!