Cocktail-crazy bar group Be At One hits the spot once again with this ever-popular spot in Covent Garden.
We’re talking more shabby than shabby-chic, but don’t let that put you off. While the interior is due a bit of a makeover (it hasn’t had a refurb since opening a good few years ago), the location is enviable: it's a hop across the road from the Lyceum Theatre (think Lion King), just round the corner from central Covent Garden and a stone’s throw from Drury Lane. Long and narrow, the main action is at the bar or at the stools along the windows, with just a couple of tables with benches for bigger parties. The daily happy hour, where you can buy one get one free, draws in the crowds throughout the week.
Mid-week trade is from the plethora of theatre-goers in the area, with rush times being early evening and much later, when the shows are over. Weekends see plenty of hen parties – and you wouldn’t be too far wrong in thinking the staff may have something to do with pulling the girls in. As ever with the Be At One group, the staff here are totally focused on making sure you’re having the best time possible. They’ll guide you to a drink you’ll love (and ten more if you’ll let them) and they’ll happily chat to you in between looking after the crowds upon crowds of other customers – always with a smile on their faces.
Where to start? If you’re a bloody mary fan, the one here is only £5.50 and will knock your socks off. A mix of Absolut Citron or Absolut Peppar, gently shaken with seasoned tomato juice, horseradish, Worcester sauce and Tabasco - it should have its own fan club. Classics like the Singapore sling (£8.50), with gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, Benedictine, grenadine, bitters and fresh lime and pineapple juice, and the straight-up daiquiri (£8.50), simply rum, lime and sugar, don’t let the side down either. But if you’re looking for something new, Gambon’s corner (£7.50) shakes tequila with homemade watermelon syrup, fresh lemon juice and orange bitters, then serves it straight up – drinkable and moreish. The batteria (£7.50) is a Be At One original and is a flavoursome mix of cachaça, fresh basil, lime juice and sugar – a refreshing twist on the caipirinha. Chocolate-lovers will be more than satisfied with the white mocha-tini (£7.50) – OMG, as the menu says, a smooth, frothy blend of Patron XO cafe liqueur, white chocolate liqueur and espresso – try one and you’ll be hooked.
Cocktails are certainly the main theme here, but there is a small list of wines, starting at £3 for a 125ml glass, £5.50 for a 250ml glass and £16 for a bottle.
The Last Word
A great location, lively atmosphere and huge selection of exciting cocktails makes Be At One Covent Garden the perfect place for a drink or two before the theatre – just make sure you’re not so involved in the fun that you miss your show.