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Blacks information

This is strictly members only. You will not get in unless you're a member or are accompanied by a member.

Blacks is located within a beautifully restored and sympathetically decorated Georgian building housing a private members club across three floors.

Ranked #99 of 225 clubs in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours
MON

10:00 - 01:00

TUE

10:00 - 01:00

WED

10:00 - 01:00

THU

10:00 - 01:00

FRI

10:00 - 01:00

SAT

17:00 - 01:00

SUN

CLOSED

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What did you think of Blacks?

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Blacks reviews



By Linda F.

I popped in today for a bite to eat - chaotic, packed and full of suits, so I left unfed and unwatered. Such a shame - it used to be so comfortable and friendly. At the moment it's just like an over busy pub with nowhere comfortable to sit. Hope this is just a blip while they finish the refurb.


By David S.

Sadly Guiseppe has left Blacks and its under new ownership. They have rejigged things (the restaurant is new upstairs) so sadly there is no lounge area. One would once regard Blacks as a home from home with big comfy settee's (and even a day bed), so alluring and full of charm (just sink in with a bottle of wine and talk/read/sleep). Now it seems to be 3 floors of just tables and chairs. Hopefully the new refurb (once completed) will make ammends.


By Dianna S.

The first time I went to Blacks, I found the building and the blazing fireplaces charming. But sitting down to eat in the restaurant was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. The food was inedible. The starter pate had a layer of fat on the top and something you wouldn't give to your dog. The dauphinoise potatoes that came with the meat, were like layered bland boiled potatoes with no creamy sauce whatsoever. An hour afterwards I was desperately sick with food poisoning. A place to go for drinks but definitely not eat.


By Tacita V.

‘Ties frowned upon’ is the dress code of Blacks, the historical Soho members’ club where nothing seem to have changed since Georgian times.

The Venue
Unless you know where to look, you are likely pass by Blacks without noticing it, even if you are an experienced Soho dweller. Blacks unwritten etiquette is understatement and only the address will provide you with a clue that you have to descend the particular set of stairs to find yourself in one of the quaintest members’ clubs in London.

Inside, the tune is completely different. Fashioned to resemble the dining club founded by the literate Samuel Johnson and the painter Joshua Reynolds, which existed on these premises in the 18th Century, the decor is quintessentially Georgian. Roaring fireplaces, benches and tables made of wooden trunks, fatiscent armchairs, brocade pillows, barrels and pretty lampshades made of large shells are just some of the elements creating a rustic ambiance which does a good job of historical veracity. The venue spreads over three floors: the basement is small and jolly, with a small bar serving this area and the top floor; the ground floor acts as dining area; and the top floor is where most of the seats are located, although there is no extra service area to provide members with more drinks.

The Atmosphere
The small oddities are the defining element of many members’ clubs and Blacks is no exception. The first bizarre rule is that there is no entrance fee but you need to deposit a pound in a box at the entrance for the doorman - a quaint, nervous type who may insist in moving your group around to accommodate his list of bookings. Fitting in perfectly with the period decor, he wears a worn golden waistcoat and electric hair and most of the time he sits on an old deformed chair prominently located in the basement.

Other than that, the staff are quite nice and the atmosphere relaxing and pleasant. Blacks acts as a cocoon sheltering its lucky members from the madness of Soho and it is the perfect place for sipping wine with a group of friends over an interesting conversation. The clientele are mostly people who live in the local neighbourhood and are, as a rule, fairly well-to-do. Most are in their thirties but it is hard to generalise. As a rule of thumb, nobody feels totally out of place, unless they’re wearing a tie!

The Food
A regularly changing menu of mostly British recipes is available in the dining room. Expect slow-cooked veal shank with pea risotto, or rib-eye steaks to peak your hunger. Most people, though, opt to munch from the board menu, which includes posh ingredients like La Credenza salami with cornichons and bread (£9.50) and a Neil’s Yard cheese board with homemade chutney and oatcakes (£9.50).

As a rule, the ingredients are of a good quality and the food is decent and uncomplicated.

The Drink
The wine list includes over 80 bottles on a single sheet of paper. No descriptions are available but you are given the year of production. Prices for a glass are very reasonable at just £4-£6 although most bottles are sold whole (from £14.50). The reds escalate to £75 and above for a Bordeaux, while the whites creep up to £150 for a Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Olivier Leflaive from 1999. There are plenty of good vintages from the last 15 years with many bottles dating back to the mid-90s. At least a third of wines are produced before 2005. You are advised to make up your mind rather quickly since some bottles are kept in the cellar and it takes a few minutes to fetch them.

Rose (£12.50-£23), sherry (£3.50 per glass), dessert wine and port (£28-£34) are also available, as well as sparkling wines (£20-£85).

For a cosy afternoon, one free of booze, you can pick from Monmouth coffee (£1.50-£2.50), Dr Stuarts, Organic and the Brabo teas (all £1.50): wild nettle, fennel, rooibos and liquorice are available alongside Earl Grey and Jasmine.

The Last Word
Quaint, full of personality and quintessentially old-school English, Blacks may not move with the times but it has bags of character and personality.


By Fergus Q.

I'm not yet a member but not being a media type I'm not sure that I'd ever be accepted. I've been a couple of times with a friend who's a member and have found it a very nice experience. The wines are good and the food too. an interesting alternatve to the rest of the locality.


By Liz N.

wonderfully Blacks now accepts credit and debit cards but still frowns on the use of mobile phones!


By Liz N.

There is nothing better than Blacks on a cold winter evening, when the real fires are roaring and the wine and conversation is flowing it's convivial, bohemian and like stepping into a Georgian time-warp. The wine list is superb and the food is ridiculously good particularly given the price of the set menu. Maybe slightly less brilliant for vegetarians? But veggie friends have always been happy with their supper... I have had some quiet times and deep conversations at Blacks, and some rip-roaring evenings too. Some of the most fun nights have happened spontaneously when one small group of friends is somehow merged with another group of strangers and the whole evening changes into an event.


By M.

On my first visit to Black's I found it to be an impressive, independent bar/restaurant with wonderful decor, food and staff. It's refreshing to find a place like Black's in central London without the mad, loud music. I was able to sit down and have a conversation all night without having to shout. I would definitely say that this is highly recommended although I would prefer that not too many people discovered it as Black's is one of London's little gems.


By E.

I was a member of Black's for many years but found its standards decreased considerably since around 2003 and started overcharging for what was basically a run down house with media people trying to network in the evenings. Especially sad was the drop in standards for the food which was, generally, considered to be rather basic (2 star pub grub with French names). The quality of members at Black's have changed somewhat too. It seemed to be attracting too many tourists and had less of an intimate atmosphere. Also, I had a real problem dealing with several drunks one night. Black's seems to have lost the exclusivity and friendly appeal it once had, which was a shame. I now visit a great little club off Covent Garden which hopefully will remain anonymous for some time, until a bright spark decides to ruin it by advertising it on the Net. I'm keeping my lips firmly sealed on this one. Sorry chaps!


By A.

Black is a members only bar.

They do not accept credit cards at all (cash or cheques only). They also ban mobile phones.

It is a great antidote to normal London bars. Not an ounce of chrome or uber trendiness. Great food, wines, fires and people...

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