With so much choice in central London, who wants to spend their evening in a hotel bar? Well you, probably, once you’ve seen this one.
Restaurant and lounge bar Hudson’s House is part of St Giles Hotel on Bedford Avenue. Don’t let that put you off though; this isn’t your standard ‘hotel bar’ where lonely guests sit nursing a gin and tonic in the corner or families make camp with their suitcases and a coffee while waiting for their cab to the airport. Thanks to the separate entrance next door to the hotel, Hudson’s House functions as an impressive independent lounge and restaurant. That said, it doesn’t look terribly enticing from the street. A few outdoor tables and chairs line dark windows that you can’t quite see through and even figuring out how to get in – if the door isn’t propped open – isn’t the easiest task.
Once you’re in, though, Hudson’s House is a vibrant, colourful and uber stylish bar. The Chesterfield-style sofas and chaises longues are comfortable and the pillars and wood paneling gives the place a touch of old world glamour. Church pews and what appears to be a genuine priest’s pulpit doubling as a DJ booth definitely fit the eclectic décor and add a bit of character (and mystery; why do they have a pulpit?).
In evenings the bar gets busy and maintains a friendly, lively buzz all night. Punters are largely hotel guests but locals and tourists pop in for a drink or bite to eat, too. The staff are chatty and charming, and background soul and easy-listening rock music makes for a relaxed but merry vibe.
There’s a tasty British menu on offer and quite a bit of variety in the price, so there should be something to suit all pockets. Try a ‘small plate’ of herring tart (potato, herring, beetroot and egg) for £5, or Welsh rarebit for £4.50. Or if you’re after something more filling, go for the £10.50 vegetable, pasta-free lasagne (aubergine instead of pasta), or the £12.50 saffron seafood risotto.
There’s a huge bar in the middle of the room, fully stocked with a good selection of wines, beers and spirits. A glass of house white (Macabeo 2012) or red (Tempranillo 2012) goes for £4, while cocktails start at £8 (for a Mai Tai, Breakfast Martini or Jalapeno Bloody Mary). If you’re after a bottled beer, there’s Budvar (£4.90), Peroni (£4.20), Becks (£4.20), Corona (£4.20) and Bulmers (£4.90). On draught you’ll find Sam Adams, Asahi, Whitstable Bay Blonde and Hudson’s House's own, all at £4.80 a pint.
The Last Word
A really cosy yet stylish bar, Hudson’s House is well worth a visit for the quirky décor and warm welcome.