Lounge Bohemia information

Lounge Bohemia is a great place to enjoy a relaxed drink with friends and experience avant-garde cocktails and bohemian beers.

Please note you must pre-book to gain entry.

Ranked #123 of 2091 pubs & bars in London

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Lounge Bohemia reviews

By Jenni M.

Don’t let the din of Drunken Monkey at the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Commercial Street dissuade you from hunting out Lounge Bohemia, just a few steps round the corner.

The Venue
Turn the corner of Commercial Street and just before the kebab shop look closely and you will see a discreet, dark doorway. Entering you will notice walls lined with newspaper print and foreign text, then down a flight of metal stairs you will reach the lounge - which can seem like less of a lounge in the cosy sense of the word, and more in the style of a colourful cafe. Almost as secretive as the entrance is Lounge Bohemia’s hidden bathrooms; a completely camouflaged door along a wall with wild printed wallpaper.

A back-lit bar is at the bottom of the staircase but drinks are ordered from tables only, so no standing in queues and no standing room full stop – it’s table or nothing. These must be reserved in advance but staff are friendly and accommodating, so if you do happen to be lucky enough to arrive at a time when someone has not turned up, rest assured you will benefit from their slip-up.

The Atmosphere
Groups of friends chat casually and soft swing music plays in the background. It’s a nice alternative to busy, noisy bars in the area and has a relaxed and welcoming feel; a notch or two louder on the tunes wouldn’t hurt though. Being hidden from view and set in the basement you almost feel a bit exclusive, like Lounge Bohemia is your own underground cubby hole. Low ceilings, grey walls and room for only a few dozen, the space is intimate. Soft lighting does bring out a cosier feel as large knotted, white lampshades provide a yellow glow. A floor lamp with a long arching stem stretches from the edge of the room across to the middle, allowing a lampshade to suspend itself above a table quite a distance away. A darker bay in the corner appears comfier with its cushioned sofa.

Placed on the table is a book in Czech, but upon opening it and flicking through a few pages of unfamiliar language you stumble upon the menu hiding within. It’s a quirky touch, a great photo opportunity and an interesting talking point for first timers. And waitresses come to your table and are helpful with suggestions, which is great when you are so spoilt for choice. A jug of complimentary water is brought over, but stranger than the lime green plastic jug and stackable plastic beakers are the words from your waitress of, ‘some hydration’, as it’s set upon the table.

The Food
Quirky canapés on the menu are not your run of the mill options; marinated figs, wrapped prunes, dried apricots with cheese. But when a complimentary selection is brought over on a tray, you may well be enticed to order more. Dried apricot and hazelnut with cream cheese, peppered ham and prune, and smoked salmon with horseradish and cream cheese are all interesting and full of flavour. There are 12 to choose from in sections of vegetarian, meat and fish, and cost £3.95 for four. Olives or roasted mixed nuts are also available (£2.50).

The Drink
This casual-looking bar doesn’t have such a casual price tag, as drinks cost what you’d expect for trendy Shoreditch; martinis and short drinks for £7.75, long drinks for £8.25, wines at £5 per glass and a selection of Eastern European beers for £4.50. Alternative cocktails stand out as the main attraction on the menu, with curious options from the manipulative mixology cocktail menu (£14). These include an Old Castro – infused with a Cuban cigar - and an Edison – 100 proof spirit with a touch of electricity. Superior spirit cocktails, an upgrade on the classics, cost £12, with regulars by request at £8.25. An Apple Pie Martini (£7.75) actually tastes exactly as its name implies; vanilla and biscuit vodka, cinnamon syrup, apple liquor and juice. It tastes so good you won’t even notice its strength – until you stand up, that is. And a long drink titled Van the Man (£8.25) is a refreshing yet potent blend of absinth, lime, elderflower liquor and ginger beer.

Spirits are served as doubles, unless you specifically request a single, with whiskey and bourbons starting from £6 for a Jack Daniels or a Jameson, and ranging up to £18 for a Macallan 21 year old fine oak malt, or £25 for a 25 year old Chivas regal. White or red wine is available from £5 for the glass or £20 the bottle, with champagnes available only by the bottle at £65-£165. Absinthe experiences cost from £6.50 to £10 and from 53% to 70% proof. But if you did happen to be designated driver for the evening then fear not, virgin cocktails are just as imaginative and flavoursome (£4).

The Last Word
Curious cocktails, superb flavours and crazy canapés; Lounge Bohemia is hidden from view but still stands out from the crowd, luckily without drawing in the usual crowds of the area, too. Come here for an original night out, but watch out when you stand up - a few slurps of your tipple may go straight to your head, and the camouflaged bathroom may prove even more of a challenge to find.

By Nicki H.

My fiancé & I went here yesterday, it was about 6pm so not too busy. The minute we walked in we were asked "do you have a booking?", we hadn't because we just came by this bar by accident, thought that it looked cool & walked in. There were just two couples in there but the bar staff made a bit of a song & dance at the fact we hadn't booked! We were made very uncomfortable but were then shown a seat & were told we could sit here until 8pm!! After a short while a member of staff came up to us & I think she realised how rude the staff were to us & tried to make amends but as far as I was concerned too little too late. We had one drink which I would like to add was very tasty & from what I could see the cocktails looked amazing, but we drank up, paid our bill (without leaving a tip which is unusual for us) & left. It is a shame because it looked like a really cool bar to chill & hang out but personally will never visit again, as there are plenty of other friendly bars in London.

By Gabriella D.

The two matrons are gone and there are now 2 new bartenders, a lovely Italian and a charming burlesque lookalike lady , both very gentle and nice. So I would give this bar my thumbs up again.

By Shakirah M.

I like to have the odd cocktail here and have been doing so for the past few years. I have never once been disappointed with the service. The staff have always been attentive and informative. It's a quirky underground bar with an understated laid back vibe. The cocktails are wonderful and the canapes are a delightful complement. The fact that it's seated with table service and is never jam packed means you can enjoy the space a lot more. This is one of my favourite bars in London and I'll keep going back. The rules (which have been consistent since they opened), are in place to give you the above experience. If you can't accept that then you can always try the Wetherspoon's down the road.

By Ju R.

This place seems cool at first but they make you feel really uncomfortable, making sure you don't touch their (rip offs) "original" vintage props, and sit in the exact place they want you to sit. Some of the staff are rude, full of themselves and should get a reality check. Unless they're not there to make money (?). They act as members' club ( no suits!) without the knowledge or courtesy of one. BTW, the cocktails are nice. normal London prices.

By Charlotte S.

This cool little bar was one of my favourite places to go a couple of years ago. Although fairly expensive the quiet cosy atmosphere more than makes up for it, if you are looking for a nice place to catch up with friends. I booked a table recently as a special treat for my friend over from America. I see him once a year. The booking I made was from 8 30 to 10 30. You can imagine my shock when I walked in and they said my booking was until 10pm. At 9.55 the waitress came over and gave us the bill we had decided to have one last drink before leaving- an absinth. We were refused in the rudest way and told to just pay and leave. I do not think anyone should be treated like this when they have just been given a bill of £20 for 3 beers. I won't be going back and I certainly will not recommend this place to anyone. The staff are rude and arrogant.

By Anna M.

Once great bar gone very very bad Horrid staff - utterly pretentious and very rude. Unforgivable given the very average standard of cocktails. There are other bars in London doing this much better - cocktail room at The Zetter, Colebrooke Row. Much better drinks and atmosphere. Very sorry it's become so awful, as it used to be really fabulous. Last three visits have been ruined by sheer awfulness of staff attitude, each time I returned to see if things had improved. Sadly not. So many brilliant bars in London, don't waste time here.

By Darling C.

In a nutshell- This bar is run by two miserable matrons! My colleague and I took 2 clients to Lounge Bohemia last night... the cocktail menu sounded delicious, however we never got as far as sampling any of them as the very strange bar maid refused to serve my colleague a drink! Won't be going back!

By Cin L.

So I was told this place makes amazing cocktails, but during my brief visit last Friday, I experienced some world-class rudeness from the staff at the Lounge Bohemia. My friends invited me to join them for a drink and when I turned up at 9:15pm, I found a couple of spare stools, so I helped myself with one and joined my friends. Shortly after that, a staff member approached us and said, 'Sorry but I am afraid you are not allowed to include an extra person at your table.' (Not word for word but you get the meaning) Excuse me? Her reason being we can only bring the exact number of people mentioned in the reservation. This is a lounge bar, not a restaurant. The place was not fully occupied with the spare stools lying around for customers, so it is definitely not because of 'FIRE safety' reasons. She continued, ' I am afraid ONE OF YOU WILL HAVE TO LEAVE'. So one friend of mine had to rushed finished his drink and we got the bill. Ironically, when we were about to leave, another two tables left the bar and the place is only 2/3 filled. They may have good cocktails but I am certain anyone who have experienced their service will not return to this place.

By Nicola P.

Absolutely agree. Such a shame the amazing cocktails were let down by such a terrible attitude from the lady serving. Miserable, sour, obnoxious, you have to wonder how someone like this was hired in the first place. We left before we'd finished the delicious drinks because this nasty woman was so rude. Gutted.

By C.

Unwelcoming basement bar where the staff is really under everything even if the place was absolutely empty

By Hayley R.

Totally agree. Great Bar, drinks and location... but the staff are so rude. The two times I have visited I have been spoke to in an disgusting way by a woman who works there. She was so unwelcoming and made my party feel highly uncomfortable. Massive shame, I won't be back due to this. It ruined the whole experience for me!

By Tom D.

zedzed1 - I've never worn a pressed shirt, mauve or otherwise, in my life. Do I know you? Who are you? - OP

By Betty D.

What a shame that such a lovely venue serving such delicious cocktails is completely let down by the attitude of its staff. Pretentious, rude, arrogant and unwelcoming.

By Arik S.

Went there early tuesday evening. This is as good as it gets in London for those tired of the same old formula. Very atmospheric, oozes coolness, and the best cocktails I have had in London. The porcini martini is probably one of the best cocktails I have had. Period. If you are looking for wild and loud, that's not the place for you, if on the other hand, you want to be transported out of the London Hectic scene its the best spot in town.

By Tom D.

We arrived as a party of four who had booked a table for six o'clock (yes, unfashionably early I know, but we wanted a couple of pre-prandial cocktails before heading out to Brick Lane to load up on spicy food) but the door was firmly shut until about quarter past, when a bemused-looking Runner Up In A Betty Page Lookalike Competition emerged frowning at us. She suggested disdainfully that one of our party might be wearing work attire (yes, they had made it perfectly clear on the phone that they had a No Suits policy). I said it seemed like a casual shirt to me and she acquiesced with the merest hint of a glare, leading us down a dimly lit steel staircase into a cosy little lounge (this is a Lounge, not a Bar, the owners are eager to point out). The place was empty, naturally, so we scanned the room looking for a seat and our eyes settled on a comfortable looking sofa - however, our Betty Imitator had decided that we would sit round a small table on harsh, pseudo-art-deco chairs under a lamp that was so near to table height I kept banging my head on it. No matter - as a mere suburbanite mortal I was expecting the Rudeness of Hipsters. Anyway, we perched uncomfortably on these chairs, no doubt uniquely designed to make us suffer like Communist era Czechs (in line with the decor - even the menus are placed within hollowed-out books in Czech which I assume are deep-thinking works of political discourse chosen by a proprietor who would probably think nothing of shelling out £120 for a T shirt with a faded Russian political slogan on it and wear it ironically at dinner parties which take place in minimalist kitchens in Notting Hill...but I digress). Betty came to take our orders but she had spotted something. We had removed our jackets and two of us were sporting - the horror of it - White Shirts! You know, the sort you could wear to an office if you were so inclined. And that was that - thrown out! Leaving an empty bar! (run out of space, sorry, wish I had more room t

By Fran P.

This great little underground bar was a regular haunt of mine during the three years I lived in this area - and I'm not a pretentious jumped-up hipster, which, according to previous reviews, you'd have to be to enjoy this place. I've been back regularly since, and nothing's chanced - I still love it. Yes, you have to book a table, because yes, it gets crazy-busy. But once you're in, you're in, and a fascinating menu keeps you in your seats out of curiosity and comfort in equal measure. It's cosy, informal (ignore the accusations of pretentiousness above - it's really not like that at all). Prices may seem high, but they're no higher than rival venues in the area, and the quality of the drinks you receive are far, far superior to the watered-down atrocities in many of the more conspicuous 'cocktail bars' Shoreditch shoves in your face on a night out. Service here has never been a problem - I've always found the owner to be friendly, helpful - good recommendations - and generous. Many a time on quieter evenings we've been offered complimentary test tubes of experimental concoctions he's trying out. All in all, thoroughly recommended. And that's from a former suburbs dweller who's far from the stereotypical Shoreditch twat that, according to other reviewers, should feel at home at LB.

By D D.

Amazing bar - we had a great time. The bar staff were really helpful and polite. And the cocktails were delicious - would recommend cc cocktail! Would recommend this bar to anyone who wanted a change from the usual boring bars around old street/liverpool street. Definitely would recommend booking in advance though.

By Adam G.

Horrid people for what is a pretentious basement. Man behind the bar was pretty much the person least suited to customer care the world has ever seen. Do yourself a favour an dgo somewhere where you can realx and have a drink, the Foundry or 3 Blind Mice, where you are welcomed with a smiel and a song! Rather than have you booked? No suits? You want ice! Get out! It's a bit like performance art, except boring after 3 seconds.

By E B.

After reading reviews of this place, we went there on Friday night expecting good cocktails and rude staff - and that's what we got! We didn't let the bitterness of the waitress get to us though as we still had a really nice time. The molecular cocktails are worth a try for the novelty value of their presentation but taste-wise I would stick to the regular cocktail list on there - loved the Sgt Pepper martini and the Lavender Creme Brulee cocktails. I would say give it a go, so long as you know what to expect!

By Shai A.

i went here because someone mentioned it as a kind of mysterious hard-to-find interesting place... it is definitely an interesting space- booths in the cellar arches and really makes the most of its cosiness... but... luckily i phoned up to ask for directions otherwise i wouldn't have known that you need to book to come here for drinks, you cant just pop in, even if its totally empty. weird rule. surely if you are busy later you can say that you'll need the table back at such and such a time? anyway luckily the friendly woman on the phone told me about it, in fact she even called me back after giving me directions to let me know, which i thought was really great customer service. Although when we got there the same girl was really rude to my friend when she asked her a question. Not very nice. the place itself, is just a bit try hard for me, teeny decorative canapes, empty tables while we were asked to join two other groups in a booth (there were 3 of us and we had to sit in a line, not very sociable!) anyway, we left after our first drink, we actually wanted to leave before but stayed because they had already poured. its not a horrible place, its just really pretentious and self conscious- the very opposite of what you would image a free thinking bohemian to enjoy. i wont be going there again.

By Bob S.

I have been to this bar a number of times, and never left with anything near the impression of lucybloot (above). The barman has a fantastic sarcastic sense of humour, although I guess if you yourself have no sense of sarcasm you may find this disconcerting. Although the bar can often appear empty if you are arriving early in the evening, if the bar-staff inform you they are fully booked, they are not lying - I have arrived at 7pm to a nearly empty bar, been seated at my (pre-booked) seats and within an hour the place is full - every seat taken. I would advise that if you have no sense of humour, and refuse to accept if you are told that the bar is fully booked (which is the only reason I can imagine for your feeling you would need to 'beg and grovel' for a place) then either ensure you pre-book (in which case you won't have any trouble on arrival regarding entrance for a drink) or don't bother going! If you choose the latter, I can only say you are missing out.

By Kit R.

The staff are desperate to pretend this is the most exclusive joint in town, presumably this makes them feel better about the reality of their tragic lives working in a average basement bar in a part of town that has long gone out of fashion. Really, really terrible place.

By Chambers C.

I had previously visited this bar with my sister and enjoyed the cocktails. So I returned with some friends and I can honestly say that the man behind the bar was so pretentious, aggressive and rude that initially I thought we were having a jest together. Then it dawned on me that he was dead serious! My friends and I left as we didn't want to beg and grovel in order to spend our money in an empty bar with a delusional and jumped-up bar man (i.e. unskilled laborer) . Unless you're similar to the bar staff and desperate to appear cool I implore you to spend your money elsewhere. There are plenty other nice bars/pubs in the area who will be happy to take your money.

By Sam H.

Lounge Bohemia is a little gem of a place. I got taken there for the first time last night for team cocktails.

Located in Shoreditch, it was perfect as I am doing a brief stint of house sitting in Bethnal Green.

The bar itself is in a cellar and is pretty cramped. Some review sites quote appalling service, but I have to say it was very pleasant, and as any reader of my reviews on here knows, service is very important to me.

The Czech owner has created a nice ambience, it is trendy but easy and it has limited space – prebooking is essential as it fills up.

So to the main event – drinkies! Lounge Bohemia has created the most wonderful martinis.

We went through all of them and particular favourites include the Apple pie that has apple and cinnamon and tastes just like the sort of apple pie my mum made, the Rosemary that sounds vile but the herb works so well as a drink and my favourite, the butterscotch that not only tastes of butterscotch but even has a werthers original sweet in it.

The martinis are around £6 each and are a bargain. There was a whole menu of other cocktails on offer, and when I go next I will definitely be trying some of the other rich pickings.

The canapés are not so good value. £20 got us nuts, olives, and 4 plates of canapés (meat, fish and cheese) with 4 pieces on each. They were, to be fair, delicious but really did not fill empty stomachs.

It was a delightful evening and we all had a wonderful time. I would heartily recommend a visit if you fancy something different and a bit special.

By B M.

'and the waiting staff themselves aren't even the most attractive to excuse their self importance.'hmm.. that says it all really. :)

By Katie H.

On one hand I want to say this bar is amazing - it has everything I love - namely chilled vibe and good cocktails.

However, the staff are pretty rude to he point of ruining the evening - especially considering the clientele of the bar are by far and away NOT the Hoxton elite (think your regular 20s/30s set - left noel fielding and the teenagers in wet look leggings at a venue down the road) and the waiting staff themselves aren't even the most attractive to excuse their self importance.

Service with a smile, or even something other than combatative 'how dare you ask me a question' retorts would make this place divine - also - a speedier service would have doubled our bill by the end of the evening.

Would probably return - but would set my sights far lower than the five star review given by viewlondon. A relaxing, intimate night out with friends or a date is a bit overshadowed by the attitude in there.

By Bren B.

Easily the worst bar in East London. Used to be ok but its head is now so far up its a$$ it's ridiculous. Any positive reviews for this place were either written back when it opened or, more likely, by the management. my friends and i have been here many times and even after it started going downhill gave it many more chances but it's not become a joke. the staff are so rude it's not funny. wouldn't go back again if they were offering free drinks all night.

By Karen C.

Awful....truly...tries so hard, fails in every way...

Rude staff, pathetically pretentious, don't go here unless you really believe in your heart of hearts that you really are just too cool.

If this is cool, you can keep it thanks. Boringly ridiculous.

By Elaine R.

If you stumble upon Lounge Bohemia an manage to get a table, you will not be disappointed. Unique atmosphere, think 40's Czech bomb shelter / grandmother's living room. Reasonably priced but definitely need to book on weekends. Staff a little rude

By Elena F.

One of the most terrible experiences in Shoreditch !!!! Awful staff!!!I went there with my friend and we were second couple in the room, the rest is completely empty. When we asked to be seated two girls at the bar pointed at the table of two other customers. We couldnt believe that in an empty bar we are getting seats at other people's table. We werent happy and wanted to leave and a girl at the bar yelled at me: "Next time book darling!"Definitely wont be coming back.September,24Elena

By Anella W.

Me and my mates just stumbled upon this place by accident - it's very easy to miss because there's no sign or anything at street level - but that's what I love about it! You feel like you're part of some private members club without having to pay for membership, plus the decor is really cool and the cocktails are great and really cheap for this area (my martini only cost me £4.95) There are alcoves to sit in which make it feel really private and cosy - a great place to go on a date...

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