The Hide Bar is a venue that rarely disappoints; you’ll find it hard to resist going back to try the cocktail you missed on your last visit.
The Hide Bar is a short walk from London Bridge station, nestled along the main stretch of Bermondsey Street. The decor is simple and understated with a neutral colour scheme of nude tones, white walls and natural woods. The exception to this simplicity is the large wine case that takes up almost an entire wall. The lighting is especially attractive, the ceiling consisting of various spot-lit panels that draw the eye. A sprinkling of large indoor plants help to carry through the natural feel of the decor.
The bar is cosy with comfortable leather sofas and plenty of tables for those looking to sample the food. Most of the seating is conveniently located by the main window, which offers plenty of light during the day and ample people watching opportunities come the evening. However, a couple of the tables are set slightly closer to the bar and if you sit here you may feel slightly out of place, although it is undoubtedly a good location when it comes to ordering drinks. There is also a back room that appears more like a living room than the main bar and comes complete with an old gramophone player and is open for private hire.
The Hide Bar is a popular choice with locals and those who work in one of the many offices in the area, so it is unsurprisingly busy on Friday nights. The atmosphere is very welcoming - even if you’re not a regular - and you can easily spend an entire evening sampling the food and drink. The staff are very helpful and friendly and usually bring drinks directly to your table. Handily, and perhaps dangerously, you can also set up and tab behind the bar.
In addition to the after work crowd, during the week special events help to keep the punters coming in. For example, every other Tuesday they hold tastings where you can sample different wine, rum and even Champagne for just £10 a head.
What makes The Hide Bar really stand apart from the other bars in the area is the food, which is reasonably priced and much of it locally sourced from Borough Market. They make a big deal - as they rightfully should - as to where the various ingredients are sourced and the fact that the eggs are all free range.
The meat comes from award-winning producer Ginger Pig and dishes include wild boar or venison sausages (£8.50) and steak sandwiches (£7). For vegetarians there is grilled halloumi with roast vegetables, and a range of salads all for about £8. There are also platters to share; the cheese plate is especially good and not too heavy if you’re looking to save some room for copious amounts of cocktails. On the platter you’ll find four cheeses: one hard, one soft, one blue and one goat’s cheese, all sourced from Neil’s Yard so you can be sure of the quality of the British varieties.
Located on the ground floor of the International Wine and Spirit Centre with Greenwich’s Meantime Brewery nearby, The Hide Bar does not disappoint when it comes to drinks. They offer 150 bottles of carefully selected wine, over 300 spirits including rare and premium bottles, a large selection of draught and bottled beer and a great choice of cocktails, all reasonably priced.
Their cocktail menu is impressive, as you might expect given the fact that the bar holds a library of cocktail books, some dating as far back as 1890. Costing just £6.50-£7, the list offers some interesting twists on the classics and a good range of signature concoctions, each one coming with an interesting description including a little history. A highlight in these hard economic times is the Credit Crunch cocktail for just £4 (Beefeater gin, cranberry juice, lime, cucumber and triple sec), which is a refreshing, easy to drink cocktail.
If beer is more your thing then you’ll find a range of Meantime draught options including Helles Bier, pale ale, stout and wheat, although pints are a little pricy at £3.50-£3.80. The bottle selection is lengthy and impressive and includes Asahi, Anchor Steam, Vedett and Meantime raspberry Grand Cru.
The wine costs from £14 for a bottle of Chenin Blanc, ranging up to £53 for a Massolino Barolo Parafida. Each bottle on the impressively long list is well described making your selection a lot easier. There are also eight Champagne and sparkling wine varieties to choose from, including a bottle of Vintage Krug for £190. Sherry, sweet wine and port round up the list nicely. Also worthy of note are the bin end bottles where you can make massive savings.
The Last Word
The Hide Bar is a great addition to the Bermondsey bar scene. From the well sourced, quality food to the lengthy drink selection, this is a venue that’s worth making a point to visit.