Sitting on Soho’s Archer Street near Piccadilly Circus is the aptly named, ‘Archer Street bar.’ With the fabulous Bocca Di Lupo restaurant across the street and the delicious ice cream parlour ‘Gelupo’ a few doors down, it really is in the perfect spot for a date in the West End.
Before entering Archer Street, the doorman informs you of their compulsory complimentary cloakroom policy which is very handy for freeing yourself of any bags and coats. Walking in to the elegant and stylish ground floor cocktail lounge you instantly get a feeling of exclusivity – this bar is unique, in fact it happens to be something of a spectacle; At points throughout the night a waiter or waitress will grab the mic burst and in to song, all the staff are amazing singers providing impromptu entertainment which is perfect for spontaneity and creates a great atmosphere for a date.
On the night we went, it was “Archer Street’s Got Talent” one of eight heats held in the ‘Piste Bar’- a basement bar decked out like a ski lodge complete with animal hides and snow shows adorned on the walls. We made our way down the stairs past the 80’s ski pictures to the warmth and comfort of the après ski den, the lighting was moody and atmospheric, perfect for audience members and daters alike!
Due to the nature of the competition the crowd was young, attractive and there was an excitable energy in the air. The competition kicked off with the first four contestants all performing a song. The talent was high and very competitive – it was clear that these singers were all trained vocalists. After each performance the judges gave their feedback in the same fashion as Simon Cowells TV shows – though the critique had more of a comical edge rather than a vicious one.
Our first cocktail of the night was the ‘Stardust’, especially created for ‘Archer Street’s Got Talent’. It was made up of a refreshing mix of Bacardi Superior shaken with maraschino, homemade grenadine, fresh lime and pineapple juice with a gold sprayed segment of star fruit floating on top.- a great gimmick for the stars of the night. We then moved on to a Fraise-y in Love – Ketel One Vodka stirred down with strawberry liqueur, aperol, cranberry and fresh lemon juice and a Frank Ginatra – Tanqueray Gin and apple liqueur mixed with ginger and lemongrass, topped with soda. These cocktails were delicious and well thought out for the tone of the evening. We could have easily made our way through the entire menu.
After a 15 minute break the competition resumed with the final four contestants and then a winner was crowned for entry into the £5,000 prize final.
If you want to check out the singers in Archer Street’s got talent it’s running every Tuesday until the grand final on the 15th April 2014 and you can vote on Facebook for your favourite heat contestant to gain a ‘Wild card place for the final’
The service was slick, the bartenders were helpful friendly and straight to the cocktail making, no faff or showing off, they make sure they serve their waiting clientele asap so you can enjoy the competition.
Extra little touches give this bar an edge, it has the feel of a private members club, exclusive booths, low lighting and if you’re a smoker they provide blankets and umbrellas for whatever the weather – even the toilets were filled with scented candles – it oozed class.
Archer Street is a well-heeled, elegant and classy bar and I would highly recommend the delicious cocktails, slick service and superb live entertainment, perfect for a midweek date. I would advise booking a table in advance to avoid any disappointment and avoid going on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday as it gets rammed in there.