This romantic restaurant is near invisible. The only sign it exists is if you either a) look up as you are walking past at night and notice people sitting in the windows or b) walk by the entrance on the side street and see the label on the buzzer. But Upstairs is truly one of London’s hidden gems and well worth making the trip to Brixton to sample their delicious menu.
After meeting my date at Brixton station we made the 5 minute walk down Acre Lane to the entrance, in what seemed like any other a residential street. After being initially a little baffled, we noticed a solitary door which on closer inspection had a buzzer with Upstairs written on it.
After buzzing, a friendly voice told us to come up to the first floor bar to grab a drink. Walking up the narrow stairs we entered the slick and stylish lounge complete with funky furnishings. It was essentially someone’s house but definitely one of the most interesting houses I’ve ever been to. Once our coats had been taken by one of the lovely staff, we sat on the sofa and opted for a cocktail to start off the night. Let me tell you, I have tried many a London cocktail and these were seriously good drinks so we highly recommend treating yourself to one or three.
When our table was ready we were taken up more stairs to the restaurant part of the house on the 2nd floor.
The restaurant in Upstairs is small but this makes for an intimate and romantic evening. The room buzzes with a quiet energy from with flickering candles, the chatter of couples and a smell of mouth-watering food. I had pre-ordered a 5 course menu so there was no decisions for us to make other than what wine we were having.
When the food arrived the waiter told us about each dish, with the first course we received being an amuse bouche. I thought he waiter had said a “sweet mousse” which then turned out to be a swede mouse. Needless to say this was an initial shock to the senses though very pleasant in the end.
The remaining courses included a lobster salad; roast goose with artichoke three ways; and a blood orange jelly with dark chocolate mousse, all beautifully presented and incredibly enjoyable.
The restaurant has only a small number of tables and, with most of these being two-seaters; this is definitely a place to dine for date. The decor, cosiness and intimate feel they create at Upstairs sets a wonderfully romantic atmosphere. One thing to note is that it can get rather hot in there due to the “cosiness” so don’t wear too many layers.
If you fancy continuing your evening after you’ve finished your experience of Upstairs, try the nearby Grand Union which has one of the best beer gardens in London.