BASEMENT BOOZING @ B.Y.O.C

A NIGHT OF BOOZIN’, BURGER & LOBSTER

That was a rather epic mid week night! Not surprising really after drinking almost half of a bottle of Vestal vodka each (only a 500ml bottle – honest). It all started in tiny underground digs, hidden below a juice bar which then lead to us filling our faces at Burger & Lobster around the corner. We might feel a little rough today but it was actually a pretty perfect evening, that we’d absolutely recommend.

BYOC BAR COVENT GARDEN DELICIOUS LONDON 2

INTERIORS OF BYOC

Ah, that age old question – where shall we go after work? When it comes to after work drinks with clients and/or friends, last night our adventures around Covent Garden and Soho fitted the bill supremely. We started at B.Y.O.C. (Bring Your Own Cocktails), which just opened in the beginning of Feb. It is a newer, maybe some might say truer take on the ever oh-so fashionable speakeasy style joints that are not so secretly springing up. With no alcohol available to buy on the premises, guests are invited to bring their own bottle of tipple (a mixable spirit and a liquor is recommended but you can bring Champagne or Wine etc, if preferred) for the bartender to create something bespoke via the antique Italian drinks trolley – displaying what one would find behind most bars: syrups, juices, mixers, salts, home-made cordials and bitters. Individual drinks are made on request at the table using your chosen poison and a little input or direction from you to the bartender if desired.

BYOC DELICIOUS LONDON

COCKTAIL NUMBER 3

This is an experience; it is interactive and intimate. The journey begins as you enter a light and bright juice bar behind St Martin’s Lane, you are welcomed by a very hospitable face behind the counter, she opens the counter top hatch, then the back door opens, you descend down some stairs so steep and dark – the excitement builds – what is waiting down there? There is a rumble of the underground present behind the musical back drop of prohibition sound tracks.

The space is rather seductive with candlelit tables, hanging glassware, a lone cocktail mixologist wheeling an antique drinks trolley through the cellar style room with exposed brickwork, an original fireplace, and gramophone and vintage signs from the 1920’s. The scene is set for some decadent misbehaving.

Our drinks were delightfully put together, we enjoyed each and every one! However do be advised if all the tables are full, there may be a little waiting time for your next round of drinks. Our first of the 2 hour sitting, only saw us get served one drink, however as some of the tables from an earlier sitting left and made way for the next reservations –  the bartender (trolley doll-he) was freed up a bit and we had at least 3 or 4 further cocktails made for us during the second hour. A 2 hour turnaround system might seem a little stingy at first but it actually makes for the just the right amount of time to get suitable lubricated in such as small space; we were most definitely ready for some carbs after 2 hours.

The bartender was super accommodating, dashing upstairs for fresh juices when requested, however we’d like to see a slightly fuller trolley offering, overflowing with homemade syrups, intricacies and bartender delicacies. In the meantime we suggest bringing with you any more unusual syrups and juices that you might be obsessing with at the moment (rose, rose and more rose, for me currently).

BYOC DELICIOUS LONDON 2

VINTAGE DRINKS TROLLEY AT BYOC

Stumbling up the stairs to leave, we then herded ourselves to Burger & Lobster on Dean Street to soak up some of that vodka. I had been putting off eating at Burger & Lobster since its opening as I didn’t want to be disappointed, we  had heard such mixed reviews – thankfully the Polish (vodka) courage was flowing as we marched in, munched our way through super scrumptious trays filled with tasty burgers, lobsters rolls, salad and fries.

BURGER & LOBSTER SOHO

NOW YOU SEE IT……

Admittedly I am a picky burger eater, The Electric diner disappointed me but BRGR delighted me (see prev articles). Last night’s burger was pretty heavenly, fresh and juicy with big hunks of tomato, meat rich in flavour with the added bonus that we shared what we were eating so I didn’t get bored half way through. Half a Lobster Rolls was waiting for me which was also a treasure to behold. The service wasn’t fantastic but the food was certainly on point. We’d love to see that £20 for dinner include a drink – for slightly better value for money but I can say (with a slightly woolly head still) that we’ll be back……

Entertaining: BYOC might be a little too intimate for some clients, or your comfort levels but it makes for a great date spot, pre dinner drinks with friends. Then Burger & Lobster was a lively, fun, tasty, messy eat that should be enjoyed by all with a sense of humour enough to wear a lobster bib!

BYOC – Bookings: Tables can be booked for 2 – 6 people and are strictly by reservation only. Bookings can be made by emailing reservations@byoc.co.uk

BYOC Cost: There is a cover charge of £20per person (including all mixers, garnishes and soft drinks) and the tables have a two hour turn around time.

BYOC Opening Hours: 6pm – 11pm (Monday – Saturday)

Burger & Lobster – Bookings: None taken. Make like a European and go later on in the evening so you don’t have to wait for a table. No promises.

Burger & Lobster Cost: £20 for a Burger or lobster or lobster roll, all with chips & salad. We paid £27 pp Inc a drink and service.

Burger & Lobster Opening Hours: Please check each site’s opening times.

Our boozy night was 7-9pm @ BYCO, then a short walk to Burger & Lobster for dinner at the counter at 9.30pm, then we did sneak over to The Dean Street Town House for one last cocktail – seemed like a good idea at the time!!

DEAN STREET TOWNHOUSE COCKTAILS

DEAN STREET TOWNHOUSE COCKTAILS

Some great one-liners we heard last night ‘ drink yourself a jacket’ & ‘this is the bar of free will’ at BYOC.

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