BENUGO BAR DRAWING ROOM – WATERLOO

The Hype

Unbeknownst to most (so not sure we can really call it Hype) Benugo (yep, those office sandwich people) have a (completely unmarked) bar inside the British Film Insititute on the South Bank. Unbeknownst even to those that track that down, there’s a hidden cocktail bar in one corner behind a bookcase, called The Drawing Room.

The Drink

Limited but delicious cocktail menu, but be prepared for them to be painstakingly slowly made by the one and only waitress who can only manage about one every ten minutes and has to see to everyone in the bar. That said, everyone struggled to choose from the limited but tasty sounding menu even at £10 a cocktail.

The Fun

Those who know me know I can’t resist a secret bar, and the novelty of bypassing the rest of the restaurant goers and slipping behind a bookcase for a drink, in somewhere as chain-restaurant-filled as the South Bank will always appeal to me. It was great as a birthday treat before heading over to the IMAX for a film, and everyone was surprised to discover such a lovely bar hidden away that we’d never known about despite spending lots of time in the area.

Overall Experience

This has to be one of very few really nice, proper cocktail bars on the South Bank and is an absolute gem of a find. The décor is lovely – just like a drawing room or library and it is very cosy and romantic, with great cocktails.

Go there if…

You’re looking for somewhere special for a drink in that part of London and All Bar One won’t cut it

Don’t go there if…

You’re in a hurry.

If you’re pretending to have been there don’t forget to mention..

It’s a bit tricky to find – you have to first navigate your way to the BFI Southbank (not the BFI IMAX) which is luckily quite well labelled from the station, then into the completely unmarked benugo restaurant, and head for the bookcase in the back corner. Trust me, and make sure you give any companions you are meeting clear directions!

For more information….

Not much on the secret bar, but try Feed And, and a bit on the restaurant from A Very Unusual Chinaman.

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