Neighbourhood Guide: Soho

Sometimes you just wanna ‘ave it, and destroy yourself with an epic session. The only answer for this is to hit Soho and supersize it. Home to the wildest gay bars, the baddest brothels and the craziest cocktail bars, which will all welcome you into their seedy underbelly.

Here’s how to have a day to night that if you can remember, you might want to forget:

KICK OFF

If your usual morning routine includes a coffee, head to Termini. Italian cocktail and coffee ledge Tony C is mixing amazing coffee with aperitivo cocktails (from 11am) which is a win/win in our book. Possibly our favourite coffee in London (BIG claim) is being served up at Soho Grind, the W1 outpost from the Shoreditch Grind boys. Stop off for a croissant and flat white and sit up at the window to watch Soho in action. Fancy spiking it up? Their Hot Flat White Russian is exactly what it says on the tin, nothing finishes off a coffee like vodka and coffee liqueur.

Termini, 7 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JE // Soho Grind, 19 Beak St, London, W1F 9RP

soho.grind

BRUNCH

Sometimes a plain ol’ full English breakfast just won’t do, so pack it all neatly inside a loaf of brioche at Bunnychow, the South African street food shack that cooks up amazing stuff and then stuffs ‘em inside a hollowed out loaf of bread. Epic. Feeling classic? It doesn’t get more classic than Dean Street Townhouse so settle in to the British vibe, order in some Eggs Benedict and wash it down with a Mary from their menu (BarChick’s favourite is a Hair Of The Dog with horseradish and mustard).

Bunny Chow, 74 Wardour St, London, W1F 0TE // Dean Street Townhouse, 69-71 Dean Street, London, W1D 3SE

bunnychow

LIQUID LUNCH

When you’re boozing in Soho you’re gonna need a stomach-lining lunch. Payday? Head to Barrafina for the best fancy tapas in town and some top quality sherry. Cheapskate? Neck a falafel or some street-meat, there’s loads around, Yala Yala ain’t too bad for a halfway house. If you’re early doors you might also want to hit Spuntino before the queues. It’s the diner of all diners and with a small selection of perfectly priced and delicious cocktails, it’s easy to enjoy this touch of Brooklyn smack in the middle of sleazy Soho. If you’re feeling meaty, Hix is just around the corner and one to hit before things get too wild. The door policy can be strict but make sure you’re polite (and if you’re with some hotties even better). Order a Hix Fix and you’ll get some free Twiglets to pick you up.

Barrafina, 54 Frith Street, London W1D 4SL // Spuntino, 61 Rupert Street, London W1D 7PW // Hix, 66-70 Brewer Street, W1F 9UP

barrafina

AFTERNOON SESSION

Time to start some serious boozing now. Pitch up at The Blind Pig, it’s up there with some of the best cocktail bars in Soho and does mean bar snacks if you’re peckish. More inclined to a Guinness or two? Hit The Toucan, it’s the real deal - the best traditional boozer in this postcode and is one of the best places for a pint of G and some oysters. When you wanna get loco, the Mexicans have got it going on; La Bodega Negra has an underground tequila bar and they have some killer labels to try. Wahaca also hides a tequila den with a foosball table so you can play away the day. Trashed/peckish again? Grab some tacos, mega homemade guacamole and wash it down with a Margarita.

Blind Pig, 58 Poland Street, London W1F 7NS // The Toucan, 19 Carlisle Street, London W1D 3BY // La Bodega Negra, 9 Old Compton Street, London W1D 5JE // Wahaca, 80 Wardour Street, London W1F 0TF

La.Bodega.Negra

SUNDOWN

If you wanna catch the sunset around Soho there’s only one terrace to hit up and that’s the Aqua Nueva bar and restaurant. It may look a bit like a seedy massage parlour, but drive on as the lift will take you up to the 5th floor and one of London’s best skyline views. As darkness falls, head to Milk & Honey, it turns members only after 11pm, but if you play nice and make friends you might get whisked away to the Red Room for world class cocktails till 3am. If you get chucked out, it’s appropriate to go looking for a vice, so continue up Dean Street for a drink with Tony and his harem of foreign p*ssy at Sunset Strip. Order yourself a lap dance, you’ve earnt it. Not feeling the ladies? Then QV is just next door, it’s the epitome of civilised and my god the drinks are good. Do try and get to the members bar upstairs; just walk in like you own the place.

Aqua Nueva, 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, London W1B 3BR // Blacks Club, 67 Dean Street, London W1D 4QH // Sunset Strip, 30 Dean Street, London W1D 3RZ // Quo Vadis, 26-29 Dean Street, London W1D 3LL

quo.vadis

HOT DINNER DATE

If it all get’s a bit too much and you need to escape the madness then Old Tom and English will bring you back to your sophisticated self. You’ll need a reservation so book the day before and lap up the velvet-clad booths and decanters of Negronis. If you’re looking for good booze, great food and fun party vibes then look no further than The Palomar. Sure, Rupert Street is one of Soho’s seedier offerings but this modern Jerusalem kitchen is anything but. Get close at the zinc bar and you might end up sharing more than just mezze.

Old Tom & English, 187 Wardour Street, London W1F 8ZB // Palomar, 34 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DN

palomar

LATE NIGHT

It’s getting late, you’re game, and you’re in the right place for a wild night. For the ultimate night of kinky naughtiness it’s got to be Cirque le Soir, if you can get in that is (rock up pre-midnight and look HOT). Failing that, grab some playmates and push on to Gerry’s or Trisha’s where it’s about to get sweaty. Where will the BarChicks be letting their hair down? At El Camion, obvs. It’s all about the Pink Chihuahua club downstairs – the ultimate place for mezcal, Tommy’s Margaritas and a late-night Soho boogie - just watch out for the stairs.

Gerry's Club, 52 Dean Street, London, W1D 5BJ // Trishas, 57 Greek St, W1D 3DX // El Camion, 25-27 Brewer Street, London W1F 0RR

elcamion

MIDNIGHT MUNCHIES

You’ll probably be in pieces by now (if not The Bar will finish you off) – and if you haven’t fallen into a brothel, or passed out in the back of a cab then go sober up with a cup of London’s best coffee at 24 hour Bar Italia. Balans is perfect for those hours when you should definitely be in bed and The Breakfast Club for breakfast before heading into work.

Bar Italia, 22 Frith Street, London W1D 4RF // Balans, 60-62 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4UG // Dean Street Townhouse, 69 - 71 Dean Street, London W1D 3SE

breakfast.club