Tag Archives: Covent Garden

Sophie’s Steakhouse

sophies-steakhouse

London has gone steak mad recently with restaurants popping up across the city promising to serve the best-cut steak in the UK or sometimes even on the planet.

However, one steakhouse which caught my fancy is Sophie’s which can be found in Covent Garden or Chelsea.

On visiting the Covent Garden branch I was pleasantly surprised to find somewhere which kept up with the oh so high standards for steak-eating in London and gave a little bit extra.

It’s a huge restaurant and generally packed on most nights with a mix of locals, suits and tourists but don’t let this put you off. There’s also a lot of good steak on offer, a lively and exciting atmosphere and the prices aren’t as ridiculous as some meaty chains will charge you.

Starting off there’s a small selection of mini plates, with nothing that out of the ordinary. I opted for the beef Carpaccio which pretty much melted off the plate and into my mouth in a delicious delicate way. My friend went for the scallops, which again were cooked to perfection and served with pea puree to smother on top.

Next up, the steak course. You can go for something else if you want but why would you.

There’s sharing dishes such as the chateaubriand, but as a greedy person I prefer to have my own cut and went for the fillet steak while my friend had the rib eye. Both were cooked pretty much exactly how we asked, if not a tiny bit over done, and were excellent cuts of meat served with thick chips to soak up all the delicious meaty juices.

Forget pudding, the list isn’t worth a look, and go for a cocktail. There’s an extensive cocktail menu and the Covent Garden branch is open until 1am so aim to try a few.

This is not a place for an intimate dinner, it’s an open setting and packed full of people so better for a large group. As Sophie (the founder) is the daughter of Jeremy Mogford, founder of Brown’s, you can slightly see the mass-produced similarities.

But although it’s a little chainy you can’t knock the steaks. It’s not a place for meat connoisseurs but somewhere to go and have some fun while enjoying a decent, honest steak and some amazing cocktails with your friends.

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Adventure Bar

Adventure BarIf you find yourself in Covent Garden and in need of a cocktail, the Adventure Bar is here to quench your thirst. It’s located about 10 minutes from the tube station on Bedford Street and is a small underground bar offering almost every cocktail imaginable.

It’s got all the classics, such as a Margarita or Tom Collins, but also numerous twists on these and new creations. Take the Flaming Zombie, an exciting drink to watch being made, it’s mixed with a selection of rums, lemon juice, mango puree and pineapple juice and to top it off a flaming passion fruit shell is artistically balanced on top.

Or maybe the Fallen Angel – a slightly more sophisticated cocktail made of a light blend of vodka, pear liqueur and apple juice. If you’re on a heavier night there are also shots available (unsurprisingly) and you can choose from a whole host of retro sweet-flavoured spirits like sherbet flying saucers or rhubarb and custard.

A lot of the cocktails mix unusual blends together, such as pineapple and chilli or basil and cucumber, but it works well and if you’re not the adventurous type the bar staff can make up anything you fancy.

The bar is small, dark and slightly dingy with music to suit most tastes but verging on cheese. In the few hours I was there I heard (and sang along to) Abba, Oasis and Guns and Roses to name a few. The customers inside were mainly made up of male workers in suits (on a week night) and it’s a good place to go with a group as the tables are laden with party hats and poppers and you’ll get a free bottle of champagne with bookings of eight people or more.

But what didn’t really mesh well were the impressive, but expensive, cocktails in the grungy environment. It seemed like a mix of sophisticated cocktail bar with cheesy night club and there was a whole lot less adventure than I had hoped for. Maybe my imagination is a little too extravagant but I was imagining hands-on games, quirky furniture and décor or maybe a retro cartoon or two adorning the walls. But sadly for a bar (and a website) with so much promise it was all a bit too minimal for me.

It’s a handy bar to know about if you’re looking for a good cocktail away from the crowds of Covent Garden, but at around £8-9 per drink for a pretty average bar, I’d recommend visiting in happy hour (5-7pm) or taking advantage of the free drink voucher you can get when you sign up to the bar’s newsletter.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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Swing Down To Circus London In Covent Garden

Circus London

We urge you to swing (literally) down to Circus London in Covent Garden where an array of performers are on hand to entertain you on any evening of the week.

As you approach this west end cocktail bar it’s easy to miss the entrance, formed of two large steel black doors and a lack of any obvious direction. Once you manage to get in the entrance hall is cloaked in darkened lights and mirrored walls, which add to the bar’s magical charm. The venue is lit with candles, glitter balls and mirrors (less tacky than it sounds) with a large granite table taking centre stage.

If you’re sitting here be warned – this is not a spot for the faint hearted as the artists will swing over and around you, within centimetres of your cocktails, and may even take a swig if you leave your drink in their way. The performers change all the time so you’re unlikely to see the same thing twice – a clever way of keeping Circus shrouded in secrecy. But you’re unlikely to be disappointed, just in one evening I saw everything from gymnasts who make their bodies contort in unnatural directions, fire-eaters with no pain nerves left to glamorous burlesque dancers and traipses artists.

Between courses the lights will go down and shutters block out the kitchens while the performers appear and make standing on one arm while balancing their body weight seem to be quite an easy task.

Located in Endell Street, it’s less exclusive now than when it first opened but don’t be surprised to see a celebrity or two here and prepare to pay for the night with prices starting around £70 each. The bar is by no means just about the performers either and offers a delicious selection of Pan Asian food to tuck into while watching the artists balancing on their heads or eating fire sticks. As you’re meal is split up between acts, platters or sharing plates are ideal and there’s a wide range to choose from, including Thai green curry, tuna sashimi and fresh noodle wraps. The cocktail menu is also in a level of its own with fresh concoctions and twists on the usual favourites to try out (starting at around £9).

I enjoyed the hibiscus margarita not really knowing what to expect and was impressed by the fruity blend while a friend ordered the mixed berry julep served in a golden cup similar to those used by a Roman emperors. Circus has managed to create something a little different from your normal restaurant or bar while successfully avoided the novelty cliché. It’s the ideal place if you’re looking for an alternative night combined with great cocktails and food. Despite the theatrics the bar remains a trendy spot for cocktails and because of its popularity table bookings are a must.

This article was originally published on Who’s Jack.

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