Just off Soho Square in London, you’ll find a humble looking whisky shop on Greek Street …(pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that it’s actually London’s oldest whisky shop…hoping that is actually true!) Anyway, having been there once before and spending a good half hour with one of the guys working there, talking about how I wanted to buy something ‘different’ – something I’d not tried before – and exploring what I could go for without spending more than £45 (indecisiveness and fear of buying something I wouldn’t like resulted in me spending upwards of an hour in there!) I had a couple of little samples from their shop “bar” (they have a liquor licence) and walked away with a lovely bottle of Balvenie.
I preceded to recommend this shop to anyone I crossed paths with who had even the slightest appreciation for whisky…until, one day, mid-spiel about how lovely this little shop was and how helpful the staff were, I was asked if I’d gone behind the bookcase in there…
“If I’d what? Behind where?”
Turns out, at the back of this innocent looking little whisky shop is an equally innocent looking bookcase…and if you approach this innocent looking bookcase, you’ll find it’s, in fact, a door…and behind it is a staircase, which leads you down to a speakeasy style bar!
You can only squeeze about 50 people in this bar – it’s tiny, and they don’t allow standing customers…”no seat, no service” – but the buzz and atmosphere that waves over you when you walk in is all encompassing. Luckily for me, I was meeting someone who was were already there, and they’d scored a seat at the bar (woo!) so we could see the masters at work; from “Old Fashioned” to “When A Scot Punched a Swede”, we got to see it all.
Their menu is extensive, so I’m just going to have to go back for the next round. So much to try!