Swift, London

Swift is a game of two halves. If, like me, you like to guarantee yourself a seat in a cosy little spot for a cocktail, then the downstairs bar is for you, where reservations are a must. Opulently decorated in rich, dark shades, the downstairs bar is an ideal underground hangout to bed in for a few with a date or small group of friends. Dim lighting, snug booths and wood finishings makes this intimate spot feel comfy and homely, taking best elements of a gentleman’s club and putting them to good use. 

Upstairs in a much brighter affair, in whites and marble, with elegant lighting and gold finishes. Operating on a no reservation system, the buzzier upstairs bar is full of a vibrant soho crowd, popping in and out throughout the evening. 

We sit downstairs and receive excellent service from both bar staff and our extremely welcoming (and knowledgeable) waitress. The extensive cocktail list has something for everyone, from a take on a mint julep to more out-there concoctions containing chilli, Guinness or still cider. Thankfully, our waitress expertly guides us through the entire list which, with so many tempting flavours on offer, is hard to choose from.

The drinks themselves are nothing short of excellent, with all the tantalising options on offer we get through several rounds in no time – each one seeming to taste better than the last!

Friday and Saturdays offer live jazz music, something I’m keen to try out. So get a table booked, settle in for the night and enjoy. This is one secret London spot that might not stay secret for long.


12 Old Compton Street

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