In our quest to find intimate speakeasy bars and cocktail lounges in London for after-work drinks, we stumbled upon Old Tom and English one rainy evening.
From outside, it is easy to blink-and-miss the entrance of this discreet joint while walking up Wardour Street in Soho. The grey slatted entrance door is right next to a residential door (which is also grey), so we almost ended up knocking on someone else’s house!
However, a big round brass doorbell with Old Tom and English etched over gives you a sense of arrival to its almost secret location. You ring the bell and a lovely hostess welcomes you in and walks you downstairs to the basement level bar.
Old Tom and English is designed by interior designer Lee Broom. As you enter via the bar, into the lounge, you can’t help but notice the stylish and sophisticated details – from lighting to bar stool design. Seating is made of open tables, bench seating and cosy alcoves.
Our Bookatable reservations included a glass of aperol spritz on arrival, and as soon as we were seated, they arrived promptly. The cocktails looked delicious and assured us that the man behind the bar knew his stuff!
For our starters, I went for the Caesar salad croquettes – chicken croquettes, baby gem lettuce, shaved parmesan, smoked anchovies and dressing.
Husband went for the asparagus and poached egg with hollandaise sauce. They were both nice starters, well cooked but nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary.
For our mains, we both went for the Flat Iron Grilled Beef with sautéed baby spinach, spring vegetables and béarnaise sauce.
We also ordered a side of the Parmesan mashed potato to go with our steaks.
The steaks were perfectly cooked and the sauce, vegetables and mash all came together very well to complete the picture.
The puddings looked impressive on the plates as they whizzed past us, tempting us to order as well. We eventually ordered the cotton white chocolate cheesecake to share, as we were quite stuffed by then!.
Our overall impression of Old Tom and English is that it’s a chic and intimate place for romantic dates or a catch up with friends over stylish cocktails. The bespoke interiors, quirky lighting details and the nostalgic ambience, makes it a unique and atmospheric venue after work to see and be seen!