Tucked beneath a restaurant on one of London’s most atmospheric streets, you’ll find the perfect place to hide away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. At 214 Bermondsey, home of BTW Tonic and a gin list 100 strong, you can enjoy perfect serves and spectacular cocktails in a refined, relaxed environment.
Opened in 2013 by restaurateur Nick Crispini, the bar began as a fabulous way to put a strange little basement space to good use.
As Nick says, “It’s quite small, so I wanted to create a cosy, slightly rustic, vintage-style little bar. It’s relaxed and cool, but unpretentious.”
The centrepiece of this lovely little bar is gin. From stone cold classics to craft creations, the 214 Bermondsey gin list is an extensive and well-organised selection put together by people truly passionate about this spectacular spirit.
“When you’re creating a list, it’s all about variety,” says Nick of his iconic gin list. “We started by putting a basic list together of around 50 gins, but that quickly expanded because of how many new gins were coming out. We had to stop at 100 just because of space on our shelves, and now we have a one in, one out policy.”
Can’t decide which to try? 214 Bermondsey offers gin flights. The tasting notes and names of the gin are sealed away in an envelope, only to be revealed once you’ve made you best guess.
“With BTW, identifying the gins is easier than you might think!” Nick says.
And the cocktail menu, rotated seasonally and stocked with creative twists on classic recipes beside rediscovered historical cocktails, is just as impressive.
Nick says, “Just like with the gin list, our cocktail menu is all about covering different bases. You start with taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter. And we’re also quite seasonal, using fruits and even vegetables that are in season. One thing we never do is stand still. We’re always evolving.”
Whether you're popping in for the perfect classic Martini or an innovative Kiwi Gimlet, the bar staff at 214 Bermondsey is a talented team that can whip up whatever your heart desires – including historic cocktails on the ‘Forgotten Cocktails’ list, like the signature cocktail below. And with such an elegant, inviting space in which to enjoy your drink, 214 Bermondsey will quickly become your favourite escape from the busy streets of London.
Nick says, “It’s kind of like I’ve created my ideal space! When you walk in it’s busy, but not too busy. It’s comfortable, with good drinks and really good service, where the bartenders can chat to you about gin. That’s incredibly important to me.”
Like any great gin joint, 214 Bermondsey has it fair share of regulars. But this is no member's only club, and Nick and Co. are always eager to welcome new faces at their stylish bar stools of reclaimed wood.
“We have quite a few regulars, and I want to solidify that vibe," Nick says. "It’s a really great place where you can just drop in, and stay for one drink or an entire evening.”