Smith’s, London

smithsPub company Young’s has created a stylish new cocktail bar in west London

Best known for pubs serving food and ales, 182-year-old company Young’s has been investing in creating stylish new bars across London. The Plough Bar & Kitchen opened in Battersea in 2011, while Old Tom’s Bar was created in the basement of the Lamb Tavern in the City just over a year ago. Last month, it launched cocktail bar Old Mary’s in the basement of the Mitre Townhouse in Bayswater, only weeks after completing the £100,000 development of Smith’s in the basement of its Brook Green Hotel in Hammersmith.

Smith’s is aimed at “cocktail connoisseurs”, with a stylish interior that aims to bring “a touch of West End glamour to west London”. Previously an events space for the hotel, it was transformed by Fusion by Design, a leading hospitality specialist that has worked on restaurants, pubs and bars such as Stonegate Pub Company’s Missoula bars. Interior designer Caroline Simmons says the basement space proved ideal for a 1920s Prohibition speakeasy-style bar “but without the secret password or knock”. She adds: “With this in mind, I have utilised the existing exposed brick walls along with a darker colour palette to create a “cocktail den” with plush curved booths, tasselled curtains and quirky reclaimed furniture.”

The chaises longues, heavy silk drapes and velvet upholstery create a decadent feel alongside distressed leather sofas and exposed filament bulbs above the bar. Five semi-circular booths and a curtained-off raised area are popular for groups and party bookings. “The glitz of the bar combined with the low light levels and bookable booths have provided an intimate but glamorous space below the pavements of Shepherd’s Bush Road,” Caroline adds.

Music-themed artwork relates to the composer Gustav Holst whose last composition was called the Brook Green Suite, which is referenced in a “salute to Gustav” section in the cocktail menu. The sharing Gustav Holst drink combines Bacardi Superior rum, Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Angostura Bitters, passion fruit puree, passion fruit syrup, guava juice, apple juice and lemon juice. The more refined Brook Green Suite is made with Monkey Shoulder whisky, Pedro Ximénez sherry, house-made redcurrant syrup and fresh lemon juice, topped up with soda and garnished with a redcurrant sprig.

The cocktails have been put together under consultant mixologist Jeevan Perinpanayagam, who has 20 years’ experience in the industry. The bar’s Signature Secrets include drinks just as the Sherbet Fountain, combining Stolichnaya vodka, fresh lemon juice and house-made sugar syrup shaken with egg white, topped with Angostura Bitters and served with a liquorice straw. The Fruit Bubbles is a mix of passion fruit and lemon sorbet topped off with C&C Champagne and served with a mango lollipop.

More masculine creations include a Tall, Dark and Handsome: Young’s Double Chocolate stout, Havana Club 7 Year Old rum and Pedro Ximénez, served with Belgian chocolate pellets. There are also plenty of classics from a Dirty Martini and a Daiquiri to a Mai Tai and a Manhattan. As well as stocking premium spirits and liqueurs, Smith’s offers a selection of wines, ciders and beers, including Meantime London Pale Ale or London Lager and Peroni Nastro Azzurro on draught.

Food is focused on sharing platters, such as the Carnivore – a dish of chicken liver parfait, chicken and chorizo skewers, rosemary and honey London sausages, crisp confit maple duck wings, ale chutney, tomato jam and cracker bread. Open from 5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, the venue has resident DJs for late-night partying, staying open till midnight Tuesday to Thursday and 1.30am Friday and Saturday. Despite its ordinary name, Smith’s aims to be a cocktail bar that is less than ordinary.

170 Shepherd’s Bush Road, London W6 7PB
Tel: 020 7371 1361

Who did it
Interior design: Fusion by Design
Contractor: Orientrose
Furniture: Inngrain Furniture
Artwork: Elegant Clutter
Lighting: Illumination Lighting

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