Cahoots London: Secret Underground Bar, Swing & Spiffing Cocktails

There's a swanky new speakeasy bar open in the middle of London. When I read about the opening of the 1940's, wartime-themed bar in Kingly Court on BuzzFeed, I had to see it for myself.

The name of the new secret underground bar is Cahoots, but ssshhhh, keep it under your hats.

That's what I was told anyway, as one of the main themes of the bar follows the World War II posters issued by the British government to keep the locations of certain people and places a secret.

Cahoots - The new secret Underground bar in Kingly Court, Soho, London
Image source: Fandbnews.com
As such, booking a table at Cahoots wasn't easy, and required a fun exchange of colloquial emails.

"What ho Old Bean! Thanks awfully for your sly note. Good to know you have the scoop on Cahoots. Wink wink, nudge nudge eh? I would be tickled pink to book you a table but require some intel from you first...It appears London is awash with fellow scoundrels wanting to pop by, so tables are booking up faster than the 14.02 from Waterloo. Remember though - keep it under your hat."

Not your average email from a new bar in London. But after a bit of old British banter, I secured a table for four.

TO THE TRAINS


Finding Cahoots isn't easy, and nor should it be - finding a bar that is hidden is half the fun :). It also made me look a little stupid as I spun round in circles in the middle of Kingly Court.

But then we spotted a sign that said "To The Trains", and headed towards it.

Finding Cahoots - following the To The Trains sign

I spoke to the main on the door, who was dressed in 1940's attire.

"Simon, eh?", he began. "I'm going to have to ask to to go down these apples and pears, turn left into the ticket office and speak to the ticket officer on duty. I hope you're not looking for a secret underground bar though. Quite a few people av' made that mistake"

"Mums the word", I said, and we headed down the stairs towards the ticket office.

Heading to the ticket office in Cahoots

Heading into the ticket office - Cahoots

The attention to detail is pretty incredible. The tiling, the fonts, even the clothing and posters were all top notch.

We opened the door, and spoke to the ticket officer.

"Good evening sir, any left luggage for any of your party?" He was referring to the cloakroom. No luggage here.

"Excellent sir, have a good journey", he said, and unlocked a door which led us into Cahoots.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL


From the lampshades, upholstery, posters and swing music, we were immediately transported back in wartime 1940's.

The main room in Cahoots London


The place was packed, so I'm very glad we booked a table! We sat down and started looking through the menu.



The cocktail menu is one of the most extensive I've seen in London - over 60 to choose from, and each with a unique theme and wartime name. I started with the White Cloves Of Dover (£8), as shown in the image above.

Cahooch - high-class grog at Cahoots London

Cahoots also have home-made, 'high-class grog' known as Cahooch. I gave the Cahooch Sour (£8) a try for my second course.

For larger groups of people, the piece d'resistance for Cahoots is the £150 sharing cocktail: the Meet Me Under The Station Clock. A gin concoction served by ladle from a giant clock.

Meet Me Under The Station Clock - Cahoots biggest cocktail


This was the first Saturday Cahoots was open, so there were a few teething issues (our first round of drinks took 45 minutes to arrive), but we couldn't fault the service otherwise, and were given the first round for free, as well as some complementary cheese and pickle sandwiches to keep us ticking over :)

Complementary cheese and pickle sandwiches - Cahoots

I had a wander around the bar in between rounds, to check out more of the 40's detail. There is the tube carriage booths...

Cahoots tube carriage tables

Standing room at a busy bar...

Cahoots - Secret Underground bar

Cahoots - Secret Underground bar

Order a beer, and it will probably come in a British dimple mug pint glass. Order a cocktail and it comes in a glass, tin or ceramic mug.

Cocktails at Cahoots

Cocktail in a tin - Cahoots London

As you can probably tell, no stone has been left unturned to make this a truly authentic experience. Even the swing dancers sporadically jump into life, adding energy to the intimate bar.

Swing dancers at Cahoots London


Once you've experienced the jazz, swing and lindyhop music, there is normally a DJ ready to spin some rock n'roll and electro-swing tunes between two piles of sand bags later in the night.

DJs at Cahoots London

Overall, this is a fantastic new bar, a welcome addition to Kingly Court and a must visit for anyone that loves a hidden bar, wartime memorabilia and superb cocktails!

Finishing the night with cocktails at Cahoots

Website: www.cahoots-london.com
FAQs: www.cahoots-london.com/faqs

2 comments:

  1. I went here last night! Loved it! Especially the 'hot and buttered' cocktail - rum, lavender butter, sugar and spice syrup - all served hot in a hip flask - it was DELICIOUS! I think they might have given up a bit on the secret talk though... we just said we have a table booked and the guy kept nudging the door where the sign says 'ask for the captain' - we eventually got the hint! Oops!

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Every time I wander past the guy seems to be playing the role, but it's still a fun bar regardless :)

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