Fitzrovia cocktail bar Reverend JW Simpson is named after a former resident of the building (the man of the cloth resided in this basement up until the 1980s, so the story goes) – but the religious connotations evoked by the name end there.
Slap bang in the middle of Goodge Street, you could be forgiven for missing the entrance to the bar, so discrete is it. But once past the black awning and shiny black door, you’ll pass along a brightly papered hall and descend down into a low-key, low-lit den. Walls are stripped bare, furniture is plush and slightly mid-century in design and candles flicker on every table.
The bar struck me as one that would be well-suited to a second or third date – low lights, snuggly seating, honky-tonk and blues mood music make it pretty sensual – and the snogging couple in the corner confirmed this for me.
Snacking on popcorn from a brown paper bag, we perused an impressive drinks list (all ~£9). Sadly lacking in any bourbon-based drinks, I was forced to branch out – and was suitably impressed by the beverages that appeared in heavy cut crystal glasses. An Applegrass was deliciously tart, as lemon juice overpowered the Zubrowka, vanilla liquer and apple juice; the Abstinence on the Beach was an unusual combo of home-brewed papaya beer, Crème de Peche and orange sherbet.
So next time it’s your turn to plan Date Night, pick this place. You can thank me later.
Reverend JW Simpson
32 Goodge Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 2QJ