I was at Babble recently for a Birthday bash and had a really good time there. Of course, when you're out with a great bunch of friends, it does not really matter where you are as long as you're together enjoying a drink and a good laugh.
But I have to say, the place was cheap considering it's in the heart of Mayfair (no fee at the door if you book, otherwise £5 on Saturday), the barmen were friendly, the cocktails have tried were decent enough and the music was cool: a taste for everyone really!
Snacks we had were good. Only drawback, the booths are small so to have people in there, drinks, plus food on top, is a bit of a juggling act!
Well, in my last review I said that I wouldn't be able to make a leaving party here for a friend of mine. As it turned out, previous plans got cancelled so I ended up back anyway! And I'm glad I did.
This time we had a table reserved on a Saturday (weekends only do 7-8pm happy hour) but we capitalised with several sharing pornstar martinis and bottles of wine to kick us off. Still stand by the point of the martini, this time it was too weak because they piled them so high with ice. I suppose it was our fault for not drinking them quickly enough ;) But when you get a group together what do you expect but conversation?!
Anyway, after happy hour I decided I would try one more classic cocktail to give them another chance. What is more classic than a margarita, a staple of any cocktail bar's menu. Right?!?! Well, it was on the menu. So I went up and asked for it with salt and straight (knowing how they over-ice their drinks I thought it best to get my money's worth). The bar staff looked at me blankly. 'Do you want it in a martini glass then?' ... HUH? I felt like saying, 'No thanks I'll happily drink it from a shoe.' But of course I smiled and nodded. Now I'm being mean and this is mainly because it was NAF. No lime flavour at all. Sad.
Still the 3 stars because the dance floor was great, really good music and packed with great songs. But no more, outside of happy hour 2 glasses of house white at £14 just annoys me. But a DAMN GOOD send off for a very good friend of mine.
If you'd like to stop drinking, this could be the spot.
The after work crowd was 2 deep when I first entered, and there were only 2 barkeeps. That alone creates a wait, but it doesn't help that their happy hour drink specials are all very complicated cocktails.
In other words, I asked if a simple mixed drink was on happy hour special, but was told I needed to select from a menu that was much more complicated, and said drinks took the bar staff 4x the time and resources to make. Oh, and twice the price.
Spent the next hour downstairs, where the bar was better but the room was very hot. At this point, mixed drinks are about 8.50 and beers start at 5.25 GBP.
If you can get one.
I stood at the upstairs bar for almost a half hour before getting noticed. When I complained about the wait, the bartender refused to ask for the manager and said I was in the wrong. But even more strangely, she couldn't help me because she was training a new employee.
I'm generally supportive of good, local businesses, but Babble's only redeeming factor is location. Otherwise, it's a dud.
Babble bar cheated me - please be careful. I ordered 'single' drinks for a group of friends and didn't notice that the bar tender (downstairs) had billed me for doubles. For a few drinks it was quite an 'extra' amount.
I complained to them the next day but they wouldn't refund.
This might be a first review, but if I was you, I'd pay attention to it and avoid coming here. Because it's really not worth the time.
OK, I'm being quite harsh, the staff are friendly and as we were walking this way looking for "one last drink" before we went home after a pub quiz, it was the only place open. Save for Nobu who was full of half naked women (it's COLD PUT SOME CLOTHES ON) and they wanted a five pound cover charge.
So we wound up here. And at first it looked alright. Until you noticed the TV blaring in the corner, despite the loud music. But, there was a free table and a friendly barman. What could go wrong?
Well my friends insisted I had a cocktail, because as editor of Domestic Sluttery I had to do my duties. So I did, I asked for a mimosa (my cocktail litmus test). Not only had the barman never heard of one, but when I told him what was in it, it transpired he'd never heard to triple sec. Wow. I ordered a bellini without looking at the menu. Their bellini is archers and prosseco. Not a single mention of peach juice. And their certainly wasn't any. My friends stuck to beer as their cocktail litmus, the Old Fashioned was nowhere to be seen.
It's no expensive here. £6.40 for a cocktail in Mayfair is good going. But there's a reason for it. If I'm this side of town I'll splash out the extra couple of pounds and get a decent drink. If someone can't make a mimosa, I rarely go back. And I'll never trust a barman who hasn't heard of triple sec, no matter how friendly.
First went to Babble in 2009 when I visited my cousin in London. I met up with her on a rainy day at 4pm, we got right in and she knew someone who reserved us a table and brought us complimentary Kir Royales. We had a nice cozy spot where we could people watch and check out the good-looking crowd. I guess we decided to live it up that night because the drinks kept flowing and we ended up making friends and going downstairs and dancing for a few hours. I remember that I felt overdressed at the time- wearing black leggings, a pretty jeweled tunic and heels. But I'd always rather be overdressed than underdressed, especially in a big city that I'm a "tourist" in.
The decor is nice- crystal chandeliers, darker lighting, black accents, and mirrored bar. Sometimes there are girls dressed up (or lack of dress) in costumes and make-up for something fun and sexy! There is room for standing around the long bar or side high-top tables where you can pull up a seat with a group or stand around drinking cocktails or eating "happy hour" half off appetizers.
I visited again in September 2012 and didn't have to wait in a long line or anything. I had a wonderful South African white wine. Yes, the bartenders do not seem very classy or attentive as they should, but they are fast and one girl was very polite- so I tipped her well and she was generous with the pours. I'm an American comfortable visiting and living in London and I always feel at ease at Babble. One downside during this visit was that the downstairs dancing area was closed for a private party! What a bummer! So after a few drinks here we went bar-hopping in another part of town.
One last time before I went back to the states, I came back for a night-cap after a fun-filled night on the town, and this place was deserted! I get it that it's an after work kinda place but there were only about 5 drunk guys at hightop table and me and my cousins. Service was fine, we had giant pours of red wine and scotch, and we sat and chatted about our fun-filled week, then went on our merry way around midnight. I will always come back to Babble- I like the decor, the dancing (when downstairs is open) and how I can just relax and kick back and have a fun time in Mayfair.
Bizarre is what I consider this place. In the midst of so many posh bars, you kind of feel like you're in the twilight zone. The same company owns other similar bar clubs like - Opal, Sway, Loop etc. and run happy hour specials with 50% food and drinks. Really good value - esp since they place my kind of music. However, the people that work there... doesn't seem clued up.
We went to Babble on a Tuesday night so to be fair this may not have been reflective of their best night (all the cool kids were probably at Whisky Mist). Babble must have an underage drinking problem on their hands because they were carding everyone at the door and again at the bar, even people who were clearly over the age of 30 (grey hair and sweater vests should have been a tell). It was a strange crowd - older business men with a gaggle of barely twenty year olds. Downstairs was reserved for a private masquerade party which was... well, weird. The coat check was pricey ($2 per item) and unclean - the ledge was covered in someone's drink but that didn't stop the coat check guy from dumping my stuff there. The only upside was that our relatively large group was able to take over several tables upstairs without much of a fight.
So the pub closed and that staff pointed us here. They said it was open til 5am. This we confirmed with the door man. My first night in London. Early morning work be da**ed. OK i wasn't staying 'til 5am.
Note. some of our group had baseball hats. Like many places open late, that is a not appropriate dress code. I think they got away with sneaker though.
Well we walked into a a full line up at the bar. Guess everyone hit the place at the same time. Drinks came quick. Bartenders were mechanical with a smile. Downstairs was the dance floor and decent DJ. there is also another long bar. So this makes it almost a 2 in 1 venue. Coat check is available. There is seating up and down stairs which wasn't bottle service only seating. There is an alcove with curtains downstairs I saw for such a thing. Everyone was enjoying a crowded dance floor. Just a decent time of dancing, not so long a wait for a drink and pricing well it's not worse than at the estate hotel i was at during the week.
I don't tend to travel up to Mayfair that often, but recently I made my way there for a friends birthday and went to Babble for the first time.
It hits you as soon as you go in, well, as soon as I did, my friend had a cocktail waiting for me, when all I really wanted was a beer. Either way, I took my cocktail and smiled, and was escorted to our lounge where our party had a table.
It is over two floors and if you get here before 9pm, you will have access to the club downstairs which plays upbeat Rnb, Hip Hop and Funky house. So it was free for us to party too. They apparently serve great food here too, but I am yet to experience it.
This is a really nice Bar, friendly staff, and a good night out. We stayed till around 12 and then went elsewhere, but come to think of it, if we stayed at Babble, we would have had a better night out.
I've been here several times, most recently last Tuesday afternoon. Its pretty average, and the only reason I've been back after the first visit is the very convenient location
Fairly decent establishment, and only a few doors down from my office. The beer on tap was a bit dodgy, though. I'll stick to bottles and spirits next time.
This is my favourite after work bar in London. Happy hour boasts decent prices, and my favourite cocktail is definitely the eternal mist. Refreshing and sweet at the same time. I haven't been for a long time, in the summer the ambiance is great. My favourite bar in my favourite location in London :)
fun times to be had here, mostly with the friendly after work crowd.
Small ish bar but there is a big downstairs area and dancefloor. be careful of the slimey old men though!
Not a bad place and definitely a useful location. Not so crowded at 8:30 as to be impossible and the drinks seemed well-priced but ... my card was held hostage because the machine wasn't working. I was forced to stand there, along with another customer, while lengthy consultations and managers wrestling with the technology went on. Anywhere else I know would have apologized handed the card back and comped the drinks. I wasn't in the mood to stay once they finally resolved the situation.
I had my birthday party at Babble last week end and we had a really good time from what I can remember ;)
Cocktails were actually quite good, I was drinking one called cerbera all night long which was very tasty. I also had one mojito which was really good. the whole for only £6.40.
babble is not a pretenticious bar/club but it is a good place to go party. One bad point though, I thought that our booth would be bigger but it was not really a problem as people were always out dancing or chatting...
When I first went in I thought it was gonna be snooty rich people and bad music...not so much. Diverse crowd, a little younger then I would gave liked but the downstairs was nice and they played awesome music the whole night. Man did we dance. At first I was a little annoyed about having to pay 5 pounds to get in but it was def worth it. They do have happy hour which is supposed to be great but we missed it :-(. The bartenders were kinda catty but the drinks were nice.
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