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  • 5 Langley Street
    London WC2H 9JA
    Covent Garden
  • Transit information Central Northern Piccadilly Get Directions
  • Phone number 020 7836 5005
  • Business website foundation-bar.co.uk
  • “I noticed from their website they are getting big name DJ's there every now and then so worth checking it out in advance on the website.” in 7 reviews

    Music: DJ

  • “The cocktails are gorgeous (especially the Garden Jam) and served in jam jars and tea pots!” in 2 reviews

  • “Atmosphere: descending the stairs, all the funky furniture, dark lighting and general awesome cocktail bar classy hipster feeling” in 3 reviews

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  • 5.0 star rating
    4/7/2014
    Listed in London Nightlife

    Been here a few times after a friend showed me this hidden alley gem. Is it a bar or a club because it seems to have both? Great atmosphere and never had an issue getting a table or booth to sit down in with group of friends without having to buy a bottle.

    There is a good happy hour here but I never seem to make it in time. Can't say the dance floor choons are amazing but there is a little side room to shake your booty if you've had your fill of sitting. Also enjoy that the non-dance area is not too loud so you can carry a conversation. Recommend if you can't make up your mind if you want a club or bar and best part is it's right by the tube station to stumble your way home!

  • 3.0 star rating
    26/2/2014
    1 check-in here

    I went to Foundation for a friend's Birthday, he'd booked a table and we arrived about 8:30pm. This was January, when the happy hour ran til 9pm - and unsurprisingly getting served was a long and arduous process! When I did finally place an order (I decided to double up to save a return visit) they didn't have the ingredients for either of the cocktails I ordered. So I had to look at a menu and wait once again to be served. Luckily I did get my order in before the cut off time!

    Then came the battle to get to the table - the venue is surprisingly big but never the less Saturday night and it was packed (even in dry January!). The table was pretty small for the size of the party but we managed.

    I didn't think much of the cocktails I had, maybe because it was happy hour and they were rushed, but they seemed lacklustre. It didn't really matter though one we hit the dance floor! The music was a bit mixed but it was a good atmosphere. I was pleased to see they served food til quite late (and it is also discounted in the happy hour).

    We had a great night but the venue let us down slightly with limited/ below average cocktails, oh and a ridiculous queue for the ladies!! When will nightclubs learn to install more women's loos/ when will women take less time in the loo?!?!........despite this I would go back ^_^

  • 2.0 star rating
    20/1/2014
    1 check-in here

    I'll be honest, Foundation bar wasn't my cup of tea; but in a sense I suppose I should have expected the kind of atmosphere I found having elected to spend a Friday night in Covent Garden.

    I went to Foundation for my sister's birthday celebration. One point I noted upon entering is that this place is surprisingly large. When you arrive you immediately go downstairs into a massive bar area. The first room you walk into is focussed on seating areas for groups, with a large bar along one wall.

    Moving into the next room you have a large club area with raised DJ booth, another big bar and several private booths (which it appeared you have to book in advance). As we were attending for  a birthday party we had  a private room at the back. I was pretty impressed with the service on offer here. For parties there is a private fridge on offer which is kept regularly stocked with champagne, wine or whatever your favourite tipple is by the waitress/waiter who is on hand specifically for the private area.

    The staff member working in this area will also take cocktail orders for you and bring them right to your table to enjoy.

    The beer selection was good and I was happy to be able to enjoy a Vedett and Modelo - unusual beers to find in the Kronenbourg and Carling soaked WC2H postcode. Unfortunately I was not so wild about the cocktails I sampled. I tried a 'Dr Jack' and classic Long Island iced tea and found both of them to be much too sweet.

    Despite it not being the kind of place I would usually choose to head out, I did have an enjoyable night at Foundation and found the service to be attentive and friendly.

    A couple of points though - the music was really, really loud. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not your grumpy Grandfather and realise this is a central London club on a Friday night - but I really feel that having the music in the social bar area, where people congregate to chat and drink, at the same volume as it is in the club area is a bit of an error. I would be extremely surprised if they did not have individual volume control for each room; so I really feel that it would make for a much better atmosphere and drinking experience if the volume could be lowered in the bar area to a level where conversation could still take place; whilst keeping the decibels high in the dance area.

    I also had a few issues with the music policy. To be fair this is probably more down to the DJ playing that night than the club itself, but I do know that this kind of bar/club tends to have a regular DJ who plays there every weekend, so they most likely have a bit of influence on the music policy. I noted after a while that the only tracks the DJ seemed to play were relatively low quality, slightly abrasive/repetitive house remixes of pop classics. Of course there is room for a few of these in every set, but this was literally every track!!

    I honestly felt that the DJ would have got a better crowd response and provided an even better listening experience by playing the original version of some of these tracks. I mean surely everyone would rather hear the excellent original version of 'Pump up the jam' and Michael Jackson's 'got to be starting something' over a cheap refix that sounds like it was made in 10 minutes on fruity loops? I am a music snob though, so perhaps that's just me!

    In short though, I thought that Foundation was alright. It wouldn't be my first choice for a night out, but it was good for a birthday celebration and if the above two points could be rectified I would consider coming back here.

  • 2.0 star rating
    16/7/2014

    Not my kinda place, but I came for my husband's friend's birthday. Ended up having a very nice time indeed, but that was more on account of the company than the venue itself. Drinks and food good, but too pricey for me. Music in the booths was good and got us up, wanting to dance. But the music in the dance area seemed to have a different DJ, which sent us back to our seats. Wouldn't bother with this place again, unless someone I like very much indeed decides this is where we have to go for their birthday.

  • 3.0 star rating
    10/1/2014

    Nice bar in a nice area with nice cocktails and nice atmosphere...!
    But, is this what you're looking for at a night out?

    The drinks were creative but not strong enough. The lighting and atmosphere was nice but I can't say the same for the crowd.

    BUT, the ladies' room is amazing and has a wide selection of perfumes!

    Cocktail-wise I got something with rum on the sour side that I can't recall the name of and a Margarita as a second.

    Note to self: go straight for the Margarita next time!

    Price-wise, it's your average cocktail bar... more than 8£ less than 10£.

    UP:
    - Cool atmosphere & lighting
    - Convenient Location (literally 20 steps from the tube)

    DOWN:
    - Drinks on the lighter side
    - No cloakroom in use, even though it exists.

    VERDICT:
    I'll give it a second try!

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/5/2013

    Awesome!!! I wasn't planning to do anything for my birthday, but the bar called and asked if I'd like to reserve a table, and I figured why not? They offered a bottle of bubbly (which wasn't very nice, but it was nice of them to offer!) which totally sealed the deal. Also they had happy hour till 7.30 which is always good.

    Arrived at the door around 6.30 and the place wasn't very full, however all the tables were reserved. As I was lead to my table I walked through a maze of cool, funky artwork. We opted for the teapots all night which was a great value for money. I LOVED the High Tea teapot, but also tried all the other ones. The teapot was served with biscuits as well... how cute! We got the platter which was a mini pizza, chicken wings, jalapeño popcorn and chips. It was a good nibble platter for everyone.

    The DJ was pretty good. He had some interesting mixes. He did cut a few songs short which we were getting into, which was kind of annoying, but I was still on the dance floor all night long! The staff were super friendly and I never had to wait too long for drinks.

    Only issue if that there is no mobile service in the bar so I had to go up the stairs a few times to check text messages. Otherwise a great bar, had a great time, and my birthday was awesome!

  • 2.0 star rating
    18/3/2013 Updated review

    Cocktails are not really my thing but I was vaguely and reluctantly warming to this place until I went to the toilets and discovered one of those chaps there that tries to squirt and spray stuff at you in exchange for money. This is unacceptable anywhere. Whoever had this idea should be stopped from breeding in a painful way. I'm kind in only deducting one star.

    This is a surprisingly large underground venue. I still hadn't seen the whole place between table, bar and being hassled in the toilet

    As I was having fun enjoying the most girly cocktails possible (this is strange comportment if you have read most of my other reviews) I started with a Raspberry Rum + Peach daquiri before opting for the Holly Golightly, which is served with a giant ice testicle in the glass (but i didn't receive the edible flower I was promised :(  )

    The service was very friendly.

    2.0 star rating
    25/2/2013 Previous review
    Cocktails are not really my thing but I was vaguely and reluctantly warming to this place until I… Read more
  • 3.0 star rating
    12/6/2013

    Average food- we got the platter with chicken wings, onion rings, pizza, chips, eggrolls, and popcorn... after eating a couple bites, everything kinda tasted the same- fried and bland.

    The staff, however, are great and very helpful.

  • 3.0 star rating
    18/2/2013
    1 check-in here

    I should've known the true nature of this place when the doorman asked how big our party (of obviously, two) was, hesitant to let any more bodies into the space if he could help it.

    It was only 8:30 on a Saturday night, and Foundation was packed -- no less, reserved to the last bit of elbow room on any empty stretch of bar. The vaguely house-esque music was thumping, maybe a little too loudly, causing everyone in the bar to shout at full volume in order to be heard by a person 8 inches away from them.

    The bar was ever so slightly, annoyingly trendy -- there are weird 'pods' everywhere in which people are meant to sit and converse, and alternating, dark and neon-hued lights all over, presumably to give a mysterious feel (but really, they made it so that either you couldn't see anything, or you were about to go into an epileptic fit when the neon started flashing to the beat of the music).

    Drinks were standard for the area, being between £9-14 for each cocktail. They do offer sharing drinks for two, served in a teapot; as they are a bit more economical (£15.50 for the whole lot), my friend and I opted for one of them, called the Sweet Tea. Were it not for the fact that the cocktail-laden teapot was served with two digestive biscuits on the side (cute!), I would have been largely unimpressed. The drink was pretty weak, and there was a lot of ice in it that continued to melt and water it down. Also, if you're reading this, surly female bartender who served my friend and I, please serve the teapot with a lid next time...it's impossible to pour otherwise.

    Overall, despite the glowing words of reviewers before me, I remain pretty 'meh' about Foundation. Maybe I just went on the wrong night, or there was an off crowd during my visit, but I'm not sure that I'll return another time to find out.

  • 5.0 star rating
    17/11/2012
    2 check-ins here

    Foundation wins the coveted five stars for a number of reasons. Let's just focus on three of them, shall we?

    Atmosphere: descending the stairs, all the funky furniture, dark lighting and general awesome cocktail bar classy hipster feeling
    Group accommodations: ability to handle big and large groups, furtive little alcoves, places to tuck into, even within the main bar area, gives a feeling of privacy and exclusivity
    Drinks: happy hour menu that makes their drinks really reasonable, the most amazing drink I've ever had in my life featuring a baseball sized icecube ball thing and a real flower

    When you're looking for a nice place in Covent Garden, Foundation is definitely a good place to check out. It's certainly unique and memorable in many aspects.

  • 4.0 star rating
    26/9/2011
    1 check-in here

    My fingertips are holding onto...a happy hour bottle of Prosecco!

    Despite having Kate Nash in my head every time I see the word 'Foundation' I had a lovely early evening in this bar neatly hidden down a side street just off Long Acre.

    We hit the after-work crowd so the bar was pretty packed but we managed to find some interesting bubble chairs (if you leaned back into them everything got eerily quiet) and I was thrilled upon ordering some celebratory Prosecco that it was half price during happy hour - result! After polishing off our bubbles we then decided upon the 'Bling Brew' for two which, although very tasty, probably wasn't worth the £20 as the mini-teapot only filled two glasses. I also prefer my drinks a little stronger, there were too many mixers in it.

    Still, you live, you learn, I shall definitely be returning to sample some of their other cocktails, the list is long and they all sound great! The music was a bit pants - thumpy squealing house-type music, but then I am a bit of a music-snob - however, the decor is fantastic, even in the loo! I was also particularly happy with my Eric Clapton menu with the man himself on the front, in his heyday. Legend!

    In the words of Arnie "I'll be back!"

  • 3.0 star rating
    8/1/2012

    Recently refurbished it still has a new sheen to it.

    Bit of a boudoir look to it as you descend the stairs you immediately get a feel for the style that awaits with the chains that hang down along the staircase, through the double doors and you're in another world.

    The bar is big but it retains a very intimate feel to it. Its full of little alcoves you can isolate so easily. Go early in the week if you want a quiet drink so music is at a conversational level

    There is a club section through another set of double doors that has yet more alcoves. I cannot do this place justice in terms of the intimacy created by the interior designers.

  • 3.0 star rating
    11/12/2012
    1 check-in here

    I heard this place was not all that. However we turned up on a Thursday night and the atmosphere was great.

    Happy Hour Yippee! we found a table which was reserved BUT the small print on the card (which was not so small, but good enough to detour the usual "oh no this ones reserved too" kinda person) It said "please feel free to keep the table warm whilst the guest arrives" so happy to sit down we chilled out with some cheap beers! :-)

    We had a few interruptions from a few of the bar staff taking names for a mailing list. They were obviously keen to build a database up. I actually had a call a few days after saying they were going to give me a free bucket of beers if i came back which was great!

    We had to move after 1 hour as the person who had reserved the table turned up (3hours late) but just found another table that looked like it was reserved and kept that warm too!

    The music was decent (house) and service at the bar was average. Would go back but not in a rush too!

  • 5.0 star rating
    14/3/2013

    Amazing Staff, Atmosphere, and Drinks.

    I take the tube to Covent Garden station, get off, make a left, another left, my first right down an Alley and I am there haha.

  • 4.0 star rating
    22/1/2012
    4 check-ins here

    Surprisingly huge for an underground venue.  Great place for happy hour.

    Two main bars on opposite ends of the property keep queuing to a minimum.

    Extra points for the super loud speaker system, the smoking hot chick DJ (and her decent set selection), and for keeping a youngish professional crowd.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/5/2012

    Foundation is actually not my kind of place.  I'm not really a dance club kind of girl - I'd rather have a pint at the local pub, or a drink at a dive bar.  But I've been to Foundation twice now, and I've been pleasantly surprised.

    The first visit was a weeknight, and ended up going here for happy hour (and a bit more) with some colleagues.  We found a table close to the bar, and had a great time - the music was good, and it wasn't too hard to get a drink.

    Slightly different situation when I went on a Friday.  There was a £10 cover charge, which was annoying - but I know I'm in the area where that's going to happen, so I just dealt with it.  The bar was FAR more crowded and it was harder to get a drink, but not outrageously so.  Well done, bartenders.

    So while I prefer the weeknight vibe here, I'd still say it's ok overall - I wouldn't mind another visit or two to Foundation.

    • Qype User Beck…
    • London
    • 37 friends
    • 90 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    30/11/2011

    Lovely little bar just off covent garden. I was used to the old stalwart The Langley for cheap cocktails and soul-less decor, but the new Foundation exceeded my expectations.
    Headed here late on a Saturday afternoon early evening as a retreat from the covent garden crowds and decended down into the cosy, funky bar. Cocktails are still cheap with Happy Hour at half price.
    It was a fab little place where my friends and I spent a few good hours sampling the cocktails and catching up on gossip. I did have a quick nose round to see how it had changed since the Langleyand I would love to go back for a night out soon as already the tunes were good in the afternoon. I noticed from their website they are getting big name DJ's there every now and then so worth checking it out in advance on the website. Would reccomend for after work drinks, or even a Saturday eve.

  • 3.0 star rating
    16/5/2013
    1 check-in here

    Food was average but nice. Seemed a disorganized place. Might go back for a gig but probably wouldn't eat there again.

  • 5.0 star rating
    26/5/2011
    2 check-ins here ROTD 16/9/2011 First to Review

    Definately a fan of this place. The vibe and non pretenious walks of life in all forms made my short lived stop by at this bar (pre theatre) and gave me a great first impression to go back for more. A broad range of cocktail varieties available not to mention the creativity of how the drinks are presented (one cocktail came in a jam  jar). Whilst the standard cocktails exist there is definately no need to be boring giving you a range of "out there" cocktails to branch out and let you try something new (maybe even create a new fav). The bar has a dj which was playing decent music and many different areas to congrugate in and set yourself apart from other groups. I loved the layout and the staff were chilled. Oh did i mention the foundation has happy hour half price drinks 4pm-8pm monday to friday?? I believe.  Mega fan!

    • Qype User Catrin…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 9 reviews
    1.0 star rating
    10/4/2013

    Horrendous. Ignored on favour of male punters at the bar, served a drink with sugar instead of salt, then no apology and a replacement drink in a cracked glass. Basically an unpleasant experience, chavvy hellhole, avoid. Would give 0 stars if possible.

    • Qype User iivi…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 1 review
    1.0 star rating
    2/9/2012

    Forget about the overpriced drinks and terrible music, this place is actually unsafe. My wife had her hair pulled and was pushed around in an aggressive and threatening manner by a group of six men on the dancefloor. The bouncer was alerted to this, gave the guys a brief telling off and let them back in again. We left, feeling unsafe from then on. On leaving i asked the bouncer why they had been let back in again and the impression was that their custom was worth more to the bar than our safety. Please avoid this venue.

  • 2.0 star rating
    12/8/2012

    Wow this place is bad. Was forced here for someone's birthday, and I knew it'd be awful but not quite like this.
    'Cultureless Covent Garden meat market' accurately describes it, but then a significant proportion of the population enjoys that kind of thing and I feel I can look past it to objectively describe this place as bad.
    It looks like any other bar (Revolution, Tiger Tiger etc.) catering for people who work in telesales, although they seem to have put an odd focus on music related decorations. The bar menu was stuck to a record, and the cocktail menu was in a sleeve. I found this particularly confusing, given it didn't seem that anybody else in there had ever heard music prior to that evening.
    Music was the thing that pushed it from being this is a standard terrible club found in every town/city in the UK, to this is the seventh seal. Everything was wrong. Absolutely abysmal electro house remixes of chart music, played by a DJ who couldn't beatmatch (yet felt qualified to pump his arms in the air), in horrendous quality. I guess the DJ downloads his tracks in 192 from terrible blogs. It was also far, far too loud on a system that couldn't handle it, it just sounded awful.
    The most horrifying thing of all was that it was busy when we got there at 10pm and everyone seemed to love it. The dancefloor was full with people dancing around handbags, and the sides of the dancefloor were full of creepy old men waiting for potential victims to appear drunk enough. Most people appeared to think they were 'somebody', despite the fact they were spending their Saturday night in a club in Covent Garden. It goes without saying that men for the most part wore terrible shirts and shoes, and the women mainly wore Karen Millen dresses. Don't think it has a dress code, though  if it does, the doorstaff obviously realised I was superior to these people and didn't apply it to me.
    Bottled drinks were pretty reasonably priced (£4.50 for a 500ml cider), but spirits were expensive (paid £24 for two rum and cokes and a bottle).
    Staff were quite friendly. An extra star because none of the other patrons spoke to or stabbed me.

    • Qype User pengui…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 11 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    17/7/2011

    This place is AMAZING!!
    Decided to go there last minute on a recommendation from a friend for a birthday party this weekend and just as we got to the corner of the street the promotions guy told us we needed to pay £5 each (cash). Which was fine, as expected (if not a little cheap) for London! So we said ok, we just need to go to the cash machine, are you sure we can't come in for free as it's our friend's birthday..
    And they let us all in for free! The door man was very helpful telling us where to go in the bar and club when we got downstairs and where to hang our coats etc. We were really surprised with all the niceness (especially after a terrible time at the Salvador and Amanda restaurant that evening).
    The bar is really cool, it reminded us all of drinking cocktails in a shoreditch-based ikea store with mismatched chairs, unique flower pot displays (?!) and mannique lamps!
    The cocktails are gorgeous (especially the Garden Jam) and served in jam jars and tea pots! I know it's very gimmicky but it was really enjoyable  we even got moved to a free booth in the club and didn't even have to ask! We love this place and are DEFINITELY returning and I've already recommended it to lots of friends. The music was great in the club and the atmosphere was really nice and the bar staff were very friendly (and the male ones were quite nice looking too!).
    Much better than The Langley was in this spot. Thanks for a fantastic evening Foundation Bar!

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