The Player is another old haunt of mine; I've been coming
since it 1st opened in 1998 though less frequently than I did in my
younger days. Happily I can say the standard has never dropped. On Saturday I
opted for one of their well-mixed cocktails called a Devils Kiss a peachy,
gingery very alcoholic concoction served with a wedge of lime and I don't remember
what else now but I can vouch that it went down a treat! You can eat here but I
have never done so so can't comment, though judging by what was passing us on
waiters trays it looked like good, traditional bar offerings and I imagine as
this place has always had such a good name for drinks it won't allow itself to
be let down by bad food. I think this place has some history links to the
wonderful Dicks bar at The Atlantic
another favourite place that is sadly no more, but if, like me you were in
fashion, advertising or the media in the
90's you would have probably spent many
a happy night there and have several raucous tales to tell. Maybe this is why I'm
so fond of The Player, unlike many cocktail bars who wanted to be the must go
hot spot it just concentrated on being
really good which is why even after 13 years or so my friends and I will often still meet here
before walking on to another part of Soho to dine. The décor does not seem to
have changed much to me, but I'm sure things have been renewed and upholstered
and I'm sure the DJ was not always there, but that may just be me or it may
have been different nights of the week that I was coming? You enter via a small
doorway on Broadwick St near Agent Provocateur and I'm sure those not in the know
it must look like you're entering something a little raunchy! I think it may be
a membership place, thought I have never been asked to produce anything to
prove this. Once down the flight of stairs your greeted by quiet a big bar
considering the size of the room (its small) and lots of smiling staff who ask
if you have a reservation (it's probably a good idea to book a table on a
weekend as it no fun standing in your glad rags and heels especially after a
few of their killer cocktails!) The seating is a mix of low stools, velvet
booths and various size tables, music is at a talkable level and the whole
place has a lounge style feel to it. There is something that always feels quiet
luxurious to me about the place though it's not something I can put my finger
on, maybe it's the people I always come with or the crowd that frequent the bar
as the look, though well thought out and well done is not what I'd call sumptuous.
It definitely y has its own sense of style (that has been copied by many other
bars over the years) and there is a confidence in what it's doing a great
place to start an evening. I think a table of 6 of us had 2 cocktails each (one
may have been drinking champagne and it came to about £140)
We turned up here with no reservation and no membership around 7:30 on a Saturday night. The place was dead so they let us have a table that wasn't reserved until 10pm.
The cocktails were great and the waiters were eager to help us decide on what we wanted from the menu without being pushy.
After half an hour the place was pretty busy. Despite this, service was excellent and speedy. The waiters were always on hand to order another drink and I was surprised at how quickly our orders arrived, but I suppose with so many bartenders it's not surprising.
The decor is 70's cool and I liked it. The cocktails are not too expensive for central London - between about £6.50 and £8 - and were delicious. I'll be back, maybe I'll even reserve next time so I can stay a bit longer.
I think I love this place! Its a relatively small place in Soho with wonderful cocktails and great drinks mixed with an impeccable service. It's never too packed and the cocktails are lovely. The staff are very friendly and will make things to your taste.
I have to admit the overproofed rum ones were the ones that sent me over the edge and made this review very brief. The head barman chatted to us and described James Joyce's hangover cure, a horribly strong cocktail....which my friend proceeded to order!
What I do remember about it was that the cocktails were very cheap for Soho, a round for 3 was £20, the cloakroom was free and there was an entry fee after 10. All in all a great night in a beautiful place with beautiful people.
This place probably should have got 5 stars but damn them their alcohol was too effective!
Members Club, Schmeblers club--Same ole' small, dingy lounge, where everyone reeks of alcohol and pretends they are someone else!
Heard that it has the same owner as milk and honey and that they have an impressive cocktail list which prompted me to check 'em out-- both are correct but after a huge disappointment I ended up leaving very shortly after arriving.
My opinion is the place doesn't live up to the hype-You can find a plethora of other similar places with better music, crowd and equally good cocktails!
I made a last minute reservation - on a Friday for a Saturday night! They squeezed me in...it was the venue for a surprise birthday party.
A nice place to sit down with friends to sip on the cocktail and dance a little if you had too much of them!
I loved the cocktails. They do make delicious ones. Drinks are pricey, but I'd say - as pricey as it's all around London. I liked the place itself - neutral decor that turns into a dancefloor later in the night with big disco-ball which adds to the atmosphere.
The waitress was very kind to put the birthday cake in the fridge and light up the candles once the birthday boy arrived! Needless to say that the party was a success!
hidden little spot away from the mayhem in soho, i believe it is actually a members spot but the let us plebs use the facilities. they clearly bump you to the 'cheaper seats' but for a quick cocktail and a burger (well 2 mini sliders) its not a bad effort at all.
basement style, with non standout decor. the staff were friendly enough. and the service attentive.
its a bit expensive for drinks but the sliders were actually a huge surprise....different varieties, nice meat and good fries.
i wouldn't go back but then i wouldn't dissuade you from trying it out!
This place really does live up to it's namesake, and mine for that matter! That's the main reason I popped in here the other night and I wasn't at all disappointed. The staff in here obviously get treated well because they all seem to be falling over themselves to provide service with a smile and the doorman managed to charm my socks off.
The decor looks like a cross between a Boogie Nights and Lock Stock and cocktails such as the Rye Cobbler and London Calling gives you an indication of the wit of the owner. Great whiskey selection too and the DJ was great that night but it can be a little hit and miss. It's a member's club but it depends on when you go as you enter for £5 or sometimes nothing at all.
I came with work a few weeks ago and I think it's a real hidden gem.
The doorway is so subtle i almost missed it but once in, the cocktails made me glad we had found it!
Penicillin was my fave, a mix of whisky, ginger, lemon and honey - it will definately sooth any illness.
Little pots of french fries are great to nibble on as you sip and look at the beautiful people who glide by.
Brought to you by the same people who created Milk & Honey (New York & London) and the Match bars, this cosy basement hideaway is the place to go for delicious fresh cocktails, friendly, knowledgeable service from people who are properly passionate about their booze, and a tequila selection that's almost unmatched in London.
It's a great place to bring a date after dinner, especially if you remember to reserve a table. Non-members can reserve tables, but members get preference so in practice it's difficult to get in at the weekend.
The Player gets crowded and noisy late and on weekends, but the music's generally fairly laid-back and the crowd is friendly. Still, I recommend going earlier in the week (Mon-Wed) to fully enjoy the atmosphere without having to shout.
Match Bar Loves The Player! The perfect little party hideaway in Soho and always great service and fantastic cocktails.
My favourite venue on a rare night off.
Great little bar with some tasty/spectacular cocktails. Quite a small place but with nice decor and what seemed like a good bunch of staff and customers. Not the cheapest but some very tasted mixed drinks. And if you don't think flaming cocktails are required once in a while, go somewhere else!
Went on a thursday night and the place was packed, mainly from people knocking off work (bags everywhere), good music (couple of interesting office dancers), cocktails good, nothing special and had quite a wait at the small bar. It's got an atmosphere because it's so busy and worth a visit and I'll go back if passing by but I wouldn't go out of my way
I've typically tried to steer away from basement estashments in London, they tend to be dank and stuffy.. but not this little gem! Tucked in just off of busy Wardour, it's like a stylish but cozy living room, everything feeling warm and velvet-ty. It's definately a good spot to get away from the bustle.
Sister club to Milk & Honey and the newer The East Room in Shoreditch, The Player has none of its former pretension and is a refreshing change of pace to the forced uber-exclusive aura of other similar members clubs. That said, first-timers may balk at the faded, dated interior (think 80s school dance - complete with disco balls and DJ booth - meets 70s living room), but it is still an excellent spot for top-notch cocktails.
While service at the bar can be slow during crowded hours, this is only because the friendly bartenders make each drink with painstaking care.
Who knew hanging out in someone's basement could be so fun? I loved this 70s chic members-only spot complete with cozy leather couches and a DJ spinning mixes of retro tunes. The cocktail selection made me nostalgic (champagne cocktails, pina coladas and mai tais). The popbitch cocktail is big enough to share, but drink it on your own for the sheer entertainment factor.
Came here on a Friday after hearing about their Slider burgers, wasn't disappointed, hiding in a basement which was cozy and retro with loads of little old school TV's playing cool movies (Weird Science in our case). Menu is simple, two ample slider burgers from a selection with fries for a tenner. Not the best burger in London, I still rate Honest with that but they were still v good. Everyone was friendly and we didnt have to book. Will be back for more cocktails.
I love the Player. It's great drinks, cool new decor, great tunes later in the week and a great well liquored crowd. Friday night is the best. Not too crowded but great fun dancing and falling over. Members after 11 but I'm sure that the cute girls get in at any time. Drinks are normal high quality Rushmore mix of classic and modern. Avoid the food. So for a great end to evening get here drink some cocktails dance to some cool tunes and make some new friends.
Basement cocktail bar with a great drinks list and good service. Visited on a Wednesday night when there were enough people for an atmosphere but not too many to distract the bar staff from showering us with attention. Prices were around 6 or 7 pounds - not bad for Soho. You don't have to be a member to reserve a table, at least not on week nights. Well done.
Not sure I would agree with previous review. Once again this used to be a really good bar before the wonderful people at timeout and the evening standard told the world and his wife about it! Dont get me wrong the bar staff are pretty good and can knock up any cocktail on demand but theres far better places in London now, Decor is nothing special, can get way to busy towards end of week. Spend a bit of cash, make a true members bar and not a part time one and this could find its former glory once again! Would stop by for drink pre dinner with date I wasnt to worried about impressing that much!
generally a really good place for a night out, has a really extensive cocktail range, ive tried many of them and they have all been really delicious. the staff are skilled with the drinks but not so much with the customers. they are very rude a lot, unless you are very obviously rich and handsome! try to get their attention and keep it otherwise you will spend the whole night being completely ignored.
been going here for afew years, cocktails are delish and great for afterwork drinks and chill out!
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