The folk at Bourne & Hollingsworth have added another string to their cocktail bar bow. Their latest establishment can be found in the heart of Fitzrovia, tucked away in the basement at 32 Goodge Street, between an Indian restaurant and a dry cleaners. The bar is named after a former ecclesiastical resident, one Reverend J W Simpson who apparently lived there between 1963 - 1987. My friend, Kathryn and I went to check it out.
The decor style at Rev J W Simpson is 'unrefurbished' chic, as apart from a few new sofas and chairs, the interior has been left in pretty much the same state as it was found. Various shades of old paint and peeling wallpaper adorn the crumbling walls, whilst the layout shows the different rooms of yesteryear complete with original room dividers and a parquet floor merging with tiled floor. The Rev's old bedroom is a perfect hideaway at the back for a private party, with a sneaky door that leads nowhere. The loo however has been tastefully updated and can be found behind a mock wall.
Drinking at Rev J W Simpson is like attending the cocktail party of some grungy, poverty-stricken eccentric! It's all about the cocktails here, specialising in trendy fizzes, cobblers and sours which come in various shaped glasses and cost from £7.50 - £9.00. The bar staff were extremely friendly and more than happy to talk us through the variety of concoctions. Apart from a bowl of nuts, there were disappointingly no decent bar bites available, although I did hear rumours that complimentary bar snacks are known to do the rounds. But there was no sign of any on our watch. I think this quirky bar is going to prove very popular with locals and bar connoisseurs alike and it does get busy, so do book or get there early. And if you're someone who fancies a tinkle on the ivories, there's even a piano.
Rev J W Simpson
32 Goodge Street
London W1T 2QJ
020 3174 1155
Open Tue - Sat 5pm - 11.30pm