"Rock and roll memorabilia... and lots of it"Review Rating: Reviewed by Karen Edwards
Imagine a Mayfair bar and you’ll automatically picture a place with marble floors, punters enjoying buckets of champagne and a guest list as long as your arm. Well, Back Room boasts none of the above – instead, hidden away on Old Park Lane, this is a Mayfair bar actually oozes real character, a whole host of cocktails and the most appetising pizza you could ask for – in fact, it’s a bit like accidentally strolling into 1970s New York.
The first thing you notice as you wander through the rickety door is the rock and roll memorabilia. Lining the walls are vintage covers of Melody Maker and original band posters of The Who, Beatles and other famous types. You immediately feel warm and welcome and the dimly lit room provides a successfully intimate ambience for a few drinks. The classic rock playing in the background adds the perfect soundtrack to a cosy night out. Then your eyes adjust and you realise there’s a soulful feel to the place too, dark wooden chairs and benches sit amongst the tables and there’s an actual confession booth which has been transformed into a seating area – it looks beautiful.
Looking at the menu, the first things that stand out are the long, flamboyant line of cocktails. From the old classics like Mojito Daiquiris and Moscow Mules to the lesser tried and tested Ether Bunny and Yellowbird (a personal favourite) – let’s just say there are plenty for spirit lovers.
Then you flip your eyes over to the food page and choose from big favourites like BBQ Chicken, classic Margherita, or a spicy beef. There’s no chance of going hungry with the brimming pizza menu and just to tide you over, the barman is quick to bring you over some sugar-roasted nuts. The perfect complement to the cocktails.
The clientele seem trendy but not too trendy – you certainly wouldn’t feel out of place is jeans and a sweater. And the atmosphere is warm – and gives the feeling that you’ve stumbled upon an eclectic little bar that no one else has heard of - although that does change during a big sport days when the big flat screen to the left of the room takes centre stage for a few hours.
Thursdays are live music nights, and this is the evening where music fans can sit back and enjoy some live jazz and blues courtesy of the Back Room bookings team. In fact, Madonna’s musicians and a few of the Stones’ old band-boys have been known to pop in for a jam.
Our personal highlight had to be the great find on the way to the restrooms. Leading you out of the bar area is a door donated by the famous Apple Studios, which has the recognisable scrawlings of The Beatles across it. And as a salute to them, the friendly bar boys welcome their punters to add their own messages and thoughts to the walls and doors too. If that isn’t rock and roll, then I don’t know what is.
Karen Edwards reviewed Back Room Bar on Thu 17 Nov 2011