The Basement, 8 Holyrood St, SE1 2EL
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It has been the curse of many a Borough Market reveller that, after a certain time in the evening, things rather fizzle out. For all its vibrancy and bustle during the day, London Bridge is a bit of a damp fish after hours. Sure you could cross the river to Whitechapel, but that seems like an awfully long way after a long day of over-indulging at the sausage stands. News of a late night, subterranean bar in the area was therefore celebrated wildly and loudly by the Le Cool writers. Cecil’s is by no means in the heart of the action, hidden away on Holyrood Street, a road previously only notable for being the location of a DVLA theory test centre, it takes some finding. Once found, and the labyrinth of hallways and stairs navigated, Cecil’s emanates the kind of ‘anything can happen’ atmosphere that all late night bars strive for. London is not well-endowed with such bars and after a short time you could be forgiven for losing your bearings somewhat. Every Saturday their UFF Tea Parties aim to transport attendees to 1930′s Shanghai in a blur of Jazz, cocktails and some seriously impressive costumes. The drinks menu is stuffed full of fusions and reimagined classics. The highlights however were an expertly crafted Negroni and a curious Dry Martini using pine-infused Canadian Gin. Whether you visit on a Saturday, or for (extended/unwise) post-work drinks there truly is a sense of a being transported to another place and another time. When it comes time to stumble back up onto the cobbled streets above you may come to the realisation that, in London Bridge, Shanghai is considerably easier to reach than Whitechapel.