If you’re braving the crowds of Oxford Street, you will definitely be in need of a quiet space to duck into in which you can recoup energy levels and get a well-needed pick-me-up. Tucked down a quiet side street opposite Bond Street station is the Reform Social & Grill, nestled away in the ground floor of The Mandeville Hotel.
Taking inspiration from classic British gentlemen’s clubs, the bar exudes old school, retro glamour, instantly transporting you back in time. In fact, if it wasn’t for all the electricity, you could easily feel like you had stepped into a 19th century London bar.
Open to members of the public as well as those lucky enough to have a room booked at The Mandeville, Reform Social offers both a main restaurant area, as well as a more informal bar section for drinks and nibbles.
I was invited to try out the bar itself, and willingly did so after seeing photos of the bar area’s vintage décor, fusing together luxury fittings with old-fashioned prints, marble flooring and a relaxed seating area. Also, the extensive wine and cocktail menu did quite a bit to sway my mind…
Even though the bar is based within a luxury Marylebone hotel, I didn’t feel at all out of place – even popping in after a long day at work with one of my friends! Granted there were people dotted around me who were ordering whole bottles of champagne, but the charming bartender made us feel at ease, showing us to our comfy armchairs and taking time to know our drinks preferences.
That’s arguably the best thing about Reform Social & Grill – you’re not just rocking up at a generic pub chain where the menu is something you’ve seen twenty times before. Rather, the expert bartenders ask you what flavours and spirits you like, before mixing up a cocktail that will really set your taste buds off. I mean, you only have to look behind the bar to see that the staff really know their stuff.
I opted for a ‘fruity’ non-alcoholic cocktail and was given a surprise concoction of various fruits such as passion fruit and mango. I kind of loved this and hated it at the same time: I loved it because it got me trying something I wouldn’t ordinarily go for, and hated it because it means I have no idea how to make it myself at home!
(Side note: my cocktail was also topped with flowers and fruit, making it possibly the most adorable drink I’ve ever been served!)
My beautiful friend was on the alcohol, however – not that either of us can remember what she had. She assures me she enjoyed it though, which can only be a good thing.
To go with our drinks, we also ordered some nibbles to share. The bar menu is, unsurprisingly, not as extensive as the drinks menu, and the vegetarian options are even smaller. Thankfully, when we ordered a cheese board the kitchen separated the meat from the rest of the food. However, if you’re a veggie like me, it’s probably best to stock up on food beforehand if you’re planning on drinking. Saying that, the chips we ordered to accompany the cheeses were particularly tasty, and almost like mini jacket potatoes because each one was so big!
Price-wise, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting considering its central London location. Cocktails start at around £7.50, while a small glass of wine is anything upwards of £4.95. Considering the quality of the drinks – as well as the expertise of the staff – it’s pretty good value for money, and I wouldn’t hesitate to return for yet another evening.My reservation at Reform Social & Grill was provided as a Press Trip. However, all opinions are my own.