food & drink

Is Simmons Bar at Kings Cross worth visiting?

Simmons Bar sits in the heart of Kings Cross. A great location, it’s easy to get to if you fancy a night out or simply an after-work drink.

Simmons Bar sits in the heart of Kings Cross. A great location, it’s easy to get to if you fancy a night out or simply an after-work drink. This tiny bar is laid back enough for all ages to feel at home, but trendy enough to attract a fair crowd despite its small size.

Although that makes it a bit unsuitable for a large crowd, it’s in keeping with the friendly and chilled vibe the bar gives off. This isn’t the place to go with a group of twenty or so, it’s not the place to go for a big night out. But if you’re looking for a refreshing change and a more easy-going party atmosphere, Simmons Bar is an excellent choice.

Like a bookshop

From afar it looks like a bookshop, but as you get closer you see that the bookshelf is actually filled with decorative beer cans.

The kitsch decoration has a similar effect, but as the evening goes on and the DJ moves in the atmosphere transforms from easy going to more upbeat. The eclectic mix, summed up by the large metallic skull disco ball in the centre, is matched by the music.

Below also boasts a similarly eclectic basement with an additional bar.

A new atmosphere

The lights are turned down around 10 pm, when the music becomes a little more serious and self-conscious, completely transforming the atmosphere.

The DJ set on Saturday night, open until 8 am, featured a varied set of soul, funk, disco, Motown, electro as well as a few classics.

The cocktails!

The best thing about Simmons Bar, however, is of course the cocktails. A mix of classics such as the mojito (albeit with several fruit flavoured varieties) and more original options served in retro teacups or funky tumblers. The fresh fruit used in the mojitos makes them an extra special summer beverage of choice.

If you get there during their daily five-hour ‘happy hour’ (4-9 pm) some are even two for £10 too. Teapots filled with martinis or cocktails can be shared between groups. I’d particularly recommend the Toblerone cocktail, made from cream, Baileys, Kahlua, Frangelico, Honey and a dollop of Chocolate Powder.

Some of the best teapots (wherever they can squeeze in ‘tea’: G&Tea, Long Island Iced Tea etc.) include their Martinis. ‘Apple-Tea-Ni’, made from Rum, lime juice, sparkling apple juice, mint leaves and granny smith apples and ‘French Mar-Tea-Ni’- Vodka or Gin, Chambord and Pineapple Juice are particular favourites.

London’s best bar?

Early evening you can spot a few over fifties boogying alongside an after-work crowd, as well as some trendily dressed hipsters. As the evening goes on the vibe becomes slightly more youthful but the ‘all-welcome’ attitude still remains. All seem at their ease in the eclectic bar that boasts to be ‘London’s best bar.’

While it seems a little too small to fully deserve this title, it takes some beating.

What’s also great is that it’s not off the beaten track—it’s an easy walk from Kings Cross tube and several bus routes.

Simmons’ Late Night Social Club is on again next month.