But they have a booking policy...so why not just book? Then you have guaranteed seating and no fear of having to go elsewhere...
1e Great Eastern St., Shoreditch, London EC2A 3EJ
- Shoreditch High Street Station (<0.1 km)
- Liverpool Street Station (0.7 km)
- Shoreditch High Street Rail Station (0.2 km)
- Liverpool Street Station (0.7 km)
- Contact us:
- Opening hours:
Mon - Sat: 18:00 - 24:00
Sun: 9:00 - 23:00
16 reviews of lounge bohemia in English
Great little place, good cocktails, good beers, snacks, decor and nicely priced. Shame about the rude attitude : – (
Come early in week and early in evening, preferably summer (so you won’t need to have booked) and never come in a suit (even if you are regular). Better still head to Casita bar on Ravey street!
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ace is everything shoreditch should not be. . . About it’s rules! The Place thinks it is something that it isn’t. . . Exclusive. The bar brings nothing new to the table except an uncomfortable experience where if the chair is too far into the aisle you are told scoot in and if friends are in the neighbourhood don’t bother dropping on because this place is so uptight we were told to leave mid drink because we were one over the resevation despite comfortably fitting into the the space. This Place won’t last. Don’t bother. . . Yawn.
This is a really great bar, different to any other bar I've been to in London. You need to book, as advised in other reviews and on their website. The staff are great, very friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable. The cocktails are really good value, most around the £7.50 mark. There are four cocktails for £14 which are more of an experience. These guys are obviously very talented in the cocktail creating stakes and I get the impression that their motivation is primarily to create wonderful cocktails and an experience people will enjoy rather than to make money.
I went to Lounge Bohemia armed with the metaphysical equivalent of a chair and a whip. The reviews of this hidden bar on Qype are schizophrenically mixed, and, as with a number of places in Shoreditch these days, suits and ties are banned. I was taking my boyfriend, who hates this anti-City bias, and who agreed to go home and change only on pain of no cocktails and irate girlfriend.
Just to be on the safe side, I’d followed Qypers’ advice to the letter and a) booked a table and b) been EXTRAORDINARILY polite to the staff in case they bit me in the face or refused me gin. I haven't been this well-behaved since I last went to tea with my grandma, and actually, more places should encourage this state of fear. The other customers were pleasant throughout the evening, presumbably because they were shit-scared about being tossed out onto the street.
Still, both our waitress and the vintage-looking barlady were excellent and there wasn’t a hint of rudeness. In fact, once we’d been out to dinner, we rang up and booked another table and headed straight back just so we could try the other cocktails we’d fancied.
A lot of effort? Fuck it. This is a cocktail fantatic’s wet dream, albeit one made out of invention and quality booze rather than tissues and confusion. My Holy Smoke came served in a Bible with myrrh and frankincense smoke and leather-infused Courvoisier Exclusif. My boyfriend’s was poured out of a cigar case and mixed with vanilla candy floss. The flavours were all exquisite and presentation was the best I’ve found so far in London, and there were lovely touches like menus housed in Polish translations of classic novels, a little plate of complimentary nibbles, and water served in ancient thermoses.
We absolutely loved the creamy Lab test (six test tubes filled with condensed milk-spiced White Russians), but despite the chocolate orange segments, the sweet one we tried on our return was not my thing: clear chocolate liqueur, eurgh, so we gave them away to the couple next to us.
The Lavender Crème Brulee was just stunning: topped with hard sugar, it was the most ravishing thing I’ve put in my mouth since the invention of the double entendre: lavender vodka (all spirits are home-steeped), avocaat and condensed milk FTW. My boyfriend’s absinthe francaise came beautifully served in something called a waterfall (probably, I was quite pissed by this stage), dripping absinthe onto a sugar lump and giving him a bloody good night’s sleep as a result.
What a wonderful, magical place this is. Just book, be polite and enjoy heavenly cocktails.
I was really disappointed by Lounge Bohemia. Rather than quirky hidden away decadent den it just feels really try hard.
The staff were distant and disinterested to us and I saw the barman being horribly patronising to another customer who asked a question. It was quite quiet, even on a Friday night, and the atmosphere lacking - it seemed like everyone was looking around to see if anyone else was cool and having fun. The cocktails were unspectacular and the little nibbles served with them were, although a nice touch, nothing to speak of.
The music was a really good atmospheric backdrop and the decor is fantastic but something about the whole place missed for me. Maybe on another night with a bit more life in the place I would have a different opinion but I won't bother to rush back to find out.
I love Lounge Bohemia. Went a few weeks ago with friends and it was the perfect place to sit (no jostling to get to the bar) and catch up in stylish surroundings with excellent cocktails. Which, by the way I think are an absolute bargain at the price - considering what the likes of dreadful places like Revolution charge for rubbish cocktails; these are well thought out, well made and with good quality alcohol.
I know people moan about getting turned away at the door - to be honest, I think that's completely unreasonable. They are very clear on their website and in any press that they have a booking policy only (and for good reason in my opinion) so why show up knowing you'll get sent away and then whinge about it? If booking means that its never rammed to the rafters and they are able to offer table service, then what's the harm in that?
Of course, that's not always what you look for in a night out, but for a fun evening of amazing cocktails, good service (I've read many a tale of rude hosts/hostesses but personally have never had a problem), my advice is plan ahead, book a table - its not that difficult - and have a great night.
Still love the dimly lit alcoves and 50s decor and the drinks list is as interesting as ever. Had a lovely drink called "Tea for Two" in a teapot along with a Gypsytini, full of rosemary flavors, and a Tree Sap, which incorporated oak syrup into a drink served in what looked like a tree trunk with another piece of bark wrapped around the straw. After that round of drinks, we tried a Lab Test, which was six test tubes filled with their "sweet" shot, which tasted like chocolate orange and was accompanied by six slices of actual chocolate orange. Also had the Parisian absinthe which came with the coolest looking water drip vessel - we were instructed to let water drip on a sugar cube suspended on a slotted spoon over the glass of absinthe until the sugar was completely dissolved. Too bad I hate licorice flavors.
They also give you a little dish of four free canapes - they were pretty bizarre though and I chose poorly, ending up with overly salty anchovy and manchego cheese in my mouth which was thoroughly unpleasant. Certainly would not pay for these (they're on the menu).
For everything I love about Lounge Bohemia, I hate it in equal measure. Its slick, cool, trendy, swanky and well served, but if you turn up in a suit, or find the bar is full (ie. seating service only) then you are shoved out into the cold.
I love going, but go rarely for fear of simply having to schlep further on to another cool bar. Boohoo to me I suppose!
I really like Lounge Bohemia. It certainly does live up to its name, as it feels as if you’re in an underground bar somewhere in Prague. The drinks are decent, and, given the area, the prices are all right (around the £6 to £8 range). There’s also what seems to be a great range of Czech beers as well. Complimentary nibbles are served, but, as another Qyper said, I certainly couldn’t imagine forking out £5 for them as they are tiny. The music, if I recall correctly, is classic jazz, something I absolutely love. The only thing missing from the smoky jazz bar feel is the smoke. And that’s a good thing!
I’ve been to this place twice so far, once during its first few months of opening and when you didn’t have to make a booking to go in, and another during the last few weeks, this time, having made a reservation for six. During each of these times, I found the service to be polite and friendly, with the waitress checking on us in a non-intrusive way as to whether we needed more drinks.
However, on one occasion sometime last year, I was not able to get through to a person in order to make reservations. Instead, I left a voice-mail and e-mailed just before lunch-time requesting confirmation that I could indeed bring a group of friends there that evening. When I appeared at the bar later that night, I was turned away as the place was full, and the waitress just chased me off, sternly telling me I had to make a reservation next time. She waved off my explanation that I was unable to get through, and just chased me off. I can certainly understand why some people would consider this pretty rude and not return, but the memories of my first time there stayed with me, and I’m glad I gave this place a chance and came back.
Comment 2 comments on this review
KatBrown, 13 September 2010:
raistlyn! Good stuff - I've been trying to hunt down an email address for Lounge Bohemia for a while as I'd love to have my birthday party there.
Would you mind sharing it? I can't find it anywhere.
raistlyn, 13 September 2010:
Hi there Kat,
I think it'd be a great place for a birthday party, so good idea there! I don't think they have an e-mail address anymore... at least not one they check or respond to! I popped in there last week just on an off-chance they had tables free (they didn't) and was told that I'd need to call and book in advance, and was given their card which only had a number (07720 707 000) and no e-mail.
Lounge Bohemia is my favourite bar. I always take visitor’s as a treat and go mid week.
If a place asks you to book first, then book, regardless of how empty it is when you get there. Also, their no suits policy makes sense if they are trying to create a certain relaxed atmosphere. There is no sign as they don’t encourage walk in’s and want it to feel like its a great secret you keep amongst your friends.
I’ve never found it to be pretentious, it is what you make it. The staff are lovely and attentive and know everything about what’s on the menu.
My friend, visiting for one night only from NZ has the best martini 'of my life’. He’s a great cocktail maker. I love the cocktails too, the jasmine green tea vodka is amazing, the absinthe drip is fun with friends - the lavender creme brulee cocktail is AMAZING. but feels almost like pudding. I haven’t eaten here but I don’t think I would. Its all about the truly great cocktails.
I love the 20th century furniture and the low key jazz music. You are brought a little tray of 3 canapes and a caraffe of chilled water. The menu’s are in quirky vintage Czech books - this place is fun and you can relax.
Of course there are going to be pretentious people in there, its Shoreditch, let them be, they’ll grow out of it. And also they don’t make a venue - they just attend them for a bit, get bored then move on.
This place is great - a little corner of calm amongst all the try hard places in east london - I love it.
Lounge Bohemia has many good points, but also many bad ones:
These are very well made and well mixed, by someone who clearly knows what they’re doing, there’s no excessive ice / parasols / bottle juggling, just original well proportioned drinks.
£6 may not seem too great for a cocktail, but for a well made one that’s not mostly water it’s pretty much the best thing going. There are some pricier drinks but they seem a little gimmicky, although possibly are an effort to make.
60’s isn’t really my thing and this is on the borderline of being granny flat rather than retro chique, but in combination with the not too loud music it means it’s lounge like, a good place to catch up with old friends in. like the hidden menus / toilets / location.
The staff seem to fight amongst themselves and with their customers. Seem to expect people to guess that they prefer advance bookings [making it less like a lounge :( ]and are rude to new clientelle with who they should be trying hardest with. A sign would help. A smile and people might return. Someone in a suit was refused entry to this half full bar - I secretly agree with this principal but again, people should be told in advance because being rude to peoples faces upsets other customers.
Positive to have free food with the cocktail, but wouldn’t pay a fiver for three pieces of sushi assuming that’s what the menu refers to. Not much of a kitchen unless that’s hidden too, so maybe that’s it.
Every website I’ve read a review for has mentioned cocktails at a fiver. This is no longer the case. They’re 6 quid. This is still a fair price for top quality ingredients and interesting options. The two I’d most recommend would be Sgt. Pepper and Saffron Collins. These were the winners hands down and we tried a large portion of the menu.
This is the kind of place you’ll be hesitant to tell others. Please don’t go blabbing to all your friends. it’s still relatively easy to score a table even on a Saturday night. BOOK IN ADVANCE! You will embarass yourself by just showing up. We saw some seriously cool people get turned away.
One of the most terrible experiences in Shoreditch.
I went there with my friend and we were second couple in the room, the rest is completely empty. When we asked to be seated two girls at the bar pointed at the table of two other customers. We couldnt believe that in an empty bar we are getting seats at other people’s table. We werent happy and wanted to leave and a girl at the bar yelled at me: “Next time book darling!”
Definitely wont be coming back.
Lounge Bohemia could have been one of those bar-by-numbers where everything is glossy and minimal and characterless. Let’s get this straight, Lounge Bohemia is pretty swanky, but in a very subtle cool way. Really nice furniture, lampshades, and a basement-esque location, you get there through an inconspicuous side-door on Great Eastern St. The proceeding corridor is wallpapered with the pages of Czech newspapers, just so you know you’re on the right track. Last time I went with some friends, we shared a platter of hors d’oeuvres that were pretty basic but nice, for £10. It’s the drinks that are sublime, though. I had the honey caipirinha for £5 which was literally the best I’ve ever tasted. At at least £5 per cocktail though, be prepared to savour rather than throw ‘em back.
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