31 Jamestown road, London NW1 7DB
“Located in the heart of Camden but set away from the jostling crowds of shoppers, we know Fifty-Five is a rare gem. Set over two spacious floors, Fifty-Five fuses the best in premium cocktails with an unpretentious, buzzing atmosphere every night of...” more...
29 reviews of Match Bar in English
I really enjoyed my visit to the match bar, tasteful surroundings, fantastic cocktails and really friendly and approachable staff.
The atmosphere is sophisticated, with low tables, subdued lighting and high quality fixtures. This place feels polished, but with a touch of class.
They did make a mistake with our order (we came late to a party and we had the same drinks as a couple of other people there had just ordered, so they assumed it was a duplicate order, so ours never arrived)… however they made up for this by giving the table a couple of fishbowls and the manager came over to appologise.
The cocktails were fresh, tasty and reasonably priced – although beware the service charge!
A nice bar, where it would be easy to spend a pleasant evening.
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Full review at www.grumblinggourmet.com
One of the original London style bars. Tricked out like a Manhattan cocktail lounge with lowslung seating, exposed brick and tile walls, lighting turned low. Recent renovations have seen the intallation of comfortable booths on the lower level as well as a revamp of the menu, now matching City sister Giant Robot, though if you've been there in the last five years, I'd be surprised if you could tell the difference.
The cocktail menu is a strong feature. Pages of classics vie with house specials behind the well stocked bar. As many purveyors of high strength liquids they fair less well with the grape and grain, beer limited to a measly selection of three bottles (one of them a weissbier) and wine proffered without comment by grape variety. Whiskey and Amaretto Sours go down well (the latter definitely not my choice) and the dirty martini, a good test of any bar, is competent, though I'm not offered a choice of preferred brand.
Foodwise, they go with small plates. It's beer fodder at best, hearty, stodgy and male (even more surprising given the office girl and post shop clientele. I'd have thought they'd be crying out for something small, wholesome and Asian, rather than cannonball-esque mini burgers, heavy (though tasty) deep fried rice and mozzarella balls and sharing platters of charcuterie. Don't get me wrong, it's well enough done, though more suitable for soaking up pints than the cocktails more regularly quaffed. Slightly bland crostini and an odd, almost chemical guacamole are best avoided.
I am not really seriously moved one way or t'other with Match Bar. Yes, the location is convenient if you're the centre of London and the prices are representative of its prime location, so no complaints about that. They do also have some nice spacious areas that aren't completely drowned in pulsating West End sound that you can indulge in audible conversation, which depending on who you're talking to also has its disadvantages.
The toilets deserve a mention. I have only ever been in them sober and even then it was confusing enough. I spent a couple of minutes apologising, sidestepping and trying to avoid bumping into someone that I eventually discovered to be a reflection of me in the curiosly-located full length mirror. Then I almost walked right into the Ladies ("honest, officer...'). Confusing. With a bellyful of booze, God only knows what could have occurred.
This place is very convenient for after-work drinks so went to farewell a colleague last night. Had that sneaky feeling I've been here before a long, long time ago but couldn't quite place it!
It's a long, dark, thin bar with a raised mezzanine running all down the right hand side and a private room at the back that can be curtained off. Our group was large so we moved from a nook on the mezzanine to the back room once numbers increased.
It was fine at first but quite echoey(?) and hot - once the air-con was switched on it was much less like Hades in there. Liked the decor, toilets were OK if a little small and I thought staff seemed friendly enough. They bill themselves more of a cocktail bar so only had one bottled beer available at £3.80ish, bit of a waste as surely in summer people will drink more beer? Maybe I'm just a pleb...
Brilliant place. I went to Twinterval here and have been back a few times since as there is an area you can reserve.
Drinks are average for this area which means expensive but it is still a great place to hag out. The music is never too loud and the food is decent and fun. I especially like the fries in a little bucket!
This place gets pretty busy on a Thursday or a Friday, but that's probably because the cocktails are pretty good. Prices are relatively steep but the drinks are good, and the location is very central - the atmosphere is pretty good too.
All in all a great place for a few cocktails that are always well made and hit the spot.
Comfy, squashy sofas, solicitous table service, super-convenient location and easy stumbling distance from the nearest tube station all make Match a handy place to have up your sleeve if your showing visitors the sight of Oxford St, or just need somewhere Central to meet with a friend for a tipple or two after work.
Satisfyingly chunky chips, sophisticated decor and polite, helpful service. As the others have said, it's far from cheap, but it's hardly extortionate given its location. I'm usually more comfortable in scruffier joints with more character than this, but after a couple glasses of wine I was at feeling right at home, and that doesn't happen often in these upmarket city centre bars!
(written on Nov 12th 2009)
Good cocktail list and cozy sofas. Actually I think that the company and the fact that I got there after having had a few drinks already were better than the place itself.
(updated on Jan 29 2010
On my first visit I hadn't notice how bad the music was, probably because of the previous drinks. Bring headphones.
I think I might have liked this place more had it not been for the rather extreme prices. It's also not that big, so on a Friday night you just always seem to be in the way wherever you stand or sit.
That said, I can't really fault the quality of the drinks. Wine turned out to be more reasonably priced than the cocktails too. They do have great funky drinks menus and the place had quite a good vibe, but I wouldn't rush back.
I wasn’t sure I liked this place when we first arrived. It’s a bit plasticy. But, after spending hours (and hours and hours) in there yesterday, the place kinda grew on me.
That might have had something to do with the cocktails. They do mix a damn good tipple here. I’m fussy about my cocktails so I was really impressed with their bellinis. I only had a couple but everyone else seemed to be very happy with their many many many drinks. Shots of expensive whiskey was drunk (and splilled) at one point.
The place is fun. I imagine it’s more fun on a Friday (we were the only people in the whole place!). I’d come back here, but I don’t think I’d cross through Soho and past all of those bars to get here.
It is a bit difficult to be objective when you know the bartender… however I go here because he works here, and he’s very good. So their staff are well trained and that always helps in a city where bartenders are a dime a dozen.
They do some great food to share, and yeah it can be a tad pricey, but for a bar that is a hop, skip and jump from Oxford Circus… you do pay for the locale.
Do yourself a favour, come here and find out what a real cocktail looks and tastes like!
If you live in London, you need to check out a Match site at least once. They wrote the book on London cocktail bars being affordable, high-quality and yet relaxed and unpretentious.
If you haven’t been, go now. If they’re not open yet, bring a tent.
I have been here many times after work for a small sherry or 2 however this is the first time I have been at lunchtime to eat and I was pleasantly surprised.
In the evening it is jammed full with the after work revellers determined to wash away the days stress. The conversation is often limited due to the noise which can be quite tiring. However, the whole atmosphere seems to change in the afternoon and I had a lovely lunch in nice calm (yet trendy) surroundings…. overall a pleasant experience!
I had fish and chips which was very tasty, the price slightly blotted the copy book at £10 but what can you expect in W1?
Just been for a business lunch at Match and had a lovely time. I had the fish and chips which was just the right sized portion and a glass of house white which was perfectly refreshing.
A good little bar for lunch times or mid week drinks after work, the atmosphere is always cool.
A little on the pricey side for lunch, the bill worked out at £20 per head including drinks, but i would definitely recommend Match!
I almost had a seizure when i discovered that i got no change from £20 when i ordered 3 small bottles of beer and a glass of sauvignon blanc (the wine was £6 glass and the bottles of beer £4.50). This may be central London, but charging these kind of prices is absolutely insane. Lord knows what a cocktail would have set me back. At least the bar staff were friendly.
Anyway, apart from the oddly priced drinks menu, this place is quite cool. Decent music and lots of places to sit (although you’ll be had pressed to find a seat on a thursday or friday night). Yet to try the food, but i’m told it’s good.
I was hovering between 3 and 4 stars and erred in their favour as there’s nothing wrong about the place, it’s just not a show-stopper. There are some yummy cocktails £6.50-7 each - try the ladyboy. There’s also something quite novel about saying you had a fun night with ladyboys. Maybe just me.
As other’s have said, great location and we visited as we’ve just moved offices nearby and it’s something we’ll definitely return to (so please give us discounts).
Will then try the food. And let you know. Because my opinion counts.
Book if you’re a group otherwise expect it to be busy but it’s bigger than other pokey bars so not nose-to-nose busy.
It’s not often I’ll feel compelled to spend £7 on a drink but when faced with a nicely laid out selection of quirky cocktails I’m powerless to resist, it seems. On entering Match Bar with a friend earlier today I was struck by its sophisticated calm, decked out in dark wood and warm tones, and after a spot of heavy shopping it was a welcome place to have a little rest and fortify ourselves with a cheeky drink or two.
Our waitress happily recommended a drink based on my desire for “something fruity, not too boozy but with a bit of a kick” and the Mango Long was soon slipping down my throat like a soothing tropical balm. Cue lots of giggly conversation with my friend, subsequent glasses of the gorgeous house white and time flying cheerfully by.
At one point we were sorely tempted by the meze platter amongst other tasty sounding treats on the food menu, but decided to save our pennies for the next round instead. Ahh, the sign of a true Brit. If only Match Bar was a bit cheaper I could see myself spending time there regularly, as it is I’ll just have to keep it as a nice place to treat myself once in a while.
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