Freud doesn’t look too dodgy from the outside, but that’s only because you can’t see Freud from the outside. This arty cocktail bar is at the end end of Covent Garden and it is sign posted but when you get to said sign post – nothing. Eventually, having expected it to be much like the other touristy bars in the area and therefore easy to actually see, you realize a small sign gesturing you down the pretty abandoned looking staircase to the basement. I assumed at this point that Dojo had got it wrong and the bar was shut, but my intrepid boyfriend ventured into the dark unknown and came out victorious.
Once past this entrance (part speakeasy, part Krakow underground club) we felt like we’d just discovered something very cool. It had smudgy art for sale on its grey concrete walls – you know the type. We arrived at around 2pm, after brunch (see my Flash: Kopapa review- it was delicious) wanting a quick drink and we left about 4 hours later having been entirely carried away by their excellent cocktail menu (everything approx. £6: as my dad would say “you can’t say fairer than that” for central London). It was pretty mellow at the start, so the heap of newspapers and super handy barmen were left almost completely to us. Over the course of the afternoon it got steadily busier. And everyone arriving was cool looking, wearing only black, with sleeeeek hair and skinny. By the time we left, having completed the Telegraph and the Times like two grandparents in the corner but having smashed a respectable portion of the cocktail board, it was getting pumping.
My favourite thing about this bar, aside from the pretty decent prices, is that it is completely un-Covent-Gardenny. That isn’t to slate the area at all: generally it’s great. But this is a really nice retreat from the busy touristy shops and piazzas, to fall back to day or night. Now that I’m brave enough to go down the stairs, I will certainly be going back much more regularly.
Location: Shaftesbury Avenue (end of Monmouth Street)