Nothing pricks up the ears around these parts quite like hearing about a hidden bar opening up in London. If you thought speakeasy joints were reserved for the prohibition era, think again — there are sneaky bars dotted around the city and, for London Craft Week, the secret is being spilled on the latest opening.
Tucked unassumingly beneath Charlie Borrow, the east London leather luggage maker, this has all the hallmarks of your whisky-filled basement speakeasy. While the bar normally operates as a member’s club, the space is being opened up in collaboration with Aberlour Single Malt Whisky.
As part of London Craft Week, visitors can either take on the hidden bar experience or even try their hand at a leather wallet-making workshop run by Charlie Borrow himself.
The Hidden Bar
On May 11-12, the bar will open up for whisky connoisseurs and hidden bar fanatics to shuffle through Charlie Borrow’s workstation and down into the wood-panelled, candlelit basement for a unique bar experience.
Once you’ve purchased your ticket online, you’ll be treated to two complimentary Aberlour whisky cocktails, which, when factoring in the going rate for cocktails in London, essentially covers the cost of your £18 ticket.
After finishing off your first drinks at the Aberlour speakeasy, you’ll have the chance to sample more specialist drinks that use Aberlour 12 Year Old and 14 Year Old and A’bunadh Alba Scotch Whisky. If you’re smitten with these, you’ll even be able to purchase a whole bottle of the stuff, ready to sip by the fireplace and ponder.
The leather wallet-making workshop
Also taking place on May 11-12, guests will have a rare opportunity to learn techniques from Charlie Borrow. Groups of 10 will be given expert advice before being ushered towards a special Aberlour tasting by their brand ambassador Tom Finding.
Guests will learn about the long history of Aberlour and the distilling process behind it, before being let loose in the speakeasy bar below the leather shop, where cocktails made especially for London Craft Week will be on hand.
London Craft Week runs between May 8-14, and celebrates more than 750 different makers, both emerging and established. You can browse more events on their website.
Find out more information and get tickets to both bar experience and wallet-making workshop here. You can find Charlie Borrow between Colombia Road and Boundry Estate, at 59 Virginia Road, Bethnal Green, E2 7NF.