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The Hide Bar (Bar)

Picture of The Hide Bar in London Bridge & Bermondsey, London

39-45 Bermondsey Street, London Bridge & Bermondsey, London, SE1 3XF
Cuisine: Modern European
Tel: 020 7403 6655 | Email to The Hide Bar | Transport: London Bridge | Write review

The Hide Bar Review

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Aren’t geeks wonderful? Their acutely obsessive behaviour has supplied the rest of the world with decades of fun-poking material. At school, whenever you needed to steal someone’s marbles, they were in the playground. At university, whenever you were looking for a hilarious game of ‘count the pens in the lab coat pocket’, they were dutifully at hand.

Paul Matthews once displayed symptoms of extreme anorak-wearing. He was a specialist conservationist. Unusually, however, his particular strain of geek virus mutated into a ‘cool’ virus and one day he suddenly found himself selling his flat in order to set up a trendy bar in Bermondsey.

You see, Paul’s other passion was alcohol. He was as geeky about booze as he was about soil and hedgehogs. Nothing could deter him from choosing the back streets of London Bridge as the setting for his new bar - The Hide (see, even the name is cool).

In a move that seemed about as clever as setting up a recording studio in Simon Cowell’s garden shed, Paul built his swanky bar right next door to the WSET, aka the Wine & Spirit Educational Trust. Madness, you might think, until you realise that Paul ensured all his staff trained at the WSET and even pinched his wine manager from there too. Phase 1, complete.

Phase 2 – bring in world experts for a variety of Joe Public tastings every Tuesday.

Phase 3 – provide an unusual selection of house spirits, including a gin from the Shetland Islands.

Phase 4 – import delicious draught beers from as far a field as Greenwich.

Phase 5 – give punters the opportunity to challenge the bar staff with one of the many ‘smashers, cobblers, slings, sours and flips’ in the 1890 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide, kept at the bar.

Phase 6 – the wine. Oh-ho-ho, the wine.

Now, the wine selection is not large. No, large is something that you order at McDonalds. What is on offer at The Hide is probably known in the wine circles as ‘The Bible’, due to the fact that it comes in a book roughly the same size as the Old Testament.

I overheard another wine geek saying something like, “An amazing mix of aromatic, German and Alsacian whites, full bodied New World reds and some eclectic choices from countries such as Hungary. This is one the most interesting, diverse and affordable wine lists going today”. I guess that means it’s good. It must be, the Dom Perignon is cheaper than it would be at Tesco.

The food is very much centred around the philosophy “If it’s not locally produced and doesn’t compliment our wine, we’re not interested”. However, there are rumours that smoked reindeer will soon make an appearance on the menu, once it finds its own way from Finland.

So who will you bump into? Mostly students, sipping on their early morning organic coffee. Or media skivvies that have managed to tear themselves away from that all-important meeting (with the fussball table) back at the office.

Could it be the art deco wallpaper, the faux stone bar, the reserve selection Wall of Wine (i.e. The Good Stuff) or the concrete Slough-car-park ceiling that draws them in? Perhaps, but the likelihood is they just like the drinks and food on offer. Not to mention the free wifi and choice tunes.

And if smell was ever an issue worth covering, The Fresh Flowers beats The Urinals in the Lavatory Smell Factor. And whilst we’re on the subject of odour, The Hide is already completely smoke-free. Leaving you with a cardigan that doesn’t reek like Dot Cotton when you make your way back to the fussball/office.

If you could bottle it, it would be a vintage Chablis Premier Cru Cotes de Lechet, allegedly. Otherwise, 9 out of 10. more

Customer Reviews for The Hide Bar

Average (based on 7 votes): 7 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Hide Bar.

“Very disappointed when I received the bill for 3x gin and tonics Saturday evening....Without consulting they had served DOUBLES!!(I was driving- so extremely unhappy that they made this decision on my behalf when I had just asked for a 'gin and tonic' standard measures by law being 25ml. On top of that a 12.5% service charge despite the fact that I had to go to the bar to order and to pay the bill. (£37.50) Will not be going back on the basis of how underhanded this was Not a classy establishment, check out 214 Bermondsey gin bar a little further down”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
J, London (3 years 18 days ago)

“I too have been to the hide bar on several occasions - and found it very much to my liking. The food has always been excellent (Ignore Alek, he was obviously having a bad day) and the selection of alcohol on offer is awesome. Tuesday night is a particular favourite when they have a tasting evening which is always well worth attending. The staff are friendly and obviously take pride in their craft. All in all it’s definitely worth taking a trip to Bermondsey Street to check out.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
christo, london (13 years 4 months 25 days ago)

“After about half a dozen successful visits I can confirm that the Hide is a very decent spot for a few weeknight beverages, with lots of attention to detail both in the drinks and the environment making it stand out from more run-of-the-mill bar offerings. The owners are obviously very fussy about what they offer their customers, with an impressive range of interesting beers, great cocktails and an extensive wine list where even the cheaper end is good quality (pretty rare in my experience!) Definitely a valuable addition to the fast-growing enclave of bars and restaurants around Bermondsey Street and certainly worth a visit if you want to try somewhere a bit different.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Matt , London (13 years 4 months 29 days ago)

Show all user reviews for The Hide Bar

“This bar is fantastic! Alek were you really in the same bar as me?! Have spent many happy hours here and the atmosphere just begs you to come in and chill out. Hired out the back room (for free!) for a work function which they catered for us as well. Staff are friendly, helpful and really know their stuff. Re food and drink, in this age of over processed, tasteless menus, not to mention the environmental impact of food miles it is such a pleasure to see a business which values it's local community and other businesses in the area, without the pretension of many London bars. Food and mouthwatering coffee from Borough Market, and cheese from Neal's Yard as well as beer from the superior local brewery in Greenwich! For a great bitter try the Black Sheep and the wine list has something for everyone. Go to this bar, you won't regret it!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Elsie, London (13 years 5 months 12 days ago)

“The first thing I have to say is, Alek were you really in the same bar as me? I think that the Hide is possibly one of the most relaxed and well run places that I have spent time in. It is not the cheapest, but then if you want cheap go and hang out in a Weatherspoons and drink your £1.45 Stellas. The range of beers (beers as opposed to lager, dont drink lager) is very good and if you ask nicely you can taste before you buy. I dont think that I have ever tried chocolate beer, but it was an experience I wont forget and that I enjoyed. I must admit that I have not tried much of the wine but the choice seemed absolutely huge, and the spirits are great. May I recommend the Snow Leopard vodka as cracking and from what I heard very cheap compared to other bars in London. The food is very good for a bar, I think that people need to remember that this place is a bar that serves food and not the other way around. The only slight criticism is that because of the large selection of booze people take ages with their orders and sometimes there don't appear to be enough staff, but the staff that are there are always helpful and enthusiastic. Top place!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Mark, London (13 years 5 months 12 days ago)

“This bar is just so cool - the wine and spirits list is way above average, the cocktails are wicked and it's open till 2am on a Friday. Plus the food is fab - the wild mushroom risotto is worth a detour and they serve Neil's Yard cheeses. The Hide Bar is a very good addition to the neighbourhood.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Linda, London (13 years 6 months ago)

“I wish I could find a single redeeming feature when it comes to describing The Hide, alas, my experience of lunching there was so appealling that The Hide now ranks as my worst London restaurant experience in years. Where do we start? Surely with the food, which, if certainly not overpriced on paper, undoubtedly is when one is presented with the joke that gets /microwaved/defrosted/cooked up in the kitchen. The tapas-style appetizers were at best mediocre at worst completely failed: prawns were rubbery and served with a sauce which just could not be considered spicy - it was pure, tastebud-annihilating chilli. The chorizo in cider was not only uninmaginative, it was also more animal fat than meat - and where was the cider? That was all before I got served what came as the dire crowning of my lunch, the Spanish tortilla - a burned, dry piece of suspicious-looking omelette, which I assumed had been warmed up from a few days prior to ending up in my plate. It came with the driest and blandest manchego I've ever had this side of Madrid. I mean, c'mon, it's not like it's easy to mess up a tortilla, right?! Who in London supplies these guys the supposed Spanish basics that form the basis of their tapas offering?! Fire the supplier, now! Onto the service now. They absolutely and unashamedly could not be bothered. The menus were left on our busy table, and when put down on the floor, for sheer lack of space, stayed down there until we left - and that was in spite of the waitress pas”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Alek, London (14 years 8 days ago)

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The Hide Bar is passionate about serving high quality produce food, locally sourced where possible. Food includes mains for one, but is geared more towards appetizers and sharing platters for groups to share over a few drinks.

Updated 31/01/2011


We are rather obsessed by our cocktails, have an award winning spirit selection and are tenants of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, so are rather particular about our wine too. Beers from the Meantime Brewery on tap and bottles from all over the place complete the picture. The best of something for everyone!
Full drinks list on our website.

Updated 31/01/2011

The Hide Bar Opening Hours

Monday: Closed Friday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
Tuesday: 5:00pm - 12:00am Saturday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
Wednesday: 5:00pm - 1:00am Sunday: 3:00pm - 10:30pm
Thursday: 5:00pm - 1:00am    

Additional Information

Events and other great things going on at The Hide Bar

We hold a Tuesday tasting every other week. They cost £10 per person which includes the tasting wine/cocktails/spirits/beer & sometimes food pairings. Tastings start at 7.00pm and last around 2 hours.

Updated 31/01/2011

The Hide Bar Hire Details

Name: Back Room
Type: Restricted Area
Days: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 0 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 50
Notes: Minimum spend does apply depending on the time and day of the week. Please contact us to confirm.

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