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Archer Street (Bar)

Picture of Archer Street in Soho, London

3-4 Archer Street, Soho, London, W1D 7AP
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7734 3342 | Email to Archer Street | Transport: Piccadilly Circus | Write review

Archer Street Review

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Best for: Wasting time in Soho before your reservation at Bucco di Lupo; expensive cocktails; cheese and mango chutney.

Great: to look at…from the outside; impressions of Glee musical breakouts.

Archer Street in Soho reminds me of the film ‘Identity’. The story goes: a motel; lots of guests; and a murderer. One by one the characters are killed off. The culprit at the end (SPOILER ALERT) is a guy called Malcolm. All the characters within the movie are part of his split personality. I won’t completely ruin the end. To be honest, I still don’t get it myself.

So many characters, so many personalities, so confusing; just like Archer Street, only without the murdering. This bar professes to be ‘a sophisticated cocktail lounge with a lot of personality’. From my visit, I think it should probably read ‘too many personalities’. The Archer Street story goes like this…

Music personality: played by my granddad. One minute he’s listening to Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, the next thing you know he’s trying to put a Prodigy cassette in a CD player. He has dementia.

My guest (not Gramps) and I arrived to the crooning tones of Dean Martin’s ‘Sway’ in the background. Not long after, an episode of Glee erupted. One minute the waitress was taking our drinks order, the next she’s up on the microphone with her version of Jessie J’s ‘Do It Like A Dude’. From ‘Hold me close, sway me more’ to ‘Dirty sucker, you think I can't get hurt like you, you motherf*cker.’

Drinks personality: played by the smarmy guy at work, he thinks can deliver the world but he can’t; he’s all mouth and no trousers.

After the sing off, the waitress/Jessie J delivered our drinks: for me, Champagne in Yorkshire, made with gin, Champagne, rhubarb liqueur and syrup. Sounds delicious, right? Wrong. It had the promise of something spectacular, but instead was dreary and dull in flavour and colour. Archer Street is pitched as a high-end cocktail bar, with the prices to match; I expected a lot more.

Food personality: played by the nerdy kid at school who really wants to be one of the cool kids. He wants to stand out but ends up making a fool of himself.

With our next round of drinks, and before we’d even had dinner, we were served dessert. A chilli martini and Hendricks and tonic served with a platter of cheese (?!). That wasn’t the only weird part; the mini cheese platter was served with mango chutney. I’m being completely serious, just like the kind you have with poppadums. A cheese platter is the last thing I want before dinner. What’s wrong with olives or almonds as a pre-dinner snack? Archer Street serves complimentary pre-dinner bites between 5-7pm, which is a nice touch, but cheese? Cheese and cocktails? Baffling.

Interior personality: played by Aunt Geraldine who spits on her tissue to wipe your face. She means well but she’s so bloody annoying.

Described as a ‘casual ski chalet’, Archer Street is more like a show home, all a bit too try-hard. I shared my window seat with eight huge cushions (they definitely had more room than me), which looked out over a jumble of distressed panelling (fresh from Ikea), quirky mirrors, luxurious velvet sofas, and on-trend button back armchairs, dahling. Upstairs there was a lovely bookcase that, on closer inspection, turned out to be wallpaper.

Exterior personality: Played by the hot guy you’ve got your eye on. He has all the credentials to be an absolute catch but when he speaks he’s got the voice of Joe Pasquale.

From the outside, Archer Street does looks enticing with huge French windows, warm lighting and lots of people creating a buzz, but, when you’re inside, the outside looks much better. On the other side on the street sits one of London’s best Italian restaurants, Bocca Di Lupo, somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. We watched as guests steadily streamed into the restaurant, some lucky diners being led to their table and the less fortunate being turned away, sent, possibly, in the direction of Archer Street to while away the time until a table was free. I suppose this bar is good for something then.

This is where the credits come up in our Archer Street split personality movie. In Soho, where there are so many unique, different, creative and cool bars for discerning drinkers, Archer Street doesn’t quite seem to fit. When we left, my friend came to an excellent conclusion: “this place would be really cool, if it was in Reading.” Couldn’t agree more. With so much stiff competition in the area, Archer Street is no longer on my radar.

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Customer Reviews for Archer Street

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 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 Archer Street.

“In Archer Street the music was lively, you could see and the people working there were great! They had microphones and were singing a duet at one point. You can really tell what bars are popular from word of mouth than ones that are in the middle of the Soho drinking area.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Georgia Abbott, Orpington (5 years 2 months 7 days ago)

“Had a few cocktails at Archer Street after work, it was alright but pretty expensive. Not sure about the waiter behind the bar going for a singsong instead of making my drink!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Tom, Reading (6 years 1 months 16 days ago)

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