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B@1 (Be at One) (Bar)

Picture of B@1 (Be at One) in Soho, London

20 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London, W1D 7LA
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7479 7626 | Email to B@1 (Be at One) | Transport: Piccadilly Circus | Write review

B@1 (Be at One) Review

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Best for: a wide choice of cocktails; vibrant crowd; party atmosphere.

Great: daily offers and happy hours; enthusiastic bar staff; bustling central London location.

“After a night full of cocktails there are always a lot of cock-tales to tell” I once muttered as I staggered home from a night out.

At the time, my friend and I laughed heartily at my throwaway comment but the more I come to think about it, the more I believe it’s probably one of the best anecdotes I’ve made. How right I was. There is always a cheeky story to tell once a few cocktails have been consumed, and a lot of girls agree with me, mainly because it seems that we love cocktails more than men do. Whether it’s the colourful ingredients, the fruity deliciousness or the sugary naughtiness, every element of a cocktail has us ladies squealing with joy. So when I heard I was going to B@1 cocktail bar in Soho I couldn’t stop the smile spreading across my face.

A night in B@1 meant lots of cocktails and cock-tales. I couldn’t wait. But it was then I decided to do a little experiment. Instead of a girl, I was going to invite one of my boy buddies to come along. And not just any boy but a burly Scot who swears by whiskey and rarely drinks anything but whiskey. Surely a cocktail would be far too girly for him, right?

We waltzed into B@1 at around 7.30 on a Saturday night and were instantly hit by jollity. It was like walking into a busy club at midnight. It was bustling and atmospheric. People throughout the bar had obviously been enjoying themselves for a while already; with a happy hour running from 4.30-7pm, who could blame them?

The lights were low, the tables were full and the music was pumping. Not long before arriving I’d been sat at home enjoying a cup of tea in my pyjamas but now I was walking straight into central London revelry.

As we headed to the bar the staff were keen to hand us menus, a sneaky but good move in my opinion because what girl wouldn’t want to take a list of cocktails out of the hands of an attractive barman? I certainly couldn’t resist. And it wasn’t just a standard menu I was given, it was more of an encyclopaedia, with 28 pages of drinks divided into separate sections. From sweet to sour, naughty to nice, this comprehensive menu certainly has a tipple to tickle everybody’s fancy.

At first glance I had no idea what to choose so was delighted when the barman confidently threw together my perfect cocktail just by asking me a couple of questions. Once the diagnosis had been made, it was clear (apparently) that I needed a Candy Pants and my friend needed a more masculine Whiskey Sour, which didn’t surprise me. You can take the Scot out of Scotland and all that.

As well as being able to make amazing cocktails, the personable bar staff were enthusiastic, entertaining and knowledgeable. Plus they were rather easy on the eye (my eye in particular) and their cocktail making skills offered pleasant viewing. They even take song requests. Hint: they love playing Gold by Spandau Ballet.

Once moving from the bar, we managed to perch at a table that we shared with three others, who, by the looks of it, had been there for many hours. We instantly became ‘friends’, as you do, and before long were joining in a drinking game with Police’s Roxanne as the soundtrack (a definite cock-tale to tell in the future). Within minutes, our cocktails were gone so that meant one thing: more needed.

As the night went on, my friend and I managed to stock up on both cock-tales and cocktails, the latter very different from one another meaning we could really sample the varied delights on offer. The Scot even shied away from the whiskey and went for a real mix of spirits, proof alone that even the manliest male can enjoy a few cocktails.

What’s more, he wasn’t the only guy doing so. The bar had a mixed crowd full of different ages and nationalities. It was a fun loving, easy going and sociable throng that was completely different to the sort you’d find in an East End boozer. Everybody was out in central London after all, and with the amount of West End partying going on, I’m sure each and every person took home a variety of cock-tales to tell.

Eventually it was time to admit defeat against the shear amount of cocktails on offer. We just couldn’t drink anymore. But we both left content with what we’d tried and happily labelled the Beverly Hills Iced Tea and the Lychee Collins as our favourites.

The positives of having such a big menu is that both men and women can have their choice of cocktails, plus, every night at B@1 can be different from the last. Each visit will provide lots of new cocktails to try and a whole new book of cock-tales to tell, and I for one can’t wait to return.

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Customer Reviews for B@1 (Be at One)

Average (based on 5 votes): 5 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 B@1 (Be at One).

“Were these 'cock-tales' jokes supposed to be funny? Got a bit repetitive. This b@1 is alright for a chain though. Go here a lot with my girlfriends and it's always fun.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Lucy, London (6 years 6 months ago)

“I really rate the B@1 bars and this one in Soho in particular. These bars have the biggest cocktail menus around so it's easy to find something to your taste. The drinks are also reasonably priced, especially compared to a lot of London cocktail bars. B@1 in Soho is always buzzing and the staff really know their stuff.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Matt, London (6 years 7 months ago)

“I wasn't expecting to enjoy this place quite as much as I did, mainly because of it's location. But I've got to say that I loved it. It had a really friendly and busy vibe. The staff were great and the music really got my friends and I in the mood for a night on the tiles.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Kate, London (6 years 7 months ago)

Show all user reviews for B@1 (Be at One)

“I had a really good night with my boyfriend and wanted to finish it off by having a cocktail. Saw this place walking around so ventured in... The place was full and brimming with energy and the bartenders were a loud bunch acting up, tossing cocktails, throwing ice around and chatting with their mates. I thought what an amazing place...then after waiting 15 minutes of being overlooked for people behind me even though I was directly in front of the bar...at the bar I finally made my order for a "Frozen Strawberry Bellini" and a "Whisky Sour".... I finally got my drink after he mistakenly placed it in front of not one but two of his mates before I shouted out "over here" I stupidly tipped him but hey I work in a similar field and so I always tip... wish I didn't because the "cocktails" were absolutely foul... my "Bellini" tasted like cheap strawberry cordial mixed with beer/flat prosecco...my boyfriends "whisky sour" tasted like some vaguely alcoholic cheap soft-drink... I tried to drink more than 4 sips but felt sick. We returned our unfinished drinks straight to the bar and walked straight out... trying to get the rancid taste out of our mouths with chewing gum....never again. I can see why people go there if they are regulars who know the bartenders... but as a newbie with taste-buds looking for a nice cocktail...to be blunt...it's nauseating. Avoid.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Neldroid, London (7 years 10 months 25 days ago)

“Asked for a Pimms, was met with a blank expression. Bar staff are arrogant, only have a basic grasp of the English language and lack any knowledge of drinks beyond their small cocktail menu. Not impressed.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Helen, Islington (9 years 6 months 18 days ago)

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