Rev J.W.Simpson – The ultimate unique London haunt
The phrase ‘…only in London’ exists because this vibrant capital city of ours comes with an all-accepting open-mindedness which allows totally crazy concepts to exist with incredible success.
A fabulous example of this is packaged in the form of Rev J.W.Simpson -a bar with a jaw-droppingly cool back story.
Located on Goodge Street, Rev J.W opened in November 2012. The owners bought it knowing they wanted to turn it into a bar but didn’t really know much more than that, they assumed that some kind of inspiration would occur to them -and how right they were.
The lightbulb moment happened when they tore the plaster board off one wall. This place spent part of it’s life as a tiny little club and when the plasterboard was removed, they realised the club had been constructed by erecting fake walls over the original existing ones. This meant that when they got all DIY SOS on the place, they discovered that the space started life as an apartment.
This apartment belonged to a Reverend called J.W Simpson, who lived there from 1963-1987.
All plaster board was removed and what lay underneath were the haunting remnants of the original tenant. Where the kitchen had been, a tiled wall and hooks for pots and pans still adorned the walls. The bedroom space was still wall-papered -and the headboard of the Reverend’s bed had left an eerie unfaded shadow -with a crucifix shadow above it from years of them being against the wall. Each and every room in the apartment can be identified with different ripped, faded wallpapers -but the inner separating walls have been removed to create an open little underground drinking den.
It’s weird, but praise God it’s wonderful. A bit bonkers, but wonderful. As are the cocktails -because the team overseeing the beverage mixing are none other than the Bourne and Hollingsworth clan. Expect original, flavoursome, unique and very strong drinks.
But there’s more! They like to keep you on your toes -there’s no room for complacency with those Bourne and Hollingsworth folk. That’s why they’ve beefed up their menu for Christmas (no beef was involved in this process, just FYI), resulting in a whole host of new, seasonal beverages. My recommendation being the Hot Buttered Cyser -described more than once as being like ‘Christmas in my mouth!’
It made sense at the time.
This place oozes atmosphere and a unique back-story, making it a must-see bar in London.
Plus, how many times can you say to your work colleagues “I got drunk in a vicarage last night…”
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