Food & Drink

Jason Allen 01/12/16


NOTE: BYOC East is now closed.

How to walk down stairs:

STEP 1 – take step one

STEP 2 – take step two

Repeat until you reach the bottom.

And if you’re in the right part of Aldgate when you do it, you’ll find an all-new branch of BYOC there.

Like its Camden counterpart, this speakeasy cocktail bar is a dimly lit, entirely secretive, old school drinking den. But more importantly, also like its Camden counterpart, it leaves the alcoholic part of the cocktails to you.

Allow us to explain.

Having booked online, you’ll arrive, clutching your own treasured bottle of spirits, into the welcoming snug of BYOC East, which maintains the old speako feel of its sibling venues, with dim, candlelit tables and bartenders in suspenders and newsboy hats. And, like any good speako, it’s well hidden – look out for the tiny gold plaque, or ask at the restaurant. This particular establishment, however, has also taken inspiration from the “great British Library” and is filled with 1,600 books (which might be a subtle way of evoking a quiet atmosphere …but don’t read too much into it.)

For £30, you’ll be able to indulge in a two hour session, during which one of BYOC’s expert mixologists will get to know your own personal palette and tastes before taking your poison of choice – be it gin, whisky, absinthe, or paint thinner – and making something unique for you. A little bit adventurous and quite a bit boozy, the cocktails will be designed on the spot and prepared with homemade purées and syrups made from fruits, spices, foraged wild ingredients, and some top-shelf mixers.

…Leaving you with plenty of time to finally get round to reading Great Expectations.


NOTE: BYOC East is now closed, but you can still visit BYOC Camden.

BYOC East | 19 Bevis Marks, EC3A 7JA

Like hidden bars? Check out the Best London Speakeasies


19 Bevis Marks, Liverpool Street, The City, EC3A 7JA

8.5 | Great