There aren’t many candlelit, subterranean cocktail bars hidden underneath Grade-2 listed chapels in central London.
In fact, there’s only one.
It’s called Below Stone Nest and it’s situated, well, below Stone Nest – that’s the performing arts outfit currently residing inside Covent Garden’s hauntingly beautiful Welsh-style chapel. The space was first built in 1888, and now hosts all manner of plays, dance performances, and concerts right in the centre of town.
It comes to us from the brothers Jackson & Frank Boxer who, true to their name, can’t seem to stop producing the hits. Jackson is the chef proprietor at the acclaimed Orasay, Frank is the man behind the cult favourite Frank’s Cafe over in Peckham (yes, he’s that Frank), and they both opened the antique-stuffed visual treat that is Brunswick House.
Putting their heads together once again, they’ve created what they call a “beautiful old fashioned dive bar” in the chapel’s cellar space. And it really is quite something, bringing some serious dilapidated chic A-game with crumbling stonework flecked by eons of peeling paint, and wooden ceilings held aloft by cast iron pillars. In fact, aside from adding a few chairs, candles, subtle light fixtures, and cushioned banquettes, their main decorative contribution has been to just leave it alone.
They did, however, take liberty of installing a bar, at which you can get a short list of cocktails & beers. Fancy some wine? Well, they have a highly curated list of just one low-intervention house white or red, an orange wine, a rosé, a cava and a champagne – all by the glass or bottle. If you want to push the boat out, however, they also have an ever-rotating selection of “special” wines taken from their own sweepingly all-embracing cellars at Brunswick House.
Of course all of this will be underscored by music, as arranged by a buddy of the Boxer’s named Tic (he represents bands like The XX & FKA Twigs). He’ll be curating live performances, DJs, and an “ever evolving playlist” on their soundsystem.
Not a bad place to nest for a little while.
NOTE: Below Stone Nest is open Wednesday – Saturday, from 6pm-2am. There are no reservations. You can take a look at their (very sparse) website right HERE.
Below Stone Nest | 136 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 5EZ
Want dinner first? There’s another hidden subterranean venue pretty much next door…