Brewdog Waterloo is a lot.
Inside the two-storeyed, 27,500 sq foot beeremoth they’ve packed a brewery, a podcast studio, half a dozen duckpin bowling lanes, co-working offices, an ice cream truck, a florist, and a giant, spiralling slide. It’s all accompanied by an unrelentingly boisterous soundtrack of noughties indie pop, and in many ways it feels like the physical manifestation of the song Chelsea Daggers. We’ve never seen it less than absolutely packed.
It would, in short, be a terrible place to make a phone call. And yet, should you run the gauntlet of pint-wielding crowds and find the old-school black telephone hanging outside the lost property office, you will be justly rewarded. Pick up the receiver, and you’ll summon a neatly dressed barkeep who’ll beckon you through a doorway, lead you through some thick velvet curtains, and bring you into what can only be described as a hidden, booze-laced oasis.
Welcome to Lost Property Office.
This speakeasy bar is the antithesis to everything going on outside: with just a handful of seats (booths and sofas for groups; stools and banquettes for couples) there’s a gentle chatter among your fellow guests. A smooth soundtrack – sometimes jazz, sometimes lo-fi French hip-hop – underscores them. And it’s soothingly low-lit, with cabaret-style lighting on the tables, smoky mirrors and burgundy leather seating. And it’s well worth seeking out, because this intimate, petite little bolthole is quietly turning out some of the highest quality cocktails we’ve ever had.
That’s thanks in large part to the man helming the operation, Rich Woods. He’s previously headed up the bars at Sushisamba and Duck & Waffle, and ran (the much-missed) Scout with Matt Whiley. And he’s a true alchemist, a mixology pioneer who seems to imagine the flavour he wants to create, then works backwards until he nails it.
Top billing has to go to the Approval Needed; a.k.a. Richard’s Chocolate Orange Negroni. It’s impossible to overstate how delicious this drink is. It’s as if Woods has found a way to melt actual segments of the chocolate and somehow transform it into a clarified drink. Other highlights on the regularly changing menu currently include the Citizen Cola, with cacao rum, cherry and caramel; a concoction that almost perfectly replicates a lemon meringue pie; and the Pina Co-Lager, a light, spritzy take on the usual thanks to a dose of beer – and you can bet that they can knock up an exemplary version of the classics, too.
And if you’re just after a cold pint? Well, there are plenty of those around too…
NOTE: Lost Property Office is open daily from 5pm. There are no bookings, just locate the telephone inside Brewdog Waterloo…
Lost Property Office | Brewdog Waterloo, The Sidings, Waterloo Station, London SE1 7BH
Making a night of it? Head to one of these excellent restaurants in Waterloo