When it comes to bars and restaurants that put music first…
…Spiritland is one for the record books.
The company’s something of a modern day Renaissance man, bringing music, sound tech, food, drinks and socialising all under one umbrella. They started their physical presence with a tiny, triangular listening booth in Mayfair (stocked with £300 headphones and a drinks cabinet full of Japanese whisky), before scaling up to a fully fledged bar and recording studio in King’s Cross. Now, they’ve landed their biggest space yet, tucked right underneath the Royal Festival Hall.
The place works as a de facto extension of the Southbank Centre, sharing its distinctive retro aesthetic and laid-back atmosphere that’s made for relaxing. Spiritland’s gone hard on the 70s feel though, with intimate, curving leather booths; soft-focus lighting; and liberal stretches of pegboard on the walls.
Spiritland is an all-day dining spot open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a menu put together by head chef Mauro Petrozziello and and executive chef Karl ‘Moondog’ Calvert. With a broadly Antipodean accent, it spans from vegetarian small plates to big hunks of lamb rump, peppered with globetrotting ingredients from bonito to skordalia.
Where Spiritland really comes into its own though is as a late-night, post-show, booze-laced hangout. Thanks to all the recording booth-style insulation (not just a pretty face), it’s acoustically designed so that you can hear both the person sitting next to you and the music. That becomes especially important on Thursday – Saturday nights when – from 8pm – top-class DJs (previously including Hot Chip and Jarvis Cocker) take to the decks.
Add a batch of exceedingly well-made cocktails and a 2am late licence into the mix…
…and it all sounds pretty good.
NOTE: Spiritland is currently closed at this location, but we’ll update this as soon as it reopens. You can find out more on their website HERE.
Spiritland | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
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Main image credit: Ed Reeve