Welcome to your favourite new bar-on-a-museum-rooftop; The Midnight Apothecary.
And don’t worry – they don’t only take doctors’ orders.
Going strong since 2011, it’s the botanical brainchild of Lottie Muir, aka the Cocktail Gardener, who – when asked if she would take over the unloved wasteland perched atop Rotherhithe’s tiny Brunel Museum – not only spruced the space into a charming fairylit urban garden, complete with salvaged garden furniture, firepits, and thriving vegetable and herb patches; did the sensible thing and brought in booze, too.
Now, whether the sun’s starting to set over a balmy summer evening or winter winds are stirring, you can head up to the garden for a botanical cocktail like the Hedgerow Sour or a Rhubarbra Streisand, tuck into hot food from their resident chef Priyan, and toast a limitless supply of free marshmallows on the open fire. And while visitors come from all over London to this secluded spot, the genuine hospitality of The Midnight Apothecary team and the conviviality that comes from sharing in the secret of this hidden gem gives the place an authentic, community atmosphere that’s hard to match anywhere else.
Beneath the rooftop garden is, perhaps, the most unexpected part of the Brunel Museum. It’s the cavernous, underground shaft designed by Brunel senior (and where Brunel jnr. almost drowned while building it). It’s a vast chamber half the size of Shakespeare’s Globe, that once led to a subterranean tunnel beneath the Thames in the early 19th century. Now, those tunnels are used by the tube, and this grand entrance hall has finally been reopened as an unusual spot for film screenings, concerts and cabaret nights. And whenever The Midnight Apothecary’s open upstairs, you can usually slip downstairs for more cocktails, live music and raucous folk dancing. In short, you should definitely check it out.
That’s our order.
NOTE: The Midnight Apothecary is open every Thursday-Sunday evening during the warmer months, and entry costs from £5. You can check dates (including occasional winter openings for Valentine’s Day, etc), and book ahead, right HERE.
The Midnight Apothecary | Brunel Museum Rooftop Garden, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF
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