30 May 2016

Who needs a beach when you have the Myki Sand Bar?

When I first heard about an underground beach bar, I was a bit baffled. Isn't the whole point of a beach that it's y'know, in the open air?

But actually, it's genius. And Archer Street Bar (located on Archer Street, who would've though) have pulled it off, with aplomb.

Outside was suitably beach festive

Upstairs remains the same - dimly lit and sophisticated - but as you descend downstairs, Ciroc-themed photos in frames adorn the walls, and a blue haze creeps in.

And this dude was only too happy to pose for me...

The music was the very essence of summer, blasting through the bar. If anything, it was maybe a bit *too* loud (clearly a Granny at heart).

And the drinks were, obviously, tropical and exotic. I sampled a "Yes I Like Pina Coladas" with Ciroc coconut blended with pineapple, Coco Lopez, cream and a pinch of salt, and my friend tried a "Heatwave" (which seems to be the drink of the night) with Ciroc vodka, peach liquer, chilli bitters and orgeat. We weren't familiar with most of the ingredients, but they went down well.

All the long drinks are served with what I *think* is a banana leaf, obviously adding to the summery vibe.

Although my drink was beautifully presented, it wasn't very flavoursome - I would have liked more pineapple in it. But we went on to have "Boys of the Summer" which was flippin DELICIOUS and I couldn't recommend it more (even though it's on the pricier end of the scale, because it has bubbles in it) with Ciroc Pineapple, blood peach puree, lime juice, vanilla and topped with Billecart Salmon champagne.

Proof of how poppin the joint was...

We arrived at half 6 - when the event was advertised as starting - and people were already there, with the bar becoming almost impossible to approach by 7pm. It was craaaazy! But the vibe was really fun, and everyone was getting stuck into the theme.

So apart from the drinks, what makes this a sand bar? Um, maybe the fact that part of the bar floor is covered in sand. With beach balls.

And little booths, where we plonked ourselves when we realised that the people who reserved them were a no-show, were like stepping into Santorini.

Please excuse the random, ugly shot - just proof that the sand continued into the booths, too. Maybe not ideal if you're wearing heels, but hey, it's fun!

We couldn't resist playing with the balls - heh heh - for a bit.

And before we knew it, the bar had somewhat emptied... and it was clearly time to move on.

It's a really fun space, so I definitely recommend it for after work drinks if you're in the area (the closest station is Piccadilly Circus, and it's practically next door to the Ham Yard Hotel), and it would make a great date spot.

It was brighter outside than inside, which is always a bit confusing (hellooo, lighter evenings!) but the short walk back to the station still felt quite magical with all the twinkly fairy light, and maybe the influence of some special cocktails.

I can't get enough of these themed bars - they seem to have stopped being so faddy - and will be exploring a few more over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.

*I was invited to this launch event in exchange for review - but all opinions expressed are my own.

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