Hidden, quite literally, in the City of London, is a new drinkery that’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of the busy high street outside. In fact, you will be transported back to prohibition-era America – but first of all you’ve got to find it.
It quickly became apparent on the opening night that The Gobpsy is not your average bar with big signs and a big presence. Unless you know exactly where you’re heading, you’re going to stay thirsty. But locate a retro barber’s shop on Fenchurch Street and you’re certainly on the right track.
Armed with a password (needed for the launch party) we opened the door to be greeted by a glamorous flapper girl sweeping the floor. She asked if we’d come for a haircut – in my case suggesting a restyle into a 1920s bob – and looked suitably puzzled when we replied that we’d come for a drink. Things changed after we uttered the prerequisite sentence: “I’ve got an appointment with the head barber”, and she put away her brush and led us down a set of dark stairs at the back of the shop that seemingly ended with shelves stocked with towels and barber’s tools.
But with a push the secret door swung back to reveal the low-lit, eclectic bar that is The Gobpsy; a modern take on a speakeasy, mimicking the illicit, hidden bars that opened in the US in the early 20th century when sales of alcohol were banned.
It’s a fun and atmospheric venue for a get together with friends or, dare we suggest, a secret liaison, and the teal velvet and gold furnishings give it a decadent feel. Behind the well-stocked bar, mixologists create innovative cocktails with theatrical flair.
Signature cocktails include the Cat’s Meowwww, a luscious concoction of chocolate and orange infused Vodka, Triple Sec, Orange Marmalade, Lemon, Egg and Bitters with a Jaffa Cake garnish. Alternatively, there are tipples such as The Big Cheese created with Bourbon fused with Homemade Raspberry Conserve, Triple Sec, Organic Orange Juice, Soda and a garnish of Fresh Berries. Cocktails range in price from £9 to £12.50. Other options include house wine from £5.50 a glass or £23 a bottle or fizz with bottles of Prosecco for £6.50 a glass or £35 a bottle and Moët et Chandon Champagne for £11 a glass of £66.50 a bottle.
If you’re looking for a bar that’s a little bit different and off-the-beaten-track, then The Gobpsy certainly fits the bill. From now on you won’t need a password to get in, but you’ll probably need one of the barbers to point you in the right direction.
The Gobpsy, 142 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 6BL, England.
The Gobpsy is beneath Bolatti barber’s shop and accessed through the main door to the gents’ hairdresser. The nearest tube station is Monument (Circle and District Lines). The bar is open from Monday to Wednesday from 12:00pm to 12:00am and on Thursday and Friday from 12:00pm to 1:00am. Happy hours are Monday to Friday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Saturdays and Sundays closed. The Gobpsy is also available for private parties and events.
Type of Bar: Speakeasy Cocktail Bar
Price Band: Medium
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of The Gobpsy