Launched just over a year ago, The Bathhouse in Bishopsgate Churchyard has swiftly become one of the City’s best kept secrets. Its unique blend of old-world eccentricity and movie-star surrealism proving a real mecca for the party loving east end crowd and a seriously atmospheric setting for masked balls and fancy dress extravaganzas alike. Factor in the venue’s brand new restaurant and you’ve got all the ingredients for a great night out.
Set against a backdrop of the towering offices on either side, the little chapel like edifice protruding above ground looks impossibly tiny and weirdly anachronistic but once you descend into the crypt below, you realise that it’s a complete Tardis!
Originally a set of traditional Turkish baths, the venue dates back to the Victorian era but an impressive overhaul by prominent east London design team Daniel Wright and Tava O’Halloran resurrected The Bathhouse from its more recent incarnation as an abandoned storage space.
O’Halloran’s more-is-more approach has injected her ebullient personality into the design aesthetic with provocative handmade wallpaper, lavish fabrics, gold-leaf detailing and a healthy dose of the gothic, lending the subterranean venue all the magic and drama of a film set.
Now, however, The Bathhouse has relaunched with a new gourmet restaurant where diners can take in burlesque and cabaret performance by flickering candlelight while indulging in a classic British seasonal menu with ingredients sourced from the UK's finest suppliers. Particular highlights include Barnbury Herdwick lamb with crushed pink fir potatoes and robust Gloustershire Old Spot belly of pork with chorizo and butterbean cassoulet and then lighter options featuring Ravioli of goat’s cheese and Homemade mackerel pate on sourdough.
And with summer finally upon us the alfresco terrace is also coming into its own: revellers can enjoy freshly blended cocktails including a decadent blend of passion fruit vodka, vanilla and dark chocolate – aptly entitled the Victorian Passion.
Already a firm favourite with famous faces from the fashion, film and music worlds – Roisin Murphy, Amy Winehouse and Vivienne Westwood – to name but a few, it’s unlikely The Bathhouse will remain under the radar for very much longer.