Food & Drink
Hide Below is on one of London's busiest thoroughfares, in one of its most notable restaurants. Yet step into its oaken innards and it feels like nirvana
In the base of Michelin-starred megalith Hide is a bar that's surprisingly calm for such an acclaimed restaurant. Descending oaken steps that feel like you’re the Fellowship Of The Ring, the downstairs is full of amber lighting, dark wood and charming waitstaff. If you’re looking for somewhere quiet, pleasant and aesthetically pleasing, Hide Below is the absolute dream.
Inside, you might find yourself sat at the long, rugged bar that feels like some ancient map, or something hewn from a tree that has inexplicably grown through this Piccadilly restaurant. You might also find yourself in a series of handsome nooks, where groups can conspire like they're sitting in some fantastical tavern. The Hide wine cellar is also here, alongside three private dining rooms, if that takes your fancy.
The cocktails are always changing, but the menu is just the right combination of familiar and experimental: these drinks are the product of Oskar Kinberg, the cocktail genius who also worked with Ollie Dabbous and his previous venture before Hide. The staff are also more than happy to explain the process behind each drink, which are as fascinating as they are tasty. Particularly enjoyable on GQ’s visit was the Adam & Eve (Somerset cider brandy 5YO, Diplomatico Mantuano rum, fino, fig leaf, spices, lime and clarified milk). It's a crystal-clear version of a milk punch – a technique made popular in the 18th and 19th centuries – and this translucent elixir is packed with autumnal flavours. For something slightly sweeter but equally comforting, we fell hard for the Pineapple Express with muscat, cardamon, bayleaf and pineapple.
The bar food here is also an absolute delight: the bread basket is a work of art both to look at and on the tongue, while a cheeseboard that goes in order of intensity is a true showcase of Britain’s finest fromage. A charcuterie board, containing lamb and goose, is fatty and unctuous and naughty, just what you want with a sharp blast of something boozy.
Back out on Piccadilly, you'll be amazed anywhere was quite so calming in such a central part of London. Yet Hide Below – while far from covert – is an amazing place to sit back and simmer after a day in the thrum of the capital.
85 Piccadilly, London W1J. hide.co.uk