I was sent an invitation to the launch of Below The Cut, a basement hidden speakeasy-type bar below the newly opened Hanger SW6. You can read our original review of Hanger SW6 here.
The evening would showcase some signature cocktails and a selection of their bar menu.
I don’t often head into Fulham, there’s not much there to lure me over there that I can’t find in Soho. But after a walk down the high street, it’s pretty clear that cocktail bars are a rarity here.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a lovely bartender, who quickly whipped up two Ginocellos, a cocktail shot of Martin Miller’s Gin, lemon and sugar. It was lovely. Nothing crazy, but nice.
The space is cozy – like being in someone’s spacious living room with sofas and intimate tables dotted around and record sleeves adorning the walls. There was a singer with a guitar which created really nice atmosphere. Live music will be a regular feature here.
We moved onto the next cocktails: Royal Lady, vodka, rhubarb, angelica, prosecco, and the G&T Vesper, Birchalls Earl Grey infused Martin Miller’s, Martini Bianco, BTW Tonic Syrup and grapefruit. The Royal Lady, again was nice, but nothing that made me want more. But my oh my, the Vesper was remarkable. Perfectly balanced, crisp, in an ice cold martini glass. Nothing makes me happier.
While on a cocktail high, we tried the last one: Jack Sour, Jack Daniels, lemon, sugar, angostura bitters, egg white. This one was puzzling. I brought along a friend who was a cocktail enthusiast no less, and was very expressive with her disappointment in the choice of whiskey, considering they had a pretty nice selection on the back bar.
Signature cocktails are proudly displayed on the wall as you approach the bar. The Hanger Old Fashioned excited us – could it be made from the fat cuts from the steaks upstairs and washed into bourbon? We asked the bartender and while he was nice, it was a disappointing no, and said cocktail is just a textbook old fashioned. We asked to see the drinks menu to get an idea of the identity of the place. There are drinks there to please everyone. Even a dated Cosmopolitan, but hey ho, someone must still watch repeats of Sex and The City. But a cocktail bar? I don’t know, it lacks the creativity and innovation that GREAT cocktail bars should have. The bartenders were all so lovely, it just would have been nice to see some Below the Cut personality reflected on the menu.
Food wise, we had small bites of calamari, hummus, Fulham cheesesteak (which was slices of steak with melted cheese on ciabatta), and cheesesticks. All were tasty and well seasoned and would serve well as bar snacks with these cocktails. Again, lacking imagination, but maybe that’s not their agenda here.
Overall, if you live locally and you’re after a nice drink, Below the Cut will do the trick. Even better: dinner upstairs at Hanger, followed by drinks and live music below, and you’ve got a good first date.
Contact: Below the Cut, Hanger SW6 – 461 North End Rd, Fulham, London SW6 1NZ. http://hangersteak.co.uk/
‘A self-proclaimed vegetarian but will eat anything in the name of culture. Loves food, photography, people, and a slight unhealthy obsession with dogs’ -Michelle Chen