Walk into 510 Below and you’ll think you’ve stepped into a different era. Dark, candle-lit and retro, there’s one suited waiter behind the bar, a whole lot of gin and not much else. It’s the definition of a hidden gem; entrance is only provided through Manuka Kitchen, the popular restaurant above, and the whole place will fit a maximum of twenty people before feeling cramped. It’s a far cry from the happy hour bars on the high street, but I have a feeling Fulham socialites are going to fall in love with this little drinking den…
510 Below is the kind of place you feel compelled to order something on the rocks with a sultry wink, but I restrain and take my time mulling over the menu. Seating is extremely intimate and provided by way of vintage armchairs and cosy sofas, the lights are dimmed and the place has an air of swankiness that makes you feel like you are going to have a great night.
The menu is a gin-lovers dream. There’s a range of specialist distils and unique labels from Bloom, Beefeater 24, Fifty Pound and City of London to name a few. In fact, they offer 40 different types of gin, so even if you’re not partial to the stuff there’s bound to be a tipple that takes your fancy. The waiter is also more than happy to help find your perfect drink.
Monkey 47 is a spicy gin with hints of cinnamon and rose petal, there’s also saffron gin and gin mare, another spicy gin with flavours of basil, tomato and rosemary. Choose a gin and the waiter will tailor make a cocktail for you depending on your likes or dislikes, or pick something from their signature cocktail list. Hot Honey comes recommended, which consists of gin, ginger, cucumber and honey, as does Ben & Laura, which features Sailor Jerry, Amaretto and mango.
Food is also available from Manuka Kitchen, the popular restaurant upstairs. But these are no ordinary bar snacks. Nibble on honey chilli roasted and soy infused cashews and peanuts, enjoy an artisan cheese board or line your stomach with chunky chips with truffle oil and parmesan salt. If you fancy something sweet, the bitter chocolate and Manuka honey truffles should do the trick.
Just like the waiter’s immaculately ironed shirt, everything here is done to perfection. The ice cubes are double frozen so they don’t water down your drink, they use a ‘Copa de balon’ so the gin doesn’t get trapped at the bottom of the glass, and they only use Fever Tree tonic. (And we’ve all seen their adverts on the Tube.) They also look like they have a special technique of pouring, but I don’t want to ruin my spirit connoisseur façade so instead of trying to explain it you’ll have to go and see for yourself…
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