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Tom Leighton
Tom Leighton
Tom Leighton
Tom Leighton
tomleighton.co.uk t:07939 250935
Venue says: "Artisan cocktails blessed the south London way. Blessed happy hour every day from 5pm-8pm."

Churchgoing in England has declined to indecent levels: less than 5 per cent of the population pass into holy sanctuary weekly for a word with the Big Man. But could the likes of Communion be what’s needed to herd the unbelievers back into the flock? Underneath the revered Angels & Gypsies tapas restaurant in Camberwell’s Church Street Hotel, this new cocktail bar looks the part, with enough backlit stained glass to get Richard Dawkins on his knees. Each table comes with a sample of the blood and body of Christ: a glass of communion wine, sickly sweet as a priest’s whispered inducement, and a wafer authentically dry as his old cassocks.  

Leave these to the pious (or the pi-curious) and skip straight to the sacrament – the tapas shipped down from the restaurant are great, and as well as the usual sort (cured meats, croquetas, tortilla) the small Spanish platefuls include things like Kentish steak with horseradish aioli and fennel salad with feta and pomegranate.

The superb drinks show real invention too, with the menu claiming that they take inspiration from local south London. This means lots of rum (there’s a long list of sipping bottles), plus some little-seen ingredients like the Jamaican sorrel in a Likkel Rascal (as well as pineapple, nutmeg syrup and sugar cane, £7.50), or the Nigerian Guinness foam with Araku rum coffee liqueur in the Tannery (£8.50).

But what about the Grass Arena, served in a brown-paper-bag-wrapped bottle, park-bench style, and made with Carlsberg Special Brew, chilli-infused whisky, cranberry syrup and Buckfast tonic wine? Could anything potable be wrangled from such a cornershop collection? It’s named after a book by local reformed-alcoholic-turned-chess-pro John Healy, and wasn’t quite as bad as it sounds, but I didn’t make it to the end: it may be a tribute to SE5 too far.

From Thursdays to Sundays there’s live music in this unconsecrated undercroft – not Gregorian chanting or hymns, but that of the funk, soul and folk variety.

The theological theme could have been overbearing, but it works; plus it’s not just open on a Sunday and the food and drink is divine. High praise indeed.

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Communion Bar says
Fine, hand-crafted cocktails spun into the early hours, Communion Bar is a place to enjoy a baptism of exceptional artisan beverages and music amidst a magical setting.

A celebration of the vibrant South London culture that makes our small moment in space and time unique. At Communion Bar we pay homage to sacred beverages, mirroring the wondrous flavours from our community while sharing in the entertainment that makes our south London roots so special.
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Venue name: Communion Bar
Address: 29-33 Camberwell Church Street
Opening hours: Sun-Thursday 5pm-1am Friday & Saturday 5pm- 3.30am
Transport: Tube: Denmark Hill rail or bus 36, 436, 185

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
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Staff Writer

Cute bar with plenty of "quirk" for want of a better word. The decor is almost overwhelmingly thememed but once you're settled in its actually pretty soothing- much like a real church, cool, dark, soft coloured light... comfy.

Above all the pomp the cocktail menu is pretty excellent, there is a happy hour which is worth making to taste around the menu a little.

On my last visit the bar staff were really accommodating making me a drink off menu, and making it really well. Its often quiet here as people haven't quite figured out it's there yet so great for long catch ups or dates.

Rachel n

One of the most GOREGOUS bars you will ever encounter. The drinks are also beautiful, fresh and in season, a perfect first date spot. The staff are very passionate about what they do, talented and friendly. I just wish it was nearer to me so I could go there more! 


This was my first ever trip to Camberwell and I loved it - Communion Bar is awesome.  Great church-like decor, fab cocktails, and tasty tapas from Angels & Demons restaurant above.  Oh and the live funk music is really something special.  This is worth the trip to Camberwell.  More details, pictures and cocktail recommendations here: http://hyhoi.com/2014/05/communion-bar-cocktails-tapas-live-music/

- Nina
Have You Heard Of It? restaurant & bar blogger | HYHOI.com

Barbara M
0 of 1 found helpful

If you want to be taken for a ride go to this "cool" bar. Cocktails are overpriced and weak with no alcohol, more like a fruit juice. Rude and arrogant manager and staff! Avoid, avoid is all we can say!!!