Bar Termini

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Soho
Recommended
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(26user reviews)
 (Andy Parsons)
1/7
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
2/7
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
3/7
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
4/7
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
5/7
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
6/7
Andy Parsons
 (Andy Parsons)
7/7
Andy Parsons

Quality coffee and cocktails from alco-alchemist Tony Conigliaro and Illy's head of quality Marco Arrigo.

When someone calls two people a ‘dream team’, my hype-detector lights up. But with Bar Termini, the DT moniker seems fitting.

Bar Termini does two things: coffee and cocktails. Coffee is overseen by Marco Arrigo, head of quality for Illy, who has probably trained more baristas – and trained them rigorously – than anyone else in the UK. Cocktails are supervised by Tony Conigliaro, the alco-alchemist behind 69 Colebrooke Row and Zetter Town House, among others. Teams don’t get much dreamier than this.

So, have they found a supersized venue to match the giant reputation? Ha ha ha. There’s room for 25, and seated service only, though you may stand if you order a single ‘espresso al bar’ (£1) for Italian-style drinking-and-running.

The coffee list has just four brews, all of them classics but with a twist. The alcohol list has three negronis, four ‘aperitivi’, three wines, one bottled beer. There is also a small food offering: baked goods from L’Anima in Shoreditch by day, charcuterie and cheese in the evening.

I went for coffee at lunchtime. The ‘espresso al tavola’ (they’ll explain what it means) was unusual but flawless. On my second visit later the same day, I had a marsala martini: Beefeater gin, sweet marsala, dry vermouth, almond bitters served straight-up. A model of simplicity and balance, this is one of the best cocktails in London.

Prices for hot drinks are higher than the norm (£4, apart from single espresso), but that’s a for triple espresso shot. Cocktails, by contrast, are cheap (£6.50-£8) for this quality and the Soho location.

The tiny Bar Termini is likely to become a hot ticket; booking (through OpenTable only, not working at the time of going to press) is required after 5pm. The dream team has dreamt up a vision of a bar. Get in there before everyone wakes up to it.

Click here for Time Out's exclusive offer on cocktails and food at Bar Termini's five-star follow up.

By: Richard Ehrlich

Posted:

Venue name: Bar Termini
Contact:
Address: 7 Old Compton Street
London
W1D 5JE
Opening hours: Mon-Thur 7.30am-11.30pm; Fri 7.30am-midnight; Sat 9am-midnight; Sun 10.30am-10.30pm
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:9
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:3
LiveReviews|26
3 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful

Really, really good coffee served here, illy of course. It is cosy and intimate and a great place for an aperitivo or cocktail. Top marks....

tastemaker

I have walked passed (and read about) this place numerous times and finally managed to make the time for this little gem of a cocktail bar. As you as you walk in, the atmosphere transports you out of Britain and plonks you in the middle of a small European bar, reminiscent of somewhere in Italy. There are limited number of tables and chairs, but that doesn't stop punters to dot themselves around the bar and chat with the bartenders. The service is one of the very best in London. Our French attendant was friendly, charming and attentive. The short drinks menu is well curated with drinks that are stiffly executed. If you haven't been yet, you're missing out.

tastemaker

This place is positively reverberating with that old school Italian charm. Think pasta, strong coffee, long summer nights with negronis, Aperol spritz; and adorning some glamorous attire as the sun settles under the horizon and the sweetness in the sea air sweeps you to your supper date. Now that my friend, even if it’s only for a second - is dolce vita. Here you’ll find all the required food groups: coffee, cocktails, Chianti, charcuterie and cheese; need I say more? The service is very attentive despite how busy they were on a Saturday night. My New York Sour and our house negronis were flavoursome, boozy and yet easy to drink. The staff are incredibly friendly and accommodating - it really does feel like going to your favourite local for a drink. So bring your Sophia Loren sass, summon your Gina Lollobrigida sultriness and indulge in remembering a simpler time.


Tip: they do allow walk-ins however they get incredibly busy in such a tiny space, so I would advise making a booking, especially at peak times, although you may still have to wait!


Good For: catch up with friends, small groups, casual drinks, date night

tastemaker

I went to Bar Termini for a coffee and was pleasantly surprised by this little cafe with only 6 tables. It felt cosy and intimate, perfect setting for some catchup time with friends. Service was quite slow and coffee a bit expensive hence the 4 stars but i would be keen on coming back to try their cocktails.

tastemaker

I had high expectations of this bar before I came in and I have to admit I was slightly disappointed. The atmosphere was fantastic, and I loved the background music, but I didn't get the train station theme? The drinks were quite nice and I liked the waiter' s uniforms. I suppose I was slightly underwhelmed.

Tastemaker

I really wanted to love Bar Termini as I think Tony Conigliaro is a wizard mixologist. I gave it a try twice. But no. I’m sorry, but I do not get the idea of getting allocated a one hour slot to mock-pretend you are at a train station bar to squeeze into a tiny cramped place past customers and flimsy wooden chairs. Those chairs, as authentic as they look, seem to tipple over if you touch them with a ladies’ clutch, so I cannot begin to imagine the havoc a sturdy metal Rimowa suitcase might wreak here. To be fair, the cocktails are quality, but also the negronis are ridiculously small and I honestly don’t think you can possibly elevate a 3 component cocktail to a level that would justify charging £8 for a 50 ml (if that!) serving, add all the pink peppercorns you wish. So yes, it’s atmospheric and the drinks do taste good, but I was actually looking forward to leave and getting some great and more fairly priced drinks nearby. After all, there’s no shortage of good bars in the area.


Blatant racial discrimination, and thus the worst experience I have had in a London bar. To begin with, the server appeared to look for an excuse not to seat us even though there were two free tables. We were seated, but it was clear we were less than welcome. After that, in a tiny bar (6 tables total!) we were completely ignored for over half an hour. Despite repeated requests no server came to our table, and they took great pains to avoid eye contact. In that time multiple parties entered after us, had their orders taken and were served their drinks (!) while we kept asking to be attended and continued to be ignored. It was evidently no coincidence that we were the only non-white people in the bar. I have had similar experiences in bars in other countries, but not in London, and never expected to be treated this way at Bar Termini. But I see from TripAdvisor and OpenTable that we are by no means the first non-white party to be treated this way. If you aren't white, I am sorry to say this may not be the bar for you.

tastemaker

Love this little place in Soho. Their Aperol spritz is probably the best I have ever had in London and their ham - or prosciutto crudo - is to die for. I always order some parmigiano too. Not the cheapest bar, but totally worth it!


Our mixologist was incredible. He was knowledgable, enthusiastic, and patient. You could really see his passion for flavour and have our attention at the right time. Great venue, great atmosphere :) thank you


Amazing place with very cool atmosphere! The staff are very friendly and make you so welcome. The best espresso martini I've ever had! Will 100% be back!

Tastemaker

Bar termini is a small and classy 1920s style bar tucked away on Old Compton Street. The service on our visit was impeccable - water and menus were brought to our table as soon as we sat down, and because they have a strict limit to the number of people in the bar at any one time, the cocktails were with us within a few minutes of ordering. The cocktail menu is short but well thought out and there is a small bar snacks menu as well. They take bookings which give you one hour at a table or the bar and it's definitely a good idea to book in advance as they were fully booked up on the Friday night we went. The music isn't played too loudly at Bar Termini which makes it a great place to go when you want to have a proper chat over cocktails.

Tastemaker

Cocktails and coffee here are flawless, but I can't say I am head over heels about the 'ambiente'. The bar is tiny, loud and slightly chaotic. Bar Termini unfortunately does not provide a very relaxing environment to enjoy your Negroni Aperitivo in, even if it is a killer one.


This place is great for a negroni in Soho (or a coffee too). It's decked out like a 60s Italian train station, but not in a gimmicky way. It feels subtly classy and the drinks are good.

tastemaker

Sometimes when I love a place, I don't want to share it. I want to hold on to it as long as I can... which lasts for like 3 minutes. That's why I am a #TOTastemaker. 


Bar Termini in soho is my absolute favourite place to have coffee in London. It is tiny and always full. It is impossible to get a place almost. The great news is THEY ACCEPT RESERVATIONS! And they honour it. If they have people coming, they gently tell you they are expecting other company at a certain time...


But bless them on 30/12/2015 at 5pm with no reservations, my friend Dan and I got two seats by the window! How amazing is that? I waited for Dan who is almost as crazy about great coffee as I am. While waiting, the Termini people tried to get me drunk by offering Prosecco and their famous Negroni, which because I am quite a regular there, I regularly never say no to BUT because I was there especially to show off their coffee to Dan, I wanted to keep my palate clean. So I kept drinking water... until dan arrived 15 minutes later!


He immediately ordered a latte and me an affogato. He was so impressed by how the latte was served and presented. Oh look, he said, a cookie and we get to do out own latte art. 


Before you know it, I was also seduced to order a latte for our second round... and a third... and we were like children making our latte art and taking photos with our iPhones.


The bar is intimate, cosy and we ended up talking to the people next to us, who were there for the first time and in London for holiday. On the other side were a group of Italians. Although they have a seating capacity for only 25, it is intimate enough to have a private conversation.


They only used Illy - regularly monitored for quality by Illy's head of quality Marco Arrigo. Try the Italian style Espresso Bar for £1 or go crazy like us and order endless latte and leave the bar buzzing...


Trust me, after Termini, you don't really want to go and have coffee anywhere else, especially in Soho. 




This place is my fave little hideaway in soho for a good, proper coffee! Super central and easy to get to, really quick service and cool cocktails in the evening. Love that a quick shot of coffee is available at the bar too if in need of a quick boost! They also serve some light bites - cheese and charcuterie, which is always a plus for me! 

Tastemaker

The best Nergoni I have ever had in London. Small venue, so you'll need to book but such a special place in the heart of Soho you will happily disappear there for a few hours.


A great bar for the Italian classics, with a menu heavy on negronis, martinis and bellinis. It's a small space but looks fantastic.


great overpriced coffee - ive never had one of the cocktails which look awesome so my review is really for the place and it's coffee. It's a great location, beautifully fitted out and has a good vibe. You can usually get a table quiet easily in the mornings.


Perfect spot for a drink, whatever time of day you happen to be passing! Everything as spot on as you'd expect from the people behind it.

Staff Writer

Went there with a friend visiting London from Brazil after work and whilst waiting for my partner to join us to go and have dinner. We didn't book a table, but still decided to go and see if we could get a glass of wine. Because it was early, they told us they would give us a table but we would have to move/go when the reservation showed up. They somehow organise it around it and one of the tables cancelled so we actually stayed long enough for 2 drinks and some gossip before dinner. The waiter was very pleasant and the drinks not bad at all - but be prepared the place is tiny tiny so not much privacy :)

Staff Writer

I love this tiny bar/cafe in Soho. In a part of the city that always feels rammed this is one of my favourite spots for a civilised drink. It's inspired by an Italian station bar, complete with old luggage piled on racks attached to the wall. If you're a cocktail connoisseur you'll appreciate their inventive cocktail list (try the Terroir with flavours of clay and lichen! Kind of like licking a rock, but in a good way). Plus there are three different variations of Negroni, tasty nibbles and top coffee. They're open from 7.30 on weekdays which is a tempting reason to really go Continental and sit at the bar with an espresso and the paper pre-work. 


Amazing place. Been there a few times now and booked each time. Tiny - not a place to go to for a big party, but fabulous for a date and the cocktail waiters are brilliant. Negronis are top notch in my opinion and there are many places that would charge more.


Booked tonight. Was warned in advance it's only for an hour. Great cocktails. Great recommendations. Nice space. Suited Soho. What's not to like?


Terrible experience. We booked a table and weren't told there was a time limit. The waiter then suddenly showed up and asked us to go. When we said no the manager came over and after telling us to leave said we didn't have any proof they hadn't told us the limit ( we did, as they'd left a voicemail) and she would ask the bouncers to throw us out. Unbelievable!


Good idea but far from being one of the best bars in London.

For a true negroni (that is not served in a shot-dessert glass! without ice and orange slice) I recommend the bar at maze grill.

£6.50 for a SIP of negroni?? I would pay double for a proper one.

Ps double check the prices before ordering the coffee.

Disappointed.


Cosy, haha. This place is tiny. My sister and I went there on Sunday evening. I was reminded of the crowded cabin scene in the Marx brothers' Night At The Opera. As my sister pointed out, whoever designed the place has made things more difficult for themselves by introducing banquette seating, reducing the space available even further, and building a bar that takes up almost half of the room. We were crammed in a corner, and everyone squeezes around one another constantly. There is a kind of eccentric charm about it for a while, as if one were trapped in the confines of some surreal 80s neo-noir, but after a while it does make you want to move on elsewhere. The review refers to there being one bottled beer available, but if memory serves it's Peroni, which is barely a beer at all, more of a lightly corrupted mineral water. Even if you wanted to stay with the Italian theme there are way better beers coming out of the country than that. The negroni classico was lovely - and tiny - and my sister's cocktail was also excellent. The service was great when the poor man could reach us, but really, why they chose this spot for a bar I cannot tell.