Please note, Bar Termini Centrale is now closed. Time Out London editors, October 2018.
Squeezing into the original Bar Termini on Soho’s Old Compton Street is all part of the charm that helped cement its status as one of the finest places to drink in the capital. The tiny bar serving equally tiny coffees and cocktails is literally the toast of the town. So it’s good news that a second, larger bar has arrived. When we visited on a weeknight, rather than struggling to find a seat, we had our pick of the tables.
The same elegant Italian look has been carried across to this suitably sophisticated Marylebone location, with muted green leather banquettes and luggage rails up above. A small terrace outside offers an authentic alfresco experience. Staff milled about the chequerboard floor, singing and whistling along to old Italian tunes, or perched at our table to offer advice on the menu – including samples when we were feeling particularly indecisive. Not that you’ll need much help, since the menu is almost a carbon copy of the one in Soho; an inspiringly anti-choice drinks list with just a smattering of negronis and aperitivos on offer. As before, they’re all liquid perfection: the olive bellini is a gorgeously balanced savoury number and the Spritz Termini, made with rhubarb cordial, is awakening as ever.
What the extra space has allowed is a fully functioning kitchen for snacking from breakfast right through to the evening. That includes mini paninis for just £1, although they’d sadly ran out when we visited. We made do with an exquisite selection of Italian cheeses instead.
You could argue that the Marylebone branch doesn’t have quite the same magic as the diminutive original, but it’s just different is all, geared more towards daytime drinking (coffee or cocktails, you lush). And what’s the sense in arguing when you can be having a phenomenal drink all the more easily? Shaddap you face and fill it with spritzes instead.