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Company Below (CLOSED)

  • Bars and pubs
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A tiny, lovely basement bar underneath Soho meatball specialist Balls & Company.

Please note, Company Below has now closed. Time Out London Editors, February 2018.

We fell in love with Balls & Company when it opened last summer, becoming the capital’s first meatball specialist. At the time, the place had two floors: the ground floor, home to the postage stamp-sized kitchen, and the basement, which was an extension of the main dining area. 

Plans changed, as they so often do in the restaurant biz. (Every restaurant less than two years old should be regarded as a work-in-progress.) The downstairs has turned into a cocktail bar called Company Below, dispensing drinks to a tiny crowd: just 25 covers in all, in a miniscule room of which nearly half is occupied by the bar.

Seating is on highish stools. They’re not the most comfortable on earth, but will do, especially because the room itself is so attractive and cosy. It’s so small it feels more like someone’s home bar than a professional one.

But you won’t often find drinks at home like those on offer here. We sampled just one of their original creations, but it was a five-star fireworks-on-palate humdinger called Gin Dilla: gin, dill, lemon, elderflower liqueur and cucumber, garnished with a tree-size sprig of dill. Superbly balanced and very fresh and lively, it showed that high-tech messing around with ingredients (too much of a thing in London at the moment) is not needed to make cracking cocktails. This one made me want to go back and taste everything on the list, which is shortly going to be expanded greatly. Off-list, a negroni was textbook stuff. A dish of olives was notably scrumptious. Drink prices don’t climb over the psychologically important £10 threshold. 

Soho is not short on places to drink cocktails. Every new entrant needs something special to compete. In the case of Company Below, specialness comes from the cosy underground setting, the intimate size, and the skill behind the bar. It’s a winning formula. Even in Soho’s excellent bar world, Company Below is a cut above. 

Written by
Richard Ehrlich


58 Greek Street
Tube: Tottenham Court Road
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