Nine Lives

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars London Bridge
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Nine Lives

Cocktail hangout with a tropical vibe and sustainable ethos.

A pony-tailed doorman with a face tattoo shakes my hand before leading me below ground. Then, I’m meeting the whole Nine Lives team. I’ve only dropped by for an after-work tipple, but it feels like a family gathering (albeit a lot more trendy than the ones I’m used to – sorry, mum). In fact, it’s more of a family fiesta, with woven lampshades, wicker furniture, hanging baskets and low lighting, all making this feel like a covert jungle hangout in Costa Rica – one with a plush finish, mind. Apt that it should have the feel of such a green-looking country, since the bar operate on a no-waste policy.

According to their website, the team has ‘painstakingly given a shit’ while drawing up the drinks menu. Yet our waiter couldn’t tell us the story behind the name of Tonatiuh, a cocktail made from mezcal, bitters, vermouth and passionfruit that nearly knocked my friend out (he’s the Aztec sun god, fyi). Service staff didn’t impart much of the sustainability stuff, either. I know, I know, nobody likes a drinks bore, but there are some great stories to tell here. Like how they claim to re-use lemon pith to create essential oils for the bar’s liqueurs; or how they compost waste to help nurture a herb garden put to use in cocktails. It would be fun to learn more about the bar’s full-circle approach to drinking.

Still, the cocktails we tried were delicious, fruity and balanced, including the Alright Blossom, a low-ABV blend of prosecco, raspberry, rose and hibiscus, and the Kuti Bird, a pineapple-tinged mix served in a black tiki mug. Instead of charging the earth for these earth-friendly drinks, they’re throwing a ‘rent party’ on Saturdays with a £5 cover charge to help pay the bills. A sound system recycled from their long-gone neighbour Cable nightclub fills the air with mellow lounge disco, Sly and The Family Stone’s ‘A Family Affair’ included.

By: Laura Richards

Posted:

Venue name: Nine Lives
Contact:
Address: 8 Holyrood Street
London
SE1 2EL
Transport: Tube: London Bridge
Do you own this business?
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|5
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tastemaker

I've been to this bar twice now, and there's simply no spot quite like it in the area. It's imitate and yet lively and the drinks menu is to die for. 


However, every time I go here I end up in an argument with a member of staff. We were wrongly charged for table service and yet this is still our fault, I have been shouted at by the guy on the door and told distinctly that he doesn't care what I have to say, it seem that while some of the staff are there to work, others don't want customers at all.


On to a more positive note. The bar itself has the potential to really take off. The bar staff do cocktails with a twist, all beautifully presented, half the fun is watching them create them. The decor is very neat and comfortable meaning you can truly relax when you visit and the team will happily help arrange larger parties. 


I want to like this bar more but poor customer service really isn't acceptable.



tastemaker

As soon as I stepped into Nine Lives, I knew it definitely had the atmosphere down pat - perfect for a girls night out or an intimate drinks date. The establishment is tucked away from the main hustle and bustle of London Bridge and the interior pays homage to a more tropical and colonial time of palm fronds and rustic timber finishing. My Moby Dick (whisky, coconut, salted caramel) cocktail was not as sweet as the description suggests and had a more subtle coconut flavour to it; while the Thompson! cocktail (rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, lemon, maple, orange) was citrusy and boozy. Don’t forget to ask questions as sometimes it’s hard to know what the ingredient combination tastes like and the staff here are more than happy to help. They do have a small selection of pizza for those who get peckish, and a few beers available for those adverse to liquor…(?!)


Tip: they have events on Saturday nights so be sure to check their website and they also take bookings.


Good For: date night, intimate drinks, large groups, catch up with friends, events and celebrations, work drinks.

tastemaker

Such a hidden gem! I work practically opposite this bar and had no idea it was there. The decoration is very trendy and mix between industrial and Japanese - great for all the hipsters out there.


The drinks were reasonably priced, £6 wine and under £10 cocktails which is why the crowds are drawn to this place. It wasn't rammed on a Thursday night but had a good amount of people to make sure you could get a drink and to make a good vibe.


Perfect for after work drinks, date night or girly catch up. I will definitely be back.

tastemaker

Amazing new addition to the Bermodsey area. Just off the high street, tucked away on one of the side streets, this bar has it all. The decor is classy, the cocktails are delicious and the pizza is yummy. This is a central London spot where you should take your visitor friends to show off. We'll definitely be back!

Tastemaker

A subterranean cocktail lounge in London Bridge, Nine Lives is a sweet and secret cocktail bar located just minutes away from London Bridge tube station.


Located next to a railway in an unassuming side street, Nine Lives is pretty cool and sexy inside with colonial style chairs, intimate booths and Asian style lamp shades to round things off. They serve awesome cocktails while buying into the whole zero-waste ethos. Kudos for that. 


My favourite cocktails were the ‘Tonatium’ and ‘Lutra’ which were classy AF  and well-balanced. For those with a bit of a sweet tooth, the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ was a hit wth my fellow contemporaries.


Despite the side street, it’s located on, it’s situated in a pretty location if you ask me. It’s very close to London Bridge station (handy if you've had one too many) a few minutes walk away from More London and the Shard. 


Quite the hidden gem, Nine Lives is a great cocktail bar with banging cocktails, cool interiors and awesome bartenders to spend your night after work.

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