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Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Marylebone
3 out of 5 stars
(47user reviews)
Purl (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
Purl (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
Purl (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
Purl (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
Purl (Jonathan Perugia / Time Out)
Jonathan Perugia / Time Out

Time Out says

We’ve long been fans of Purl, one of London’s first speakeasy-type bars and begetter of both VOC and the Worship Street Whistling Shop. It’s become extremely popular, which means that booking is advisable – though walk-ins will be seated if there’s space. The layout of the bar, over a number of smallish spaces in a vaulted basement, gives the opportunity for genuine seclusion if that’s what you’re looking for. And if you’re interested in cutting-edge cocktail making, you’re also in luck. Novel methods and unusual ingredients are used in many of their unique drinks, but they’re also unfailingly sound in the classics. We experienced slow service because they were understaffed that evening, but usually service is very efficient and always very friendly. The selection of spirits is both extensive, and outstanding. And the music is chosen by someone who has very good taste in jazz.




Address: 50 Blandford Street
Transport: Tube: Bond Street tube
Opening hours: Open 5-11.30pm Mon-Thur; 5pm-midnight Fri, Sat
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Users say (47)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:22
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:5
  • 1 star:11
1 person listening

I used to love this place about five years ago - top service, buzzy speakeasy atmosphere, concise but well-thought-through drinks menu and packed with surprises.  I've been twice recently and thought they might have been having an off-night but it's gone way downhill.  Well-meaning but totally clueless staff, no atmosphere at all, and sixteen poorly-described generic cocktails with none of the old magic and invention.  A great shame, just more proof that good places can get lazy.


This is a fantastic gem of a cocktail bar. Reminds me of the old jazz pubs in Chicago with low lighting and a fantastic selection of booze. You should sit at the bar because not only is each drink delicious, it is highly entertaining to watch the cocktail masters create the different drinks (some come with little cakes, one even comes with a balloon!) 

Highly recommend ordering the 'Jekyll & Hyde' drink (it is the one in the attached photo). It is delicious and it is like two cocktails in one!

Tucked away down some stairs, you would never know it is there. Open the door into a darkly lit traditional speakeasy cocktail bar. Walk ins are very hit or miss (we were lucky) so wold suggest to book. The cocktails are fantastic!! Very theoretical which adds to the enjoyment of very tasty drinks. Balloons, dry ice, flames and more to delight all the senses! Prices are as you would expect at £13ish a drink. Perfect for a date or a casual one because it is a wednesday!


After having the most graphic dreams about purl I knew the time had come to make those dreams a reality!

Its located in a dark basement with a prohibition feel. We were seated and our drink orders were taken a bit after.

What I will say is that the dramatics are entertaining.. Dry ice is always a winner with the crowd but the actual amount of cocktail we received was less than 3 spoonfuls.

I'm all for small quantities which blow ones mind but the quantity and quality has to reflect the price... I'm afraid that wasn't the case here. For £13 what we got wasn't good. Would I go back? I dont know ..... Would I recommend it? Not really. There are so many bars in London which deliver on a higher scale so....... Yeah I wasn't blown away


Legend has it this is the speakeasy bar that kicked off the trend of speakeasy bars. There are some good signs that this is true - underground, subtle entrance, entry by booking only and slightly inconvenient location (still Zone 1, but the outskirts of Marylebone/Fitzrovia). Though it's booking only it's not hard to get a booking, and if you turn up on a slow night you stand a good chance of getting in anyway. Once inside, it's pretty tiny (hence the need to book) and made up of a modest but richly furnished, romantically lit main room and a few nooks and crannies. We counted about 5 places for couples to sit. We were on a firm leather chesterfield by the 'fireplace' - there was actually a woodturner but it wasn't in use at the time. I ordered a Golden Lady cocktail, which was a sweet and sour gin concoction, and my friend ordered a London which came served in a little red phone booth money box tin. The bartenders seem to know their stuff and the cocktails were delicious. Being £12 we only stayed for one, but it was a lovely start to an evening out.


You'd be forgiven for not spotting it as you walk by the not so obvious iron gate with stairs leading down to this basement bar. On entry you'll be asked if you have a reservation, if you say no they'll look at you for a while before checking if they have space. At 6pm on a Wednesday, they managed to find us a table but if you're coming at a more popular time it's probably wise to book ahead.

A dapper looking gent showed us to our table, passing by many nooks and cosy corners. There's an air of sophistication about the place, with dimly lit tables and a prohibition vibe. This speakeasy follows all the rules.

Ours was a short stay as we only had an hour before a dinner engagement, so after perusing the cocktail menu we were pleased with how quick they came to take our order. As with any self respecting cocktail bar the drinks arrived in quirky vessels and cost around £10 each.

A spiffing start to our evening and we shall return for a longer visit.


I went there as being invited to a birthday party and had not many expectations (I like Cocktails, but more the classic ones). The staff was really nice and we were seated in a little booth. Unfortunately it got a little crowded later and when somebody from the back wanted to move half the people had to get up (though that's not been a massive flaw and it was still nice to have the privacy).

The Cocktail list sounded great (even for me) and it was hard to choose from - in the end I went for a Cocktail mentioning a photographer - along with the cocktail the waiter brought a polaroid camera to take a picture of us.

I have  to say I really enjoyed the evening and I can understand why there is mostly a queue outside ( though I have been walking past the venue without ever realising what it is in the past). As the drinks menu changes there is always a new drink to try. Sadly it is rather expensive (but the quality is worth it), but it's always good to have a place where you can spoil yourself from time to time.


Lovely cocktails but I found the door staff rude. I went here on a quiet Tuesday night for a nightcap and the door staff made sure we knew we should have booked over and over again! Even though the place was empty. 

Appart from that the cocktails are really nice and they provide great theater!


Just like the name suggests. Purl is a pearl of the city of London. It is hidden away and hard to run into. In fact it is very much recommended to make a reservation beforehand, but it's definitely worth it. The tone is rather dark and gives off a sort of mysterious vibe, ideal for a romantic date. During my visit I was seated in a swing which I found both charming and slightly uncomfortable. Nevertheless it all adds to the vibe of the place. 

The drinks are slightly expensive as we paid slightly over 50 pounds for 4 drinks, but it is London after all. The drinks we ordered were very interesting and well made. The staff was very attentive and overall very nice. 

Staff Writer

I found Purl years and years ago when looking for a speakeasy style bar with some great cocktails. We were around Baker Street and I'd seen some great reviews so thought we'd give it a try. Bit difficult to find, as the only sign for it is next to stairs going down to a basement but I guess that adds to the appeal.

Inside it's very prohibition style, if a little dark but again, all part of the culture they're trying to cultivate. We ordered our cocktails and honestly I was blown away. The Street Urchin came in a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag and still holds the title of my favourite ever whisky cocktail. It was unbelievable, really sweet but smokey at the same time. The Mr Hyde came in a chemical beaker in a bucket of dry ice, all very theatrical and very cool.

It's always on my list of places to go whenever I am in or around Marylebone but the last time we tried to go, it was closed, on a Sunday which was quite frustrating. Still a fantastic place to go for something a bit unusual.

Very disappointing. Booked for pre-dinner drinks on our anniversary. I'd asked for a cosy place but got sat next to a piano in the middle of the vaults. Got a flat glass of champagne which I'm not sure if it even was champagne and my husbands drink was weird. Service was very slow and couldn't wait to leave.

Arrived with mixed group of 8; bouncer asked if we had reservation; once we told him not he said no worries and let us in; wanted to stay for one drink only; place was empty when we arrived at 20:30 yet we were turned away since the waitress felt place was fully booked

At first we thought possibly bad employees but turned out owner was there himself

Not sure what their problem is but we won't be subjected to it ever again

I have booked a 3 cocktails masterclass for my boyfriend's birthday as he really enjoys cocktails. Rosco (hope I spelt his name right) was so funny, knowledgeable and patient with us. He showed us the whole place which is absolutely stunning in our opinion.

I definitely recommend this cool place for a date, hang-out with a group of friends and especially the masterclasses. We were there an hour before they opened and we met all staff too - evryone was very nice and friendly. 

I also have to say that the cocktails are truly amazing as well. First of all, the display of the making and second the taste and texture

Rude staff, sitting only and pretentious. Disappointing as I like to concept of the place, but whats the point in sitting in a nice place to be treated with disdain

Nice idea, was very excited about a night out at Purl with my partner but left early, disappointed. The place was empty but it appeared to be an issue to move table as basement was dead. The strict front-of-house lady takes herself too seriously, then forgot to take our order and left us feeling very awkward for approaching the bar. Cocktails average and masked by gimmick presentation. Stayed for one, felt unwelcome and left. Waste of £30 & not a true prohibition bar, nobody dares move nor misbehave. They aren't joking when they say "strict table service." Don't bother, Steam Bar saved the night, positive comments likely to be from friends.

I had the worst cocktail ever at this place - it came with 'candied bacon' that was a cold, limp bit of soggy bacon that still have the congealed frying fat on it. TOTALLY gross. When I complained the waiter was incredibly rude to us and so we walked out. Disaster.

Terrible service, horrible cocktails, no atmosphere and amateur decor. Disappointing.

This is not just one of the best bars in London, it is one of the best in the world - and I have spent a lot of time in a lot of bars in a lot of countries! Sitting only (it has a restaurant licence - but nobody eats!) and you need to book in advance for a Friday or Saturday. However, it is well worth it, but you have to expect the unexpected with the cocktails with many of them involving dry ice, liquid nitrogen etc. If there is just two of you ask to sit at the bar and chat to the bartenders - brilliant. I will definitely be back on my next trip to London - in fact I might visit London just to go to this bar again.

This bar just gets better and better each time I visit. The atmosphere, drinks and staff are second to none. A slice of NYC in Marylebone! My only criticism would be that it would be great if it opened later than midnight. And to people like 'Jamie' below who say the drinks are unpleasant, maybe stick to your 'Sex on the Beach' and 241's at Wetherspoons as you clearly have no taste....

I think the best thing about Purl is definitely the atmosphere created by great music and décor. As for cocktails, the presentation is amazing, but some of them do not taste great. And yes, the bouncers can be very rude, which is totally unwarranted, as this is a bar after all, not a club and the people who go there are generally polite, well-off and do not cause problems.

A unique, imaginative and impressive bar. Have been here four or five times over the last few years and I have never been disappointed. To the commenters saying service was slow - granted, it's not the fastest in town, but these are drinks that take time to prepare and so should take time to drink and savour, rather than knock back in five minutes flat. One note of caution though: if you're a fan of sweet cocktails - Sea Breeze, Sex on the Beach, mojitos, etc - don't come here. Purl's cocktails will scare the pants off you.

Although theatrical half the cocktails we got were unpleasant. There is one thing combining flavours in unusual ways there is another making pleasant drinks. Make sure you don't get put in the vaults as they have no atmosphere, are very hot and you tend to be forgotten about. Not really worth the effort.

WOW is all i can me one bar in the world that does what these guys do!!! the new menu is insane- i will keep on visiting this place... congrats to the owners

What an incredible experience on the weekend. Staff were amazing and the drinks to die for. Will definitely be back soon! thank you Purl

5 star service....this bar is getting better and better every time we come! there needs to be more purl's around london!!!!

people saying bad things about the drinks obviously don't appreciate cocktails. I've had the drinks mentioned below- they were outstanding, best cocktails I've ever tasted. maybe they are just beer and wine drinkers and need appreciate well made cocktails.

This is the best speakeasy style bar in London. Fact. Amazing combination of old school atmosphere with 'wow' drinks and theatre behind the bar. Try the Ceres Joker... a helium balloon garnish - awesome!

Almost didn't go based off some of the previous reviews about bad service. None the less I decided to book a table for nine people and hope for the best. In short we hard a brilliant time. We had a small alcove area booked for us which we ended up filling with 12 people with no mind from the poor waitress who looked after us. She herself was lovely, very welcoming and looked after our rowdy (yet friendly) group of people brilliantly. The drinks were fantastic, we really enjoyed them though some are obviously very strong and if you like your 'sweet can't taste the alcohol' type of cocktails then ask your server for a recommendation ;) All in all, brilliant place to go with old friends and new friends you want to impress. I loved it and recommend it. Especially loved it when my drunk musician friend decided to start playing the piano at the end and even the bouncers were impressed and started clapping.

Can't believe I have only just found this place.... Most imaginative cocktails I have ever seen This place is the best speakeasy I have ever been too and that includes PDT, death & co, little branch, milk and honey, ECC, night jar. PURL YOU ROCK MY WORLD

Really enjoyed this bar - really nice decor and great drinks. Perfect Christmas venue.

Still one of the best bars in London due to imaginative drinks, great music and a really nice intimate atmosphere. I was there last night and the Christmas decor is looking spot on too. Surprised TO only give it 3 stars?

Was beyond apprehensive post booking (and putting a credit card down as it was a party of 10) - and then reading reviews before attending - however we as a group of girls in our late 20s & early 30s absolutely LOVED the bar. Very cute / kitsch decor, lovely private alcove booths , really sweet staff and nice drinks. Had a really nice birthday and would definately be back. xx

most unbelievable bar. coming from australia i was told to visit Purl, i was blown away. i have never seen anything like it. thank you to the purl staff, they made us feel very welcome ( even though we didn't have a reservation)

Rude staff, very bad cocktails but nice design. Won t ever go again. T.

lovely venue and great cocktails. the waitress Gemma was a STAR! Great experience, definitely worth going back :)

Started badly with an extremely rude doorman and continued with a rude and arrogant host! We (a hen party) were ushered into a booth (aka cave) and forgotten, managing to get only two drinks each in the 2 1/2 hours we were there. When the drinks did arrive the waitress poured one between two glasses and didn't even replace it (£11 a pop). The atmosphere was tired, the stale bread on the table worse and it completely deflated the hen 'high' we had been on! The host was even rude to the hen. All in all, a real shame and we won't be visiting again!

Worst bar ever !!! Staff are rude and unhelpful. Service is non existent

Purl is an outstanding bar. We first started going there when nobody else knew about it, and it would only be for selfish reasons that we say we wish it hadn't caught on! Its definitely a busier bar now than it was a year ago but the bar has evolved to cope with this. We always book as tables get snapped up quickly and love the fact that even though there is sometimes a small queue outside - it never feels packed out inside. The table service is a nice touch and the cocktails are definitely some of the best i've had. The staff there all seem to be knowledgable and really friendly - they've written down drinks recipes for us, and booked us taxi's - nothing seems too much trouble! I'm really sad to see the reviews below as this isn't the bar we know!! Purl isn't going to be quickly serving disco drinks over the bar to office parties - but that's why its one of the best bars in London!

We prebooked an area Purl which was great (a little cave that sat 12 peope). However, when we got there at our allotted time, we were left waiting for 20 minutes whilst they cleared the table from the previous guests. We were then told it was table service only and we were not able to order from the bar. This is absoloutely fine... when you get service! We were constantly trying to track our waiter down to order drinks/ask him to clear our full to the brim table. When he did finally show his face he told us he would be back... then dissapeared again!The waiter that was looking after our table had a major attitude problem and was too busy swanning around rather than doing his job which was looking after the guests in this very small bar. A night of lovely cocktails was ruined by a waiter who could do his job, we could of easily had double the amount of cocktails we did due to seriously slow service. The venue is nice, the waiter was not! Cocktails fun and interesting.

A victory of style over substance. Well presented cocktails that don’t actually taste very good. Funky décor but essentially a dark, humid, slightly stinky basement. A nice waitress but very slow service. Probably won’t go back.

i had never heard of purl until someone told me. we went down on the off chance that we could get a seat. unlike the below reviews. we were greeted by such a friendly girl and was swiftly seated at a vacant table. drinks were the best i have ever tasted ( and i travel the world). The service was great to. Staff were knowledgable. I will be back and will bring all my clients in.

I read the great reviews, and I was keen to try. Sadly, I was disappointed. I visited with three friends on a Thursday evening. There was no problem getting in and the bouncer was friendly. My drink - the Rum Grog - was quite good. My friends' drinks, I thought, were average. But, Purl sorely disappointed. Problems? 1) We arrived without reservations. The place was not busy and the waitress hesitated for far too long, staring at her nearly blank clipboard, before deciding to let us have a table. 2) We were led to a nice booth-style area in the basement. But, as commented in Timeout's review, the humidity (and, therefore, the smell) was slightly off-putting. Not enough to complain maybe, but not a great start. 3) We waited and waited and waited for ou orders to be taken. Eventually we gave up, and just as my friend had decided to find and order drinks at the bar, the waitress finally appeared. Once the waitress took our orders, we waited and waited and waited for the drinks to be served. We were literally at the point of just walking out, and refusing to pay, when she finally returned with the drinks. The waitress returned once to ask, in the most uninterested way, whether we liked the drinks. Needless to say, we reduced the optional service charge. London is full of bars; I would rather visit one that cares about customer satisfaction.

My favourite bar in London, bar none! Could get lost in there for hours just taking it all in.

easily the best place to impress your friends for cocktails. i have never seen cocktails so visually stimulating before the staff i have on the numerous occasions i have been are incredibly knowledgable give it a try you wont be disappointed

Brilliant little bar, been visiting for almost a year now and never fails to impress.

I live around the corner and have visited several times. It's a good place to bring out-of-town friends or book for a special night. I'd like to go more often but, unfortunately, it's not a place where you can just drop in for a good drink. Bouncers - unnecessarily rude on several occasions. I understand that you should book ahead of time for this place, however, since I live a block away I do not think it is unreasonable to stop by and ask the bouncer if there is a free table or bar stool for a quick drink on a weeknight. If not, a simple no will do rather than a confrontation. Drinks - Original and very well done. Changing menu keeps it fresh. Waiters/Waitresses - Average Bartenders - Very knowledgeable and personable

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