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Reverend JW Simpson

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Goodge Street
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
©Rob Greig

Goodge Street cocktail bar on the site of a former vicarage.

Confession time: cocktails are a bit good at the Rev’s place in Fitzrovia. This is the sister bar to nearby Bourne & Hollingsworth, after all, the joint that innovated cocktails in china teacups many moons ago. Once you get down the stained glass stairwell, there’s not much more holy about the place, but this is the former site of a rectory, so it’s all about the context, really. It’s a cosy space with lengthy – not to mention comfy – sofas set in semi circles ideal for group outings. Walls are stripped to presumably add a touch of antiquity to the setting. But the drinks menu is a thoroughly modern affair with seasonal specials and interesting spirits in the mix. The Angelfire paired amaro and gin with vanilla and grapefruit, making a divine drink on the specials menu.

When the bar is overloaded, table service is erratic – it seems the reverend could use an extra pair of hands. But the slight wait we had on a Thursday evening is testament to how popular this bar is for after-work drinks. Regular events called Spirited Sermons are held to showcase forgotten bevvies your nan probably used to drink, so it’s a place for booze enthusiasts as well as the thirsty Thursday crowd. Say a little prayer for a clear head back at your desk on Friday. 

Venue name: Reverend JW Simpson
Address: 32 Goodge Street
Opening hours: Open 5-11.30pm Tue-Thur; 5pm-midnight Fri, Sat.
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street tube
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Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
1 person listening
1 of 1 found helpful

I booked Reverend SW Simpson for my birthday for 20 people on Jan 29th. When we arrived the bar was not even full and it took half an hour to get staff attention to order our first drinks needless to say that they had other people still sitting on our table 20 min past our booking time.

The evening started fairly well and were looking like a great night but wait till later. The service was overall slow but then I took into account the fact that the bar was busy. At the very end the administrator announces that they have put everything on one tap despite me asking couple of times to manage separate taps for a large group of people for obvious reasons. 
After they started demanding people to pay the bill and being extremely rude to everyone and acting so unprofessionally and waiving bill at everyone. There was no sign of politeness and customer service you would expect from what claims to be a cosy place and the bar who wants to place itself at the top rank in London scene. Most of my friends said they paid separately and it was impossible to know how many items of that bill were even credible items. Before we even left and finished our drinks they started sitting other people at our table!!! Oh well it couldn't have gone any worse than this. Ruined my birthday and left a very bitter experience. The staff even did't take time to apologise or make things up. So people watch out before deciding to take a big group of people there. It might still pull things off for smaller groups and dates where similar things unlikely to repeat. 
I tried to pass on a feedback in a friendly manner to the lady over the phone when getting back my booking deposit but she could't care less and came across very ignorant. I rarely leave negative feedbacks but couldn't leave this one out. In fact this is my first negative review!!!


So I'll admit, I read spirited sermon involving rum and I signed on, the rum sold it, I didn't really know what else to expect! However, upon entering the discreet little doorway that you could so easily miss, I instantly liked the place in all is shabby, quirky charm.

We were greeted by incredibly friendly staff, you then get the opportunity to mix you own cocktail, followed by a spirited sermon where the staff's enthusiasm and knowledge of rum is something you can't help but get swept away with, that and the 64% rum, I mean that's going to take effect at some point! Aside from finding my new career and wanting to travel the Caribbean in search for the ideal rum, I'd also (albeit a second choice) settle for another night at this quaint little establishment, money well spent!


If you're ever on the look out for somewhere special close to Tottenham Court Road station this is the place. A little hole in the wall, if you manage to grab a couch stay, and get to know the whole menu. Every drink is unique and fun tapping into different parts of your palate. The staff knows their drinks too, recommending the best things for the flavours you like. 

Head on over, and start ticking off all the drinks on the menu. 


Dashing dilapidation. That was my first thought upon entering this underground bar, with exposed wallpaper, floor tiles and friendly bar staff. Perhaps they've improved judging on some of the mixed reviews below, we had a really nice French waitress who chatted with us. Cocktails were delectable (I had a wicked whiskey sour), and they did provide some nutty nibbles with our drinks. I can see this is a good spot for a date - the lighting is low and intimate, with a few booths for those couples wanting to drink closely together ;)

I loved the bar and the cocktails but my recent experience was disappointing. I had booked a space for me and a few friends and I realised yesterday that nobody cared to return my deposit to me. It is almost a month since I went, paying £100 to reserve a space and,even though their policy is apparently that you need to ask back for your money (!!!), nobody bothered to drop me a line, ask if I had been happy with the service and all the rest and return my money.

I spoke to a representative today who said the policy wasnt fully explained to me but I wonder.... would they have ever have cared to refund me?  

Not impressed, shame as I love the place, the drinks and the atmosphere. Despite this being a funny policy, it really seemed like they were hardly apologetic.


Firstly, I love that this place used to be a brothel. For some reason I find it intriguing - the characters that must haunt this amazing drinking venue are surely some of the most fascinating in London - the stories, while certainly disgusting, are probably hilarious. Apparently you still get a few 'ladies' coming down seeking work. And a few 'gentlemen' stumbling down the stairs looking for a bit of 'fun' for the evening. Lovely!

The decor is also interesting - because it's the original wall paper from when the reverend JW used to live here - so its scraggy, dated and yet modern and almost chic somehow. Maybe i've lived in London too long that this sort of stuff looks decadent!

The drinks menu is intriguing. The Pomegranate Haze is lovely and sweet, beautifully presented and well made, while the blue Clover is super pretty with a gorgeous citrus tang. They also make a mean Vesper Martini (we were heading to watch Spectre after our visit) and their Dirty Martini's are also pretty delicious, especially when made with Botanist Gin.

The staff are really helpful, happy to let us try the spirits before making our drinks, and the french hostess in particular was lovely and interesting to talk to, with a wicked sense of humour!

The free popcorn is also lovely and sweet. Shame we didn't take some with us for the cinema!


This place is cool! Small, intimate (maybe a little too intimate judging by one of the couples in there last night..) friendly, great cocktails and fun nights. I went along to take part in a whiskey tasting and cocktail shaking night which was great value and good fun! Loads of little features onthe cocktails like a box of rasins plus learning about different ways to make the cocktail and lastly - learning the type of face you make when you shake a cocktail... :-/ I've requested the video evidence is destroyed!

Go! Just don't look at the walls ;-)

Looks OK if a bit cheap. Drinks sound good and atmosphere seems buzzing. But I couldn’t get in since it as full to capacity (it is very small). That would have been all fine and understandable had the message not been delivered rudely by an exceptionally arrogant bar manager. Fail. If you do want to try your luck here make sure you’ve booked. But for me there are too many good alternatives to bother going back.

Very bad waiter service including having champagne poured over our laps with no apology or refills.

Me and me boyfriend found the place randomly, very atmospheric place nice and original drinks out of the typical coktail menu about Mojitos and caipirihnas, Lovely place and decoration . Amazing service and attention. I fell in love about the glasses. ^.^

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