The Vault of Soho
Time Out says
The whisky shop and bar has expanded with a cocktail bar in the basement, but retains the whisky-first emphasis.
Lovers of the malted grain have being paying homage at the whisky specialist Milroy’s since 1964. It has accumulated an enormous range of whiskies: around 400 from Scotland alone. A small tasting bar on the ground floor has been a feature for some years, but now – under new, independent ownership – the bar side is considerably expanded. There’s a small copper-topped bar with just a few stools, plus a table for two in the window. The ground floor is whisky-and-whiskey-only. If you’re looking for other spirits, head downstairs.
The basement bar, aka The Vault, now calls itself a ‘speakeasy’ bar. This misleading bit of marketing-speak might be regarded as passé, and it isn’t particularly convincing here: it’s just a shorthand way of describing an dimly lit basement bar with dark-hued furnishings. But it's an attractive and comfortable room, and there is a rather splendid touch in the entrance to the stairway down the basement – you enter via a ‘hidden’ door in a fake bookcase.
In the bar’s early days the service, though sweet and smiling, lacked the polished sheen of professionalism. But this didn’t detract from the perfection of a martini made with the bartender’s recommendation of The Botanist gin. The main cocktail list is heavy on experimentation, and the bartender’s evident expertise might make it worthwhile dipping in there. Drinks hover around £10, which is not unreasonable in this part of town.
Soho’s not short of cocktail bars, but Milroy’s has lit a bright new spark in its underground cavern. The Vault is quality you can bank on.
Access to the Vault is gained by passing through an unassuming bookcase, secretly standing at the back of Milroy's of Soho - London's oldest whisky shop. Yes, there is a whisky shop above meaning whisky lovers will be spoiled for choice. Fancy a classy cocktail? Just slip through the bookcase and down to The Vault where there is a cocktail to please any taste buds.
Open 6-11.30pm, Monday-Saturday.
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Users say (35)
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
- 5 star:25
- 4 star:8
- 3 star:1
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- 1 star:1
Went to The Vault last night for some impromptu Valentines drinks - I was worried me and my partner wouldn't get a table since we had forgotten to book. However this wasn't a problem and after a short wait, we were given a table in a nice area. The atmosphere in the bar was really cool and unpretentious and quite frankly we had an amazing night! The drinks were delicious and I will be coming back again very soon!
You know when you read about those romantic, secret speakeasies that serve killer drinks in a cosy room, with attentive service and where the music is just right so you can actually yourself and your date? Well this is that place, the benchmark. By far my favourite in Soho.
What a great experience Milroys is, my gf wasn't sure of the place giving she doesn't like whisky but everywhere else was fully booked so I gave it a shot, the guys upstairs suggested us to go to the vault and with a table that hasn't show up, we waited 10min more just to reach the "30min-no-show" and they gave us a table, with that I managed to impress my girl. Guys are super friendly and made our night with great drinks and a smooth service. Thank you for saving my Valentines :) coming back with my friends for some whisky next time.
Surprised my girlfriend by taking her to The Vault for valentines. Hadn't been before and didn't know what to expect but the whole speakeasy prohibition feel appealed right to her and my tastes. Personally my favourite cocktail was the Japanese Rose Garden, I recommend it (especially if you like your drinks punchy!)
Absolutely terrible service... We arrived 15 minutes late after calling them to ask, to be told our valentines reservation wasn't on the list. Other couples in front of us had the same problem too. I had received their confirmation email earlier today! Then when I asked to sit at an empty table (had been empty a while) he said there wasn't much point because we would still have to wait a while for drinks. When I said that's fine, the guy continued to say 'you're half an hour late, but I'll find another table for you if you wait' and just ignored me and made us feel like we were utterly unwelcome. Given the abundance of prohibition underground bars in London I would recommend going anywhere but here, there are many more special bars our there!
loved the atmosphere and the secret entrance, i don't want to give it away but find a book you like lol
went here on a friday, managed to get a seat at the bar but suggest booking on busier nights. the bar is the place to be though. they really know their stuff and out of top 5 cocktail i have had in life 3 are here.
Intimate space with delicious, unusual drinks and friendly, knowledgable staff. Oh and a cute resident pooch! Great value too.
Magical place! I'm completely in love with the painting downstairs called The Prophet on top of the fire place, some say that the painting has the power to tell what's going to happen in future so why not give it a go, you wont regret it
Fantastic place, service was second to none and all I can say about the cocktails is wow. Try and grab a seat at the bar is my best advice
Had a seat at the bar whilst waiting for a friend and got chatting to the bar staff who were more than happy to chat about their menu and even give a few tips on making cocktails of my own. Great little venue, something for everyone as you can get cocktails of the menu too. I'd recommend this place for a quiet date, meeting a few mates or one of the rooms out the back for a party. No need to queue at the bar waiting for drinks as they bring them straight to your table.
One of the best places around for either a chilled one to one drink or a larger group night out! Whilst enjoying the drinks I have also learnt a fair bit about cocktails and whisky aswell! Whenever I've been staff have been friendly and the bar offers a great atmosphere!
This place knows how to do cocktails! Whether it's one of their seasonal specials or an old classic, you know you are in safe hands as soon as you step through the bookcase.
And not only is it a great setting to chat and have a few drinks, but you can indulge in a range of other drinks, including the vast whisky selection (courtesy of the upstairs shop) as well as wine and their own craft beers.
Love this place. Great atmosphere: comfy seats, right level of buzz, great music but not so loud that you can't hold a conversation. Oh - and really novel, fun cocktails!
I confess that I am not really a whisky (or whiskey) aficionado (something to do with a bottle of Bells at school many years ago), but Milroy's offers something for both the serious whisky drinker and the pure novice at the copper-topped bar upstairs, and a fantastic (and regularly changing) list of cocktails downstairs, a space reached through the bookcase at the end of the bar.
The copper-topped bar in the shop is a great place to sit and sip, whilst watching the fun of Soho pass by, but descend into the Vault, and the mood changes: you can, should you wish, have a classic martini or Negroni, which will be made expertly with panache, but it is something made from one of the infusions that the team of Simo and Nat (both ex of Coal Vaults) create for their one-off concoctions that it is worth trying. The Di Barrel (a cherry wood infused bourbon based drink, complete with a chartreuse shard) or Smoking Gun (a smoke infused corn whisky based cocktail) are well worth a try, whilst lighter, fruitier drinks, with raspberry, blackberry and pomegranate infused vodka, for instance, for those who like something other than pure alcohol in their drinks, are also superb.
One of the problems that I often find of an evening out is that is that you have a great drink of something and then can't find it later: the joy of Milroy's (or one of the many rather), is that, being a shop (the oldest whisky shop in London it seems), all of the great whiskies that you taste can be purchased. This can be dangerous after a few drams, but makes excellent business sense!
So go and try a wee drop upstairs, buy a bottle of your favourite and then push through the book case, settle into a sofa and spend the evening with some fantastic cocktails: if you're really lucky, Chester the dog will be there to greet you too!
Had a fantastic time her last friday with my girlfriend, amazing cocktails and great service, def try and grab a seat at the bar. the barman are a great help. the menu is bold and well done. on top of that the guys on the bar can make you any original cocktail you like. can't wait to go back
Everybody knows whisky is the devil but I made it past row upon row, bottle upon bottle of the stuff in Milroy's to get to this place. I don't much like cocktails either to be honest, but the Black Beard I had here (it had rum and some other stuff in it) was lovely. I recommend.
What a brilliant cocktail bar! It's hidden away at the back of Milroy's - a whisky shop I've know about for years but only been to once or twice. There's a real hidden-gem feel to this place as it's through a little secret door but once you're inside you realise what a great find it it - all dim lighting and a cool, speakeasy kinda vibe. The cocktails are great too - they did me one of the best Old Fashions I've ever had and the experimental ones are good too (my drinking buddy didn't agree with me on every one, though, but they're all down to personal preference I guess). Definitely making this one of my must-visit venues whenever I'm in Soho. Prices aren't bad either. Thanks for a great night guys!