Milk & Honey

61 Poland Street
Soho, London
W1F 7NU
Tel: 07000 655 469 Piccadilly Circus 0.3 miles

Although it has the rarefied atmosphere of the most exclusive of members' bars, Milk and Honey is more egalitarian than appearances suggest: there are no formal vetting or approval procedures, and non-members are welcome to visit if they phone in advance to book a two-hour slot. The club sets a high standard in late-night eating and drinking. Its bar staff pride themselves on mixing the most sublime cocktails in London from top quality ingredients (juices, for example, are all squeezed by hand).

Milk and Honey ground floor bar, London © Milk & Honey The basement at Milk & Honey, Soho, London © Milk & Honey « 1 of 4 photos »

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I've been a member here for a year and am in two minds about the place.

Plenty to say on the plus side. They can make a good cocktail. I tend to go for proper gin based drinks (no fruity sugary crap) and they make them very well. Prices have gone up in recent years, but still not too bad. I've always found the staff very professional and they are happy to quickly organise a car home at the end of the night (which I have always found to be cheaper than Addison Lee/black cab rivals). I liked the atmosphere and certainly guests I took always seemed to have a good time.

On the down side, I don't really go out late (post midnight) too much any more, and therefore find it hard to justify a membership sub of £350, when other people can more or less walk in off the street. It is not a 'private' club in that regard and people should be in no doubt about that. The food is very hit and miss and can be expensive for what you get. Finally, while the Red Room is very relaxed, it can also feel a little quiet.

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 by youngFogey, 10 Nov 2009
I was a member for a year and revoked my membership at the earliest opportunity. What a complete waste of money.
The service was a joke, with waiters constantly thinking they were above you and bartenders taking a pretentious age to create the most straightforward of drinks. The drinks themselves were so-so, although generally had too much sugar in (plus it was hard to find a drink that wasn't rammed with ginger). The food was atrocious - they charged £8 for a dish that turned out to be 4 potato croquets. The red room was a necessary escape from the crowd of non-members, although time and time again I turned up around midnight to be told they were full and were not even accepting members (and this was not just on the weekends).

The final straw was their almost criminal behaviour when it came to money. Even as a member they would only give you a 0900 number to make reservations with (so you were charged over £2 every time you just wanted to say you were coming). Then when it came to the end of the night, if you accepted their offer to call you a cab you had to fork out a fortune at your destination. Finally, it took me months to be reimbursed the 2nd year's membership fee that they had taken "by accident". All this for a bar that just isn't cool any more. Avoid at all costs.

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 by Slider, 20 Oct 2009
Unbelievably poncy and pretentious. (Read their 'House Rules' on their website.) This is another place that doesn't really need to be a 'club', as such, and as non-members gain access as easily as members, one wonders what the point is in joining. True, it's a great bar, great drinks and service once you're in, but negotiating the rude and occasionally hostile people on the door has always soured the experience for me. There are better bars than this in London these days, without having to deal with that sort of welcome, so I'd say 'avoid'.

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 by screentalentagency (4 reviews), 30 Dec 2008
Great cocktails, friendly bartenders, groovy decor, but oh so dark...

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 by French Rhino, 03 Aug 2008
Liked it. Great service, friendly and a cool location. Too dark though - could barely see!

Useful review? 1
 by Milla "top london reviewer" (46 reviews), 01 Aug 2008
My favourite place for cocktails, and reasonably priced too. A great place to come and get away from the crowds and relax. It's suffered a bit recently from the change in staff and surge in membership, as it's now hard to get a booking even if you're a member. Hopefully it'll work out the bugs and get back to normal soon.

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 by jeffluff (3 reviews), 07 Apr 2008
I love Milk & Honey. The staff are always polite and make a great cocktail at a very good price as well. (Can't comment on the food, as I haven't really tasted it.) I always head there when I want a nice relaxing drink, but it's not the place if you want to start partying.

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 by Keegan Menezes (2 reviews), 31 Mar 2008
Loved it. Contrary to reviews stating otherwise, I watched a group of men get asked to leave for chatting to women without being introduced. Lovely cocktails, I mean really really awesome. If you're looking for somewhere to pull and dance, it's the wrong place for you; if you're looking for a discreet place to have a good cocktail with good friends in the middle of London, it's a treat.

Useful review? 1
 by Fingerbiter, 14 Jan 2008
I'd heard so much about this place and found it a bit overrated when I eventually turned up. Staff were helpful and polite and the atmosphere was OK, but it had a bit of an awkward, messy feel to it. I felt it was more of a statement being seen there, rather than being there to enjoy yourself.

In summary, there are a lot of other hidden places in this area that easily achieve the style, elegance and atmosphere that M&H is striving for.

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 by Johan (2 reviews), 10 Oct 2007
I used to be a member for a year back in 2003, and only sat in the members' Red Room as the other rooms were far too noisy. I don't think there was much adherence to their heavily publicised 'rules' (like men not being allowed to approach women unless they are introduced!) The service was good, as were the cocktails. My favourite was the apple tatanka (vodka, cinnamon, fresh apple juice and double frozen ice, if such a thing is possible).

I left because I got a bit bored of going to the same place for drinks, although there was never any shortage of willing friends to go with me. It's not really considered trendy any more though, like it was when it first opened a few years ago.

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 by bobbypants (52 reviews), 15 Jun 2007
Wonderful discreet atmosphere for private chats. Attentive but un-pushy bar staff and excellent food and drink. Welcoming and friendly. Not good for a business meeting but great for a soft-focus intimate meeting, 1 on 1. Pity it's out at the 'edge' of the general bar district though.

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 by Mikek07, 12 Dec 2006
The place is too dark and I didn't like it... sorry!

Useful review? 1
 by nikkiseventy2 (2 reviews), 06 Dec 2006
I went to M&H last night, as I am considering a membership. I thought it was a pretty stylish place, though I can understand some of the comments about it being dark. The Games Room is a real bonus and the Red Room seemed pretty chilled out. Just not sure I can handle 30s style jazz for a whole evening.

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 by Vegetableman (4 reviews), 12 Oct 2006
I'm with principessa, wherever she is. Last time I went it was so dark I might have been sitting next to her. Go if you're blind, or blind drunk.

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 by Boat Drinks (13 reviews), 29 Aug 2006
Great food, excellently prepared, and the best cocktails in London. On top of that, some of the nicest and most helpful bar staff in London too!

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 by Lena2, 01 Aug 2006
Good and dark place to take people you already know, not exactly to socialise with others.

Cocktails are really well done although the menu is not so extensive. Some of the deco needs serious refurbishment like the stairs. Overall good value for money considering membership is much less than the other clubs.

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 by Interceptor (2 reviews), 06 Jun 2006
I'm a recent member and I did not know what to initially expect. I think it's a good place to bring a friend that you would like to catch up with or a good place to start your evening. It was not as buzzy as I was hoping, sometimes it's a bit low energy. Great cocktails!

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 by Anonymous, 23 May 2006
Good fun for a relaxed evening with friends.

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 by Ollie (2 reviews), 21 Apr 2006
This is one of my favourite bars. You have to ring in advance if you're not a member, but the staff are so lovely and courteous. Drinks are not cheap, but it's a great place to bring a couple of mates for a good old-fashioned chin wag.

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 by b1kinibabe, 13 Jan 2006
You have to go with a member but it's worth it. Very cozy - love the sitting room upstairs.

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 by stylebird (4 reviews), 28 Nov 2005


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