WM Barker and co launch

brit spritz and grey goose

One night in London and two opinions… See what our Aussie and our Londoner thought of WM Barker


Tegan Lebon:

As an Aussie living in London, I am always looking for new places to meet friends and spend an evening enjoying tasty food and exquisite cocktails. My friend and I definitely found such a place when we attended the launch party for WM Barker & Co. Located in the trendy borough of Shoreditch, this delightful cellar bar specialises in shrub cocktails and gourmet toasties.

After basking in the warmth and the ambience of the place, my friend and I began sampling the many drinks and food on offer. Our first cocktail for the evening was the Brit Spritz (Kamm & Sons, Elderflower Cordial, Sparkling Wine and Soda Water). I was informed by the creater of Kamm & Sons that he created this spirit in his kitchen for years ago and this drink was similar to an Aperol Spritz. He was not wrong and actually tasted better than the more well-known alcohol brand.  So make sure you add this to your list of cocktails to try while you spend a night at WM Barker & Co. The next drink in line was Grey Goose Vodka’s current signature cocktail, Le Fizz. With Lime, Elderflower Liquor, Grey Goose Vodka and Soda Water, this was a favorite of mine for the evening. I won’t lie and say I didn’t go back for seconds. Finally, it was time to try WM Barker & Co signature shrub cocktails. I must admit I was slightly wary, especially after googling that shrub cocktails contained a vinegar-based syrup. After sampling the punch, the WM Banana and Co, the Shoreditch and the Hoxon, my fears were quelled. These unique cocktails went down a treat and I look forward to visiting the bar again to drinking my way through the rest of the cocktail menu. If cocktails aren’t your thing, WM Barker & Co also have a range craft beers, wine, juice and artisan gourmet coffees available.

WM Barker

At this stage of the night, my friend and I were feeling a little tipsy so it was time to taste the food on offer. We both ordered the Smashed Avocado, Heritage Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella, Olive and Rocket Open Sandwich. Using fresh ingredients, this simple yet satisfying dish was full of flavour and definitely delicious. There is a range of other toasties plus great cheese and charcuterie boards on the menu, which we were fortunate enough able to sample. These also didn’t disappoint and I’ll be heading back to this bar soon to order the Five Cheese Toastie.

So for your next night out, go check out WM Barker & Co for delicious food and great cocktails. You won’t regret it.

Reporter: Tegan LeBon

Twitter : @toogs1

Sophie Cole:

Thursday is the new Friday. That’s what we told ourselves walking to the launch party of WM Barker & Co; the latest underground bar to pop up in buzzy Shoreditch. A former comedy club, steeped in history dating way back to the 18th century, this is not just your ordinary bar. It’s jam-packed with history, heritage, and sophisticated charm. Specialising in all your favourites with a modern twist, the menu features fresh shrub cocktails, specialist craft beers, fine wines that leaving you wanting more, and delicious melt-in-your-mouth toasties.

Wandering down Bishopsgate we stumbled across the bar by chance. A hidden gem beneath the popular Dirty Dick’s three- floor converted warehouse pub. Descending underground to WM Barker & Co feels much like entering a hidden treasure cove. Dimly lit and tastefully decorated with exposed brickwork and wood panelling, homely lampshades, and lighting made from topsy-turvy wine glasses, the bar exudes an elegant yet slightly quirky ambience. It feels as if you’ve stepped into a sophisticated bygone era, full of historical mystery, a milestone away from the modern era of iPhones and black taxis outside.

WM Barker

We were initially welcomed with a delicious Brit Spritz complimentary cocktail, served with a wedge of grapefruit and a slice of cucumber. They really do go the extra mile here to mix things up, offering a totally unique cocktail experience.

Next we moved onto some wine tasting. Ramon, our Spanish wine connoisseur, spoke passionately about the different variations of wine, and how they vary exquisitely both in flavour and grape strength. He also let us into a little secret, that in fact Rioja is not just served as a red wine, but can also be enjoyed white or rosé. The fine wines we tasted were bursting with flavour; from the fruity and floral essences to those with a hint of oak or a tinge of citrus. It was great to see such a diverse selection of wines on the menu.

After copious amounts of generous wine-tasting portions, we explored the other side of the bar, only to be introduced to the specialist craft honey beer, made from heather honey. Now I am no beer fan, but this speciality beer has surprisingly converted me to the amber-coloured brew. You smell the honey before you taste it. It’s the perfect blend between sweet and bitter, and we happily gulped down our tasters. Samples of the toasties were also on offer. The five cheeses was a personal favourite, a party of flavours as the cheeses blend together in perfect harmony.

Cocktail tasting was next on our agenda. My friend opted for the Spitalfields #TheDesigner; a long cocktail made from Olmeca blanco tequila, pink grapefruit, pink peppercorn shrub, lime, and agave with spiced sugar rim passionfruit. While I opted for the Hoxton #The Photographer; made from Sipsmith sloe gin, apricot liqueur, pomegranate shrub, and lime juice with a delicious shortbread crumble rim served in a tall glass. Having tasted both, I can only describe these cocktails as pure heaven. Dreamy, dessert-like, they are as pleasing for the eye as they are for the tummy. The flavours and fresh shrubs work perfectly together and left us wanting more. Luckily, the friendly bartender caught us eyeing up the coffee-cocktail creation he was currently whipping up, and he kindly mixed another one up for us to try. Topped with shavings of chocolate and with a deep coffee taste, this cocktail was the perfect end to our fantastic cocktail-tasting experience.

WM Barker

The staff couldn’t have been more accommodating, the food and drink superb, and the ambience sophisticated, intimate, and bursting with charm. Leaving this cool venue we were presented with hessian gift bags full of goodies including a bitter-sweet botanical aperitif, a bitter lemon drink, and some tokens for cocktails. Not that we need much persuading to return, we already have a date in the diary to return with the rest of the girls in a few weeks!

This underground world submerged beneath everyday London life offers a unique and specialist experience for cocktails fanatics, wine-tasting gurus, and craft beer buffs alike. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a tipple of your favourite in the week or a great venue for celebratory drinks at the weekend.  If I had to describe this bar in two words it would have to be: ultimate sophistication.



Reviewed by Sophie Cole | Twitter: @sjcole333 | Facebook:

WM Barker & Co

202 Bishopsgate

London EC2M 4NR

T: 020 7283 5888

Twitter, Instagram: @wm_barker