Party Earth Review Cleverly concealed under the austere home accessories store by the same name, Freud is a gritty bar popular with a clientele of artsy media types and hip students looking to subdue their superegos with drink. Accessible... ... read full review
198 Shaftesbury Avenue
London WC2H 8JL
Central, Northern Lines: Tottenham Court Road
020 7240 9933
M–W 1–11pm, Th 1pm–midnight, F–Sa 1pm–1am, Su 2–10:30pm
Central London, London –
Cleverly concealed under the austere home accessories store by the same name, Freud is a gritty bar popular with a clientele of artsy media types and hip students looking to subdue their superegos with drink.
Accessible only by a steep metal staircase, this underground venue is a café by day and a small, swinging cocktail bar by night.
The sparse décor of scattered tables, padded benches, and dim lighting enhances Freud’s indie street cred, as do the black-t-shirted bartenders and unpainted concrete walls bedecked with a rotating gallery of art for sale.
Aside from the bohemian basement atmosphere, Freud’s patrons – patients? – show up for the expansive cocktail list, which features some of the best mojitos in town, as well as Mardi Gras masterpieces like the Alabama Slammer, Planters Punch, and Kamikaze that keep boozy post-grads slurping and slurring for seconds.
Although local artists and hipsters might need to elbow their way to the bar on weekends when the place is packed to the rafters, one sip of Freud’s craft drinks will make them forget the effort as they’re transported into a dream it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to interpret.
A mixed international crowd of media types, young professionals, indie hipsters, and students, early 20s to 30s.
Eclectic soundtrack including ambient, dance, alternative, blues, and reggae music. Rotating monthly rotating displays of art for sale.
Small dishes including soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Appetizers £1, salads and sandwiches £4+. Beer £3.50–£6.50, wine £3.35+/glass or £16/bottle, cocktails £5.50–£7.25.
Casual: vintage t-shirts, sundresses, skinny jeans.
Wednesdays after work for a buzzing crowd and a bit of elbow room, or Thursdays through Saturdays for the busiest scene, though it may be a tight squeeze.
Zebrano (18 Greek Street) offers a more upscale experience without the long lines or hefty prices.