Party Earth Review Right off bustling Charing Cross Road, The Spice of Life is a down-to-earth boozer with an impressive musical history that’s still going strong thanks to nightly live acts. The venue’s location has all... ... read full review
6 Moor Street
London W1D 5NA
Central, Northern Lines: Tottenham Court Road; Piccadilly Line: Covent Garden
020 7437 7013
M–Sa 10am–11pm, Su noon–10:30pm
Covent Garden / Soho, London –
Right off bustling Charing Cross Road, The Spice of Life is a down-to-earth boozer with an impressive musical history that’s still going strong thanks to nightly live acts.
The venue’s location has all the geographical trimmings of a tourist trap, but a diverse clientele can always be found inside the historic building, which has been home to a bar since the late 1800s.
The large and consistently busy street-level space features lots of stained glass inserts and cool vintage lamps, as well as a gingham-carpeted floor that could easily be torn up and turned into a Scottish kilt.
Chilled out local office mates, pre-show theatergoers, and lots of wandering tourists all gather to take advantage of a nice drinks list full of budget-friendly suds and spirits, as well as an English-fusion menu that includes burgers, chorizo, and steak frites.
Once the sun drops, Life’s true allure becomes the intimate Backstage Bar downstairs, which hosts an array of nightly live music that includes open mic, jazz, blues jams, and even classical acts.
And though Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, or the Sex Pistols are unlikely to show up for a set (as they all did at one time), today’s performers consistently draw a big crowd of festive music lovers.
Like many central London pubs, The Spice of Life is owned by English beer chain McMullens, but it still retains a homey local flavor that’s well worth sampling.
Music-loving regulars, Soho professionals, relaxed young tourists, diverse set of theatergoers, mid-20s to 40s.
Live music nightly in the Backstage Bar, including jazz, blues, classical, rock, indie, funk, and soul, as well as open mic sets on most Mondays.
One TV, often off.
English-fusion pub menu served noon–10pm, including soup of the day, battered mackerel, smoked fish pâté, brie bruschetta, salads, burgers, lamb chops, poached salmon, and a few desserts.
Tickets to the Backstage Bar shows can be purchased online or at the door.
Live music cover charge £0–£8/Backstage Bar only. Starters and snacks £3.50–£4, entrées £6–£14, desserts £4. Sunday roast £9.
Beer and cider £3.50–£4.50, wine £3.50–£6/glass or £13–£23/bottle, cocktails and spirits £3–£6, aperitifs £2.50–£4.50.
Casual: jeans, t-shirts, blazers, slacks, plaid, turtlenecks, tunics, cropped leggings, blouses.
Mondays for the Open Mic night, Tuesdays for blues, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the great jazz, or Fridays through Sundays for the never-know-what-to-expect new bands showcase nights.
The Phoenix Artist Club (1 Phoenix Street) is a members club that caters heavily to local theater industry types, but non-members can get in prior to 8pm to get rowdy with actors and set designers.