37-38 Margaret Street, London, W1G 0JF, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7629 7551
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon – Fri Midday – Midnight; Sat Midday – Midnight
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Match has enjoyed a stellar reputation as one of London's most important bars. After being founded by bar industry supremo Jonathan Downey (the force behind Milk & Honey, The Player, Danger of Death and plenty of others) it has been a proving ground for many of today's top bartenders and drinks consultants.
As of the end of 2011 it came under new ownership and since then has been subject to quite a few changes, though has somewhat fallen off the list of 'must visit' bars in the capital. Now best described as a cocktail bar/diner, the look is no longer the epitome of shabby chic and, instead, disappointingly generic, despite the exclamation mark in the logo.
Happily, as of 2013, it has a new, award-winning bar manager in the shape of Andy Mil (previously of the London Cocktail Club). As of April, he's made minor tweaks to a menu he inherited, adding seven of his own signature creations with his own trademark sense of fun. Characterising his approach is the Douglas Adams' Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster (described as "like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick"); Sugar Mama, a rum Martini-style drink; and Chinese Love Bomb, finished with flamed overproof rum. The novelty names belie well-balanced drinks that are far more interesting than some of the more strait-laced/bland drinks that remain on the list: Andy's plan is to create an entirely new selection that's more playful, bold and fun, as well as to inject some more personality into the decor.
Even if it isn't the bar it once was, Match remains a fun place to be. On quiet nights it's satisfyingly busy, and staff are incredibly friendly.