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Step Into The Famous Milroy's of Soho With Us: A Buzzy Hangout That Keeps It Real

 

Milroy's is tucked away in a small alley down London's Greek Street, just a stone's throw away from the little Soho Square Gardens on its left and Chinatown a little walk away on its right.

The moment you get near the bar you're immediately charmed by its old school decor that is a mix of lived-in and at the same time somewhat high brow - it's an indescribable mix.

But more than that you get this sense that it's a place that's beloved and homely for its frequenters, and just has a whole lot of personality.

Milroy's was founded in 1964 by John and Wallace Milroy, two brothers who obviously loved their drinks. They sought to build a place that would offer a solid range of high quality bottles at good prices, and so "Milroy's Soho Wine Market" was born. 

This shortly preceded the single malt boom in the 1960's and 1970's, which was a departure from the centuries old commonheld preference for Scotch blends - and the brothers were quick to hop on that trend. Soon Milroy's would hold the largest available selection of single malts London had seen.

It's said that the spirits retailer even stocked No. 10 Downing Street!

 

 

The next catalyst would happen when the brothers were invited to Japan to see how the whisky scene was developing there.

When they saw how whiskies were taking off, they were even more convinced to bottle their own whiskies under the Milroys name, and also begun hosting tasting sessions. With John focused on bottling whiskies, Wallace would write the Malt Whisky Almanac. Milroy's success grew.

Eventually in 1993, the bar would meet another milestone in the road - it would sell itself to another notable personality - Mark Reynier, who would later go on to revive the now booming Bruichladdich Distillery, and is currently in the midst of establishing Ireland's new Waterford Distillery.

By 2014, Milroy's was independent again, but things have largely stayed the same - they bottle their own whiskies, they host tasting sessions, and more importantly they provide a much needed escape from the bustle of London life.

As I approached Milroy's of Soho from Chinatown, I could immediately spot many folks enjoying their drinks in the midst of good company - chit chatting over some drams.

But more importantly, let's head inside!

 

 

From the moment I entered the door frame, I was quite surprised at how deep the bar stretched - it was a rather narrow (but made for a cozy feel) floor, with the bar on the left and then a wall of bottles behind glass displays on the right, with small bar tables lining it.

  

 

What's really cute is that if you take a closer look, you'll notice that these little bar tables are actually halved cask heads!

Although the bar's floor is rather narrow, it somehow still feels very intimate as each group of guests are given their own little spot around which they can congregate.

 

 

Stocked with some pretty solid selections! 

Take your pick from a range of Scotch, rums and bourbons.

  

 

But of course when you're in Milroy's you've got to try the bar's own selections!

You can even take some of these bottles home which makes for a good gift or souvenir - I certainly took a couple back!

 

 

Walking about Milroy's is like going through a really cool spirits shop with such a wide selection of drinks that are beyond the usual.

These line the walls in glass cases that makes you feel more like you're here to pick up a good bottle than just popping by for a drink.

  

 

Some cool memorabilia lining the walls, with top shelves of some super cool empty bottles.

The bar staff are also really friendly and can either hook you up with a good pick - I've found that they give the best recommendations - or help you pick out a bottle.

  

 

Just some empty Chichibu bottles and caged Armagnacs from L'Encantada. 

 

 

More wall selections!

You'll fine a wide range of English whiskies, as well as World Whiskies from Japan to India.  

 

 

This aren't your average middle shelf picks!

There are some rare single cask Chichibu's, as well as limited edition Hibiki's.

But if you're more into Scotch - they've got you.

They've got solid blends from Compass Box and rare single malts - check out this Manager's Dram Laga!

  

More caged bottlings belonging to Milroy's regulars.

Also if you're in the mood for picking up some good books on whiskies or dram samples, you'll find a shelf of the stuff here too.

  

 

And that's Milroy's of Soho!

A real gem and cozy hideout that seamlessly blends into its neighbourhood - and an all round great place to have a solid dram... or three.

It's a great place too if you want to meet for drinks or to pick out some of Milroy's own bottlings.

Definitely worth the visit! 

  

Milroy's of Soho

Address: 3 Greek St, London W1D 4NX, United Kingdom 

Phone: +44 20 8106 0630

Opening Hours: Daily (Except Sundays) 10am - 12mn

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot