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Review: Live Music and Cocktails at Walcot House
On Walcot Street, underneath the ancient arch with ‘ESTD. 1798’ carved out of it, down the atmospheric staircase is one of Bath’s newest nightspots. Offering regular live music, food and cocktails, as well as transforming in to a late-night club, Walcot House is truly a venue you just have to visit – so we did!
When we were invited to take a look around Walcot House we were astounded to see just how much space there was. There aren’t many places in Bath – or anywhere else for that matter – when you’ll find a generous Cocktail Bar, a Main Room with a full stage, table service and its own bar, a Second Room with DJ Booth offering a different genre of music as well as private rooms. Walcot House has this and much more to come.
The venue is aimed not at the student market, but those who are looking for something little more unique. Just a relaxed atmosphere where you can catch up with some friends over some incredible drinks. My wife and I were happy to come down and take in an evening’s entertainment.
You can’t help to be impressed with the way Walcot House reveals itself, slowly as you descend the staircase from the beautiful original stone archway that surrounds the main door. It’s difficult to describe the feeling; call it a ‘vibe’ or an ‘ambience’ or simply the character of the place. Achingly cool with none of the pretension.
As we arrived we were met by a friendly member of staff who informed us that if we were to hurry we could take advantage of their drinks deals, which was due to end in less than a minute. We happily obliged and took our seats at the Cocktail Bar. For a Bank Holiday Friday, infamous for being a little bit thin-on-the-ground with revelers saving themselves for the Saturday/Sunday/Monday session, the venue was alive and buzzing. Pockets of groups enjoying their drinks, all having decided to come in for a couple before the evenings’ live music.
After finishing what I can comfortably describe as one of the best Whiskey Sours I’ve had in a very long time, we decided to enter the Main Room and set up camp for the evening in of their tables, which was flanked by a pair of cozy velvet armchairs.
The musical entertainment for the evening, London-based funk, soul and Motown covers group Flo Collective, were in their Main Room sound checking. As the lead singer casually let her incredible voice ring out across the sound system, we knew we were in for a top night!
Before the performance started, we were tempted by the enticing aroma of the food that was coming out of the kitchen and finding its way to the tables which surrounded us. Immediately we made a break to go and find menus! My wife and I opted for the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger, with a side of Sweet Potato Fries, and I went for the Quinoa Cauliflower and Mint Salad with Golden Raisins, Cashews, Pomegranate and Chilli.
Even though we were in a relaxed, lounge atmosphere, the service was still impeccable. We were brought our cutlery and napkins shortly before the food arrived. Both dishes were spectacularly presented and had the taste to match! The perfect way to set yourself up to sit back, relax and take in some of your favourite music.
Otis Redding, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and even a Black Street ‘No Diggity’ cover were on Flo Collective’s repertoire as the audience tapped their toes and nodded their heads throughout. At one stage there were even a spontaneous section of the audience that crafted their own makeshift dance floor – much to the enjoyment of the band and everyone else.
The band played two sets with a short break in between and we kept saying “Oooh I love this one!” to each other, as was the brilliance of Flo Collective’s set list.
With Walcot House providing live music every Friday and Saturday, I can seriously see this being the place to be to start off the weekend. The atmosphere is upmarket yet relaxed, premium but not ostentatious. It’s absolutely my kind of place and ticks a very needed box for Bath. I look forward to visiting again and seeing Walcot House as it transforms into a late night bar, with DJs pumping music through in the other rooms. Perhaps I’ll get involved, but more than likely it’ll be difficult to tempt me away from the Cocktail Bar.
I can’t stress enough how highly I recommend Walcot House. I’ll be returning as soon as I can, spending time with friends in a stress-free setting, working my way through the cocktail menu. I hope to see you there!