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Monday, 4 December 2017

HMSS Bristol: The Secret's Out


I love nothing more than being in on a good secret (when it comes to food and drink), and I have a secret that involves delicious cocktails and a secret bar that I can't wait to share with you. Sounds like your cup of tea (or cosmopolitan)? Read on.
Clifton, a popular area in the heart of Bristol is home to Bristol's famous suspension bridge, Bristol zoo, the cathedral and - of course - many bustling bars, restaurants and a lively night scene. What most people don't know, though, is that Clifton is also home to Her Majesty's Secret Service: a funky hidden bar that looks like the kind of place that James Bond would come to hang out. Upon arrival I half expected to see Daniel Craig sat in the corner drinking his martini shaken not stirred. 

How do I find it?

HMSS is located near the top of the steps that lead down to Clifton train station - just near the Sainsbury's on Whiteladies Road. At first, you would hardly even notice that HMSS was there; the only giveaway sign is a big black door that has a handle shaped like a vintage musket (so cool - where did they get those?). Push the door open and you step into a red telephone box. Go through the telephone box and it opens out into the bar - a small, intimate and British-themed bar that smells of mint and vintage leather (both great smells might I add).






Inside

HMSS has a 'secret society' feel about it and I love it. The lights are dimmed and every table (which has it's own little lamp) feels intimate. The bar is fully decked out with vintage leather seats, rich woods, bare brick walls and tall wooden tables complete with stools. I almost wanted to light a cigar and discuss business on my arrival (it seemed very appropriate). The bar gives a sophisticated nod to British culture through the decor, with a cabinet displaying antique guns, a piano and a big map with strings attached showing where various drinks come from. The bar also has passport-themed cocktail menus and a secret entrance to the bathrooms.

The atmosphere in HMSS was warm and friendly; the cocktail bartenders were happy to chat away to us and we watched in awe as they decorated our cocktails. The actual bar itself was pretty impressive, showcasing (what looked like!) hundreds of spirits, mixers and garnishes. If you are looking for somewhere that is cosy, intimate and welcoming, this is your place. I actually think that this would be the perfect venue for a first date.



The Cocktails

After seeing the impressive decor and secret entrance, I had pretty high expectations for the cocktails - and make no mistake they lived up to these expectations (exceeded, perhaps). I ordered the Strawberry Field cocktail and Lewis ordered the Tosser cocktail (I am using HMSS's images as my own camera decided to break on me on the day. Typical...) The cocktails looked absolutely incredible; I had never before drank a cocktail that looked so magnificent. Mine was served in a strawberry-shaped cup that was decorated with mint leaves and edible little caterpillars - so cute. I barely wanted to drink it - I just wanted to stare at it and not disturb the wonderful creation in front of me. When I did try it, however, I was met with glorious bursts of different flavours. It was light and fruity yet packed a punch behind it too, with tastes of ginger ale, cucumber, rose and blossom honey sherbet. Lewis's cocktail arrived in a dented can placed on a mat of rocks, bursting with mint, an umbrella and a metal straw. Again, it looked amazing - and the taste was even better. The Tosser cocktail consisted of Banana Monkey Shoulder, Aluna coconut rum and two scoops of pistachio gelato...wow.

Should I visit?

For any avid cocktail lover, the HMSS is a must-visit. This is the place to try exciting cocktails that are served with a difference. I'm talking cocktails served in Chinese takeaway containers, cocktails with marshmallows and candy floss and cocktails served in wellington boots. These guys don't take the word 'theme' lightly. There is even a cocktail that contains laughing gas. I would highly recommend visiting HMSS - just look out for the black door and, if possible, make sure there is a Bond babe on your arm.

But sshhhh... don't tell anyone. 

*This is a collaborative post with HMSS. All opinions and views are my own. 

20 comments:

  1. The tosser cocktail sounds unreal! Definitely have to try this

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  2. What good place and fantastic for cocktails that i am into very much so.

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  3. You are right it really does have a secret society feel about it doesn't it? I like the sound of the Strawberry Field cocktail x

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  4. Wow how exciting does this look. Love the Strawberry Field cocktail x

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  5. How cool to learn of the secret. That makes it even more fun.

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  6. I'm visiting this weekend so I will have to check it out! The cocktail sounds amazing!

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  7. Secret bars are always so cool, but I always worry I'm going the wrong way haha x

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  8. A laughing gas cocktail sounds amazing!!! I so want to try that! What a great place to go, if only we were local!

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  9. What a cool bar. It looks like it would be perfect for date night.

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  10. Cocktails with marshmallows and candy floss?! I am there... if I can find the entrance of course. This place looks perfect, so cosy and inviting.

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  11. Wow, these cocktails look insanely good, especially the strawberry one

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  12. This sounds amazing! My cousin is always off to Bristol so I'll have to recommend it to her :)

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  13. That place looks amazing, great for hanging out with friends. Strawberry Field cocktail sounds good but I have to steer clear of alcoholic beverages for quite a long time.

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  14. We love the 'secret society' feel about it and the decor is cool. The cocktails sound yummy and we might visit the next time we're in Bristol :)

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  15. I love cocktails and wow, these look amazing! I love the attention to detail with the presentation and I'm so glad they didn't disappoint.

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  16. This looks like an incredible find and I do love a bar which has some character!

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  17. Your cocktail the Strawberry Field cocktail sounds incredible. It looks amazing too. This sounds like a lovely place to visit.

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  18. Wooah, this place looks amazing. I love Bristol and am in Clifton all the time and had no idea this existed. Thank you, I shall definitely be searching it out now!

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  19. I love that it feels like a secret society!! Those kinda hideaways are the best.

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  20. Ooh I was in Bristol last weekend1 Gutted I missed the opportunity to visit this place. I like the sound of cosy and intimate so I can chat whilst enjoying a cocktail or two.

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