The Scene: Arriving at BYOC is confusing. My drinking buddy and I are sure we’ve got the right address, but find ourselves standing in front of a bright-orange juice bar, as opposed to the low-lit trendy-fest guarded by a sneering doorman that the “extremely long” waiting list for bookings warning on the website suggests.

After a bit of embarrassed shuffling, we pluck up the courage to ask if we’re in the right place and are promptly guided down to the basement. A tiny, near pitch-dark space, there are just six tables, a few candles, bare-brick walls and no bar.

Instead, punters bring their own booze, and have their spirit(s) of choice blended by an impossibly good-looking barman who makes his way around the room pushing a trolley loaded with mixers – everything from bitters to home-made chilli syrup.

You can make requests or put yourself entirely at the hot mixologist’s mercy. We do the latter. But having brought Havana Club 7, we want to mount a challenge and ask him to stay away from the Caribbean. Over the course of the evening, we’re poured an Old Fashioned, a rum sour, and something he spontaneously decides to call a Havana Buck, which serves up a serious chilli kick.

Bill please: A two-hour sitting costs £20pp, plus whatever you spent on the booze.

Verdict: We’re not entirely sure it’s cost effective – we had three (admittedly strong) drinks over two hours – but as one-off experiences go, it’s big fun.

28 Bedfordbury, WC2N 4BJ
Tube: Covent Garden

%TNT Magazine% stars 4