The Friendly Society – Soho
A great little bar with a big heart
The other day my parter and I visited Soho in London’s ‘West End’, and was so pleased to see that The Friendly Society was very much alive and kicking even though this area of London was decimated business wise by the pandemic. Slowly it’s coming back to life and on talking to Maria who has owned and run The Friendly Society for more than twenty years, the vibes are returning in a way that is even more intimate and friendly. Maria says “The pandemic in some ways seems to have brought people together in a joint experience, and now we are coming out of it people are inclined to be even more friendly at The Friendly Society! So next time you are in London check of this amazing underground bar. Soho’s worst kept secret!
The Friendly Society benefits from the power of surprise: after entering through a bland back-alley doorway, you’re greeted at the bottom of the stairs by Soho’s most idiosyncratic drinking den. Barbie dolls hang from the ceiling, there’s a big fishbowl in the middle and old movies are projected on to a back wall. Although the short cocktail menu has been the same forever, the staff always seem perplexed when you order one, though that’s definitely part of the charm. The crowd here is gay in the broadest sense – anyone with a sense of fun will feel at home, whatever their gender and sexuality. Come here when you fancy dancing to Donna Summer while sipping (relatively) inexpensive prosecco.