These were a revelation after moving down south. I didn’t even know there were restaurants with a ‘Bring Your Own Booze’ policy. But I was thrilled to find out there are quite a few, especially since alcohol can be the biggest cost when eating out.
My favourite is in Hammersmith. I frequented it quite a lot when I lived in my university Halls of Residence last year, as it was much closer then – but I’d still make the journey there now. It’s called ‘The Hammersmith Cafe’. The entrance is rather innocuous looking, reminiscent of a good old greasy spoon. To be honest, through the day that’s exactly what this is, serving English breakfasts and other staple meals.
But in the evening? They serve Thai food. Delicious Thai food. Cheap Thai food. And all with the policy that you can bring your own beer, wine or whatever else – pay a simple corkage fee of around 2 quid, and drink to your heart’s content.
The tables are rather close together given that it is quite a small venue, but it’s worth it. Me and my other half would often go there and bump elbows with strangers simply to sample the Thai Green Curry or the Dim Sum. I rather miss this place, having yet to find a suitable replacement. Tasty, affordable food with the chance to bring in your favourite drinks? Hard to beat.
Pic from the Qype website. The entrance is deceptively simple!
My other favourite is also in Hammersmith – this being the closest area for me to explore freely for a year. I’m not sure why there seemed to be a few BYOB restaurants there, but they’re certainly a good idea.
The name was an odd one: Robin Hood Zorro. I know, not two chaps you put together, but the restaurant works with murals of them having it out plastering the walls, and ‘treasure’ hidden beneath see through slabs in the floor. You can’t bring beer, but you can bring wine – and if you do accidentally happen to bring beer they’ll very kindly keep it in the fridge for you!
The staff are friendly, cocktails are available, and the food is Mexican. Portions are nice and big, especially the fajitas – the chicken came sizzling hot, and they’ll happily get more cheese or jalapenos or tortillas or anything else when asked.
Each time we left, we were given a voucher with the receipt – for a free jug of sangria or some other tasty treat, which of course just sweetens the deal. A sign in the window advertises salsa lessons, and to be honest this is just a really fun night – and something a little different as well!
Picture from tripadvisor. Unfortunately I don’t have any of the walls inside, I thought I did but maybe it’ll inspire you guys to go see for yourself!