In the summer it’s all about the rooftop. Now the mercury is dropping and the nights are getting darker it’s time for the rise of the basement bar.

From vintage themed haunts where you can get your Peaky Blinders on to gig-focused intimate venues, here’s a round-up of where to go for some underground entertainment…

  • Dr Legba’s absinthe bar at the Royal Hotel, High Street, Southend

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder - or so they say, so head along to Dr Legba’s Emporium of Cocktails and Curiosities at the historic Royal Hotel in Southend, for a dose of the green goddess.

Reached via a private narrow stairway from the High Street, the basement level bar transports you back to the days of the speakeasy.

Here you’ll find an array of absinthe-infused cocktails, gins and an intimate underground atmosphere. The bar is open at weekends and is available for private hire.


  • Bottle Bureau, New Street, Chelmsford

Wow, you do not want to miss this place. Not only is it an exquisite and relaxed basement bar in a perfect city location, it’s heaven for gin lovers. With a collection of 185 gins from small batch and local distillers to leading global brands, customers can savour in excess of 9000 possible gin-based drinks and cocktails.


  • Three Wise Monkeys, High Street, Colchester

Gin is still so in, so it’s no surprise that this buzzing Colchester venue’s relatively new gin basement bar is a smash hit.

With a capacity of 50 people, the bar is gin-orientated with intricate beer taps, low lighting and a chilled atmosphere. Serving an amazing array of high-end gins plus six of the Three Wise Monkey’s popular draught beers, the gin bar is open every Friday and Saturday from 7pm until close. All you need to do is find the door that leads down the rabbit hole! Visit

  • Bassment, Wells Street, Chelmsford

With its low ceilings and exposed brick walls, Bassment is a favourite among music lovers. It’s intimate, off the beaten track and has a 150 capacity room where live gigs and DJ-led music nights are held regularly. You can expect to hear a heady mix of live music from the fields of Jazz, Funk, Blues, Americana, Indie, Rock, Reggae, Folk, Roots, Hip Hop, Acoustic and many more. The venue also mixes a mean cocktail too! Visit

  • The Pipe of Port, High Street, Southend

This is one of the most famous basement bar and dining room on the map. With candle-lit rooms, mahogany tables and sawdust covered floors, it’s one of the most atmospheric venues in town. It’s known for its exceptional wines, of which there are more than 150, sources from all over the world. Visit