Need help navigating Bedford’s bars? Want to up your Christmas cocktail game? Then help is at hand. We sent roving reporter Zoe Stafford (plus one) on a cocktail crawl to find the finest strong liquor available to humanity (within the town centre)…
Myself and Roll Your Own Records’ Captain, Dave, were given the arduous task of tasting the cocktail delights our fine town has to offer. Our journey took us to The Flute, Bears and Tales and The Third Place.
First stop was The Flute, a little gem just off the high street, snuggled down Ram Yard and next to (the rather delicious smelling) La Fontana.
Their champagne selection is something to marvel at, but this being a cocktail tour the cocktail menu is where we headed. The menu is modest but strong, including the classics that get the party started and keep it going. With its close proximity to the high street and Castle Quarter restaurants it is ideally situated to avoid the hustle and bustle of the high street establishments and a credit to its owner, Lui.
The Chocolate Martini caught my eye (perfect post-dinner, dessert cocktail) whilst Dave chose the classic Black Russian, perfectly served by Manuel. Both were drinks you could happily drink for the rest of the night, and the cosy feel of The Flute makes it so you happily would.
Bears and Tales, (currently on Lime Street but relocating to St Cuthbert’s in January), is headed up by cocktail wizard, Tom.
The table service means you get to sit back, relax and enjoy your time with the people you’re with, not spend it jostling for a space at the bar before ordering a disappointing Woo Woo.
I went for my personal favourite, a Lemon Meringue Martini whilst Dave went for this week’s special, the ‘Don’t worry, bee jolly’. This (Christmas) special took you right back to sitting by the fire and singing Christmas carols with the family (or at least I imagine that’s what Christmas in the ‘50s smelt and tasted like). And that’s the thing that Tom is so great at, his ability to turn a feeling or place into a delicious concoction, a potion that even Hermione Granger would be jealous of.
The Third Place was the last (and third) place on our trip. I felt cool by association just being in there and it’s a place London would be proud of. The modern, minimalist design Jess and Matt have brought to the bar makes you feel like you’ve stepped right into the set of a neo-noir science fiction film.
Their cocktails are modern takes on the classics, with a wide variety for every palette, their speciality Espresso Rumtini is a great example – a Classic espresso martini with a rum twist. Dave chose the Spiced Anejo Highball while I opted for a Prosecco based Raspberry Limoncello Cooler. Both refreshing and incredibly drinkable.
The record-wielding collective Third Place have amassed creates a vibrant atmosphere and with a floor you can dance on and an outside wall you can twerk on (me and a friend tried with successful results), you could happily spend the rest of your night there.
The Flute Wine & Lounge Bar, 2 Ram Yard, Bedford MK40 1AL Thursday – Saturday 6pm – 1am
Bears & Tales, 4 Lime St, Bedford MK40 1NH Thursday – Saturday 5.30pm – 12.30am
The Third Place, , 38 St Peter’s St, Bedford MK40 2NN Thursday – Saturday 5pm – 11pm