Interview with Her Majesty’s Secret Service: for Queen, for country, for cocktails

Whiteladies Road officially welcomes its newest addition tonight, in the former site of Charlie’s Bar, just next to Clifton Down station.

This evening marks the grand opening of the Bond-inspired Her Majesty’s Secret Service (HMSS) – which promises inventive cocktails and plenty of punch to boot, all skilfully concocted by some expert mixologists.

I was so intrigued that I decided to pose a few questions to one of the owners, Ben Alcock, in a bid to find out a bit more about this exciting, top-secret venture that is sure to shake up (but not stir…) Bristol’s cocktail scene.

Here’s what he had to say…

7 So tell me about Her Majesty’s Secret Service – what’s it all about?

HMSS is a new cocktail bar and punch house opening up on Whiteladies Road, Bristol. The team behind it are all about bringing highly creative, fun and experiential drinks set within a laid-back environment. Essentially, the name of the game is to create accessible flavours in a welcoming setting, allowing everybody to come together and have a party!

And why did you choose the name?

When I grow up, I want to be a secret agent…

I am a firm believer that we are all still kids at heart – and that is a beautiful thing. The central theme here was created as a team effort between myself and the fellas from the London Cocktail Trading Co. (Andy Mil, Elliot Ball and Olly Brading). Four lads thinking of a exciting concept for a cocktail bar – it was a no-brainer!

It has all fallen into place and we’ve got a great base on which we can build. It’s a showcase for great British heritage while providing a setting fit for escaping real life.


Go on, tell me about the cocktail menu…

There’s lots to tell: the cocktail menu is disguised as an agent’s passport; each drink comes with a little recipe attachment, just in case you love it enough to go home and make it for yourself; the menu also holds some little amusements, too; and we even threw in a poem! As for what exactly is on there? You’ll have to come and see for yourself…

Ok, but could you at least tell me your own favourite tipple?

My personal favourite cocktail on the menu is the ‘Sauvignon Private Ryan’. This one is far too easy to drink and it’s topped with a burning matchstick – who doesn’t love that smell?

Why did you choose to come to Bristol? 

I am a complete newbie to Bristol – I come from Worcester originally – but this city has such a great social scene. Bristol is home to some really fantastic cocktail bars and restaurants, but the deciding factor was the level of creativity and support of independents that this place has.

Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to check HMSS out for myself!7HMSS, Whiteladies Gate, Whiteladies Road, BS8 2PH


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