Bar des Arts is located in central Guildford, opposite the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and provides an oasis of calm during the day whilst transforming into a lively and enchanting venue at night. A café by day and a sophisticated cocktail and wine bar at night, it was opened by Richard Gouget and Sara Burks in 2010.
There are several reasons why you should drop by this multi-faceted bar as it hosts a variety of different types of events for all occasions. In the past, the bar has put on fashion shows, whisky and rum tastings, flamenco and salsa nights, art exhibitions, poetry nights, cabaret performances and a huge selection of live music nights such as acoustic, vintage, jazz, blues and Mo-town. These acts are predominantly local, but always of high quality, with some events being ticketed and others free of entry.
There is a secondary meeting room upstairs which provides a fabulous setting for hosting business meetings and is where art exhibitions and other such great nights have been put on. On top of that, Bar des Arts is a great venue to hire privately if you are hoping to host a charity night, an engagement party, birthday or such. Although, if you don’t wish to hire the whole venue, you can book a cocktail making session (which is perfect for stag and hen parties looking for something a little more high-brow) or you can always ring up and pre-book a table on any night. Just make sure you get in touch early, especially when live acts are playing as the bar does book up.
During the day, Bar des Arts is in café mode and is a great place to escape the bustle of central town by relaxing and having a coffee whilst being serenaded by some chilled, ambient music (not live). There is plenty of seating options and if you are lucky, you may get a spot on the big, black leather sofa or the in the secluded window section in the corner. Through the day, the bar offers freshly baked pastries, cakes, soups and delicious light lunches like baked potatoes or cold and toasted sandwiches. There is also food available in the evenings when the mood changes and the lights dim as you can order platters and apperitivos to accompany your drinks.
Bar des Arts is also one of only two proper cocktail bars in central Guildford (the other being MKB) with trained mixologists that create their own menu according to the current season, style and spirits. There are some classic cocktails that you will find on the menu most of the year round like the ‘Old Fashion’, the ‘7 year Mojito’ and the ‘Expresso Martini’, which have a permanent residence for a reason!
On top of the extensive cocktail list, there are shots and shot tails on offer, with a huge wine and champagne menu which is impressive enough in itself. Bottled beers are frequently changed around to give new and fresh options which you will not see in most other standard bars and pubs in Guildford which more than makes up for the fact there are no draft beers. And if drinking isn’t your thing, then not to worry as there are also a selection of Mocktails and cold drinks on offer to sip at while you drink in the atmosphere.
Bar des Arts really can be summarised by its title; a lively and vibrant bar in the evening which serves up top notch cocktails, combined with a chic and elegant décor that displays plenty of local art on the walls. A really pleasant place to unwind during the day, or a high-class venue to see some great live entertainment later on.