Having recently made the leap from the OXO Tower to Knightsbridge Sophie Bratt, Bars Manager has quickly become the fountain of knowledge on all things hospitality.
Muse caught up with the boundless talent to hear all about her journey with Harvey Nichols.
What was going on in Sophie’s world before you joined Harvey Nichols?
“Before Harvey Nichols, I worked at a rock n roll ‘dive’ bar called MoJo.”
A ‘dive’ bar?!
“It’s an American term and used to describe a particular type of bar and it’s style of fast service. I worked there for 3-4 years. I started as a Bar-Back and worked my way up to a Bar Tender. In fact, I was the first ever female bar tender there.”
What are some of your interests outside of work?
“Apart from drinking? I love horse-riding in the Lake District – I used to go eventing actually. I also enjoy reading and spending time with friends. I enjoy attending football with my boyfriend, but we support different teams. I support Chelsea and he supports Spurs – we usually end up at Spurs…”
When did your journey start with Harvey Nichols?
“It was eight years ago in Leeds, on the 4th floor bar. My job was sealed with a high-five and a martini with the then Bar Manager, Nino. I was the Bar Tender, then progressed to Head Bar Tender after three years. I then moved to OXO as Assistant Bar Manager and spent five years there before moving to the Knightsbridge store in August 2017. Interesting fact – each time I moved stores, I had just been to a Pearl Jam concert.
What are some of your favourite memories from your time at the Leeds store?
“There are loads. Doing a rum tiki presentation in the middle of Victoria Quarter for ‘Leeds Loves Cocktails’ – it’s similar London Cocktail Week. Sunday team bowling became a regular occurrence. Another highlight was meeting Richard Walton Allen, Head Chef & Hospitality Manager – he’s still one of my best friends.”
Can you tell us about your move to OXO and adapting to London-life?
“I didn’t have a house at the time so I had to share a bed with my best friend Hannah. Luckily this was only for the first month! On my second night in London we went to Burger & Lobester, Soho, and of course, ate too much. The very handsome manager Kyle suggested we try a Fernet Branca, an amazing digestif. One month later and during a tequila tasting I bumped into Kyle, he bought me a beer and the rest is history. It has been five years today!”
What are some of your highlights during your time at OXO?
“Being part of the Patron Margarita competition. Patron are flying me to New York in the new year for one week. The Brasserie winning ‘Best Bar’ and being nominated for ‘Best Classic Cocktail List.”
What are you most looking forward to in your new role at Knightsbridge?
“Getting stuck in and integrating the bar with the store.”