So ‘Dry January’ is almost over and dunno about you but we could ‘murder’ a drink and most probably, so could everybody else!
But wouldn’t it be nice to hide away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds with your date? How do you fancy hidden locations, basements, secret agents, detectives and killer cocktails? Ok (looking nervously over our shoulder) you need to come with us…
69 Colebrooke Row, Islington
‘The bar with no name’ is identified with just a lantern and burgundy awnings on an Islington backstreet. Inside, there’s a cocktail bar in one private room, where the interior blends ‘1950s Italian Café style with a Film Noir feel’. The cocktail menu uses esoteric ingredients that have been developed in Drink Factory – the research and development laboratory located near to Broadway Market; highlights include Prairie Oyster with Tomato yolk, Horseradish Vodka, Oloroso Sherry, Shallots, Pepper Sauce, Celery Salt, Micro Herbs; Death In Venice blending Campari with Grapefruit Bitters topped with Prosecco and an Orange Twist and Panettone Bellini – Panettone puree topped with Prosecco.
Experimental Cocktail Club, Chinatown
Nestled between two Chinese restaurants, this bar is hard to miss but this old townhouse houses a fabulous bar over three floors. The décor is opulent, the light is flattering and the cocktails are delicious – a perfect date combination. The staff really knows their stuff and the drinks are not overpriced. Remember: You heard it here first!
Evans and Peel Detective Agency, Earls Court
Are you a fan of Cluedo or Sherlock? Then this is the bar for you. Disguised as a detective agency, this neatly disguised Earl’s Court venue has a dark and sultry interior. You will need a ‘case’ to get in – so will need to book in advance, although they do accept the odd drop-in. The menu has all the classics with a twist and the food is delicious too – especially if you are a fan of all things smoked.
Bourne and Hollingsworth, Fitzrovia
This compact basement bar is not easy to find and located not far from Tottenham Court Road. It has retro styling with frilly lampshades and floral wallpaper and tablecloths – and the cocktails are served out of items you’d find in your gran’s cupboards, such as jam jars, vintage glasses and teacups. With a relaxed vibe about it and regular DJ residencies, this venue is well worth a visit.
Happiness Forgets, Shoreditch
Famed for its interesting and inexpensive cocktail menu, this bar is hidden below a café in a Shoreditch basement. The menu features classics with a new twist and they serve delicious Thai nibbles from the restaurant above. It has a laid back, sensual and intimate vibe, so is perfect for a date. Make a reservation because capacity is limited.
Danger of Death, Brick Lane
Described as a ‘late night dinky drinking den with killer cocktails and a kiss-ass sound system’, this E1 bar comes from the people behind Milk & Honey in London and New York and The Player in Soho. There are 20 cocktails on the menu and if you work your way through all of them (you can get your book stamped), you’ll get rewarded with a £50 bar tab. The venue is dark and intimate with a 1950s-feel and it has a cool, but no overly pretentious air about it.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, East London
Located at The Breakfast Club, you have to tell the staff you are there ‘to see the Mayor’ and then entrance is via a Smeg fridge (yes, really), then down some stairs to a brick-walled bar. Inspired by the New York speakeasies, there is plenty of food and drink (house and classic cocktails) on offer. When you have done, you then need to leave through a fake exit – the My Little Pony toilets. Brilliant!
Know of any other great secret bars? Are you willing to tell us @Lovestruck?Tweet