Review by Kelly Hussey
As with any cool cocktail bar worth its salt, London Cocktail Club is hard to find unless you know what you’re looking for. Tucked away along Goodge Street, the little fire-escape style metal stairway is barely discernible on a street filled with in your face restaurants. Walking down and past a big piece of funky graffiti art, the bar immediately makes an impact. Able to seat 70, it’s something of a Tardis, stretching back past a narrow walkway with a large bar complete with huge bar stools to the left and some peripheral sofas and tables to the right. The dim lighting is lifted by the bright backlit bar, showing off row upon row of neat bottles of exciting looking spirits. Vintage jewellery boxes, funky walls and a general feeling of decorative flair is evident throughout. At the back is a larger seating area with more tables for bigger groups. One of the cutest touches are the toilets – the only thing giving away which is the gents and ladies is a large door knob for the boys and two big knockers for the girls. Get it? You won’t after 8 cocktails so don’t go stumbling into the wrong one.
Secretive, cool cocktail bars are springing up all over London as the trend spreads from Paris and New York for ‘in the know’ drinking dens. London Cocktail Club is counteracting this with a real sense of fun. From the personable, incredibly friendly bar staff to the funky soundtrack booming in the background, this isn’t a bar that will turn you away for not being trendy enough.
London Cocktail Club may be putting the fun back into London’s cocktail scene but they’re not skimping on quality. Doing for gastronomic cocktails what Heston has done with molecular gastronomy, the team here is really pushing the boat out. Priced at £7.50-£9 a cocktail, it’s also extremely competitive for the area
A simple strawberry daiquiri is kept simple, twisted by being served in a jar filled with ice – a real alcoholic Slush Puppy. A Brixton Riot is served, of course, with a fire show, adding a theatrical edge of the drink that will get the whole bar talking. An eggs and bacon-style martini comes with a slice of pancetta and egg as a main ingredient in the cocktail itself – it really does taste like breakfast. Follow it up with an apple crumble or rhubarb and custard and you can forego dinner altogether. A dangerous game, perhaps, but worth the headache in the morning.
If you want to do a shooter then an oyster bomb is an exciting twist on the Jaegar Bomb, served in real oyster shells with a hit of Tabasco sauce designed to be drunk in the same way you eat oysters – chuck it down your throat. Fun and innovative, it defines the way that this bar interacts with its customers. And, if you don’t love cocktails (say what?) then London Cocktail Club does an incredible house wine. Priced at just over £3 for a glass, both the house red and white are easy to drink and delicate on the palate, which goes to show the thought they’ve put into every aspect of the business. They finish up the selection with bottled Tiger, Kronenbourg, Magners and London Pride. And keep an eye out for their soon to launch tasting menu. To cost £40 a head, they will take you on a journey of cocktail gastronomy, introducing canapes and cocktails that will test your senses to their limit. Exciting things ahead, indeed.
The Last Word
You can’t fail to fall in love with London Cocktail Club and it’s refreshing to find a bar that produces quality but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Watch this space, this is one brand that will make headlines for all the right reasons.