69 Colebrooke Row

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London’s most stylish drinking den

If you take a trip down from Angel station, you may just happen upon the little slice of 1950’s film noir, which resides on the corner of Colebrooke Row. I’m referring to the charming cocktail establishment bar ‘with no name’ which simply addresses itself as 69 Colebrooke Row.

This place is brilliantly bizarre in all the right measurements, with a shot of vintage and a hearty slug of curious. Its a tiny space -as in, the downstairs portion of a one-up-one-down, with a neatly arranged array of tables and chairs. But what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in charm and ingenuity.

Bar staff are incredibly attentive (and well dressed) and go the extra mile to make myself and my guest feel warmly welcome with the help of nibbles and an amouse bouche. This was an amouse bouche like no other; the ‘Prairie Oyster’, which evolves from the old fashioned palate cleanser of Tabasco, pepper …and a raw egg yolk. This version contained many of the same flavours and included an interesting interpretation on the egg yolk part -a little parcelled membrane which, when burst in the mouth, emits a wealth of flavours onto one’s tongue. Described by some as a ‘taste sensation’ and others as an ‘oral party’ (ok, that was me), it’s perhaps not one for the faint hearted but I urge you to try it if you’d be so bold.

From there, we had an ‘Oh Gosh’ cocktail along with a ‘Barbershop Fizz’ which arrived with a barbershop-striped straw -too adorable for words. Both equally refreshing, their flavours certainly made a statement and didn’t go quietly.

As we supped, the bar increased in population, increased in atmosphere and decreased in light. It wasn’t long before this once bright, airy space became a low-lit London hide-away. The music made the entire visit all the more old-school with jazz accompanying our stay, though we were assured that the music is usually very ecclectic and widely varied.

Little touches and attention to detail help this place achieve that back street, mad professor’s workshop of quirk which it delightfully portrays.

This little corner of London is perfect for first dates and mates dates, if what you’re looking for is a fun-filled night for all involved. I even snuck a souvenir drinks mat into my handbag; the tailor-made posh beer mat now resides on my fridge door and reminds me of my surreal, memorable night at 69 Colebrooke Row every time I go to pour a mundane glass of milk.

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