london cocktail club | this city life

The London Cocktail Club, Shaftesbury Avenue

With my lovely new job and more time on my hands I’m really starting to feel like I can enjoy the city so much more. So when my friends announced their engagement and booked a booth at the new London Cocktail Club on Shaftesbury Avenue to celebrate, I stepped up to my 2012 resolution to “get out more” and..well, went out.

I love how London reveals a little gem every now and then. A place that reminds you how exciting this city can be, somewhere that restores your faith that you made the right choice to settle here for a while, a little smirk on the face of caution.

The cocktail club is a small venue, but it makes up for its size in personality. I fell in love with the skull and crossbones flocked wallpaper and old-school tattoo artwork along the walls – where do I get myself a few rolls of that? It’s a pretty trendy bar, but not the sort of trendy where you feel out of place if you don’t have half a shaved head and a neon crop top – thankfully. With the impressive decor and even more spectacular jars and trinkets of cocktail ingredients peering out from the behind the bar, this was definitely the right place to start my Saturday night comeback.

London Cocktail Club - drinks
Drinks served in little jam jars!
London Cocktail Club - ingredients
Ingredients in pipette bottles and jars

The cocktails are truly a work of art. Has anyone ever thought of putting a rasher of bacon on top of a drink with egg whites in it? London Cocktail Club have! Or a slice of toast hanging off the side of a martini glass? London Cocktail Club have again! Every little detail is thought of with each drink, which makes a refreshing change from the usual. There’s even a drink on the menu that’s served in a Lyle’s Golden Syrup tin, and a volcano style cocktail complete with a peak that sets alight. If there’s one thing I’d ask of them it would be to have a mocktail menu – even if there’s only 3 or 4 to choose from. I might not drink alcohol right now but I still love the idea of a ‘pretty tipple’.

London Cocktail Club - eggs and bacon
Yep, that's a bacon rasher and two Haribo fried eggs ...
London Cocktail Club - toast
Well, they do say to line your stomach with carbs ... that toast will do

It was so clear to see that people were having a good time and enjoying the music. I love people-watching so I look out for their reactions at the start of songs, and pretty much every song that came on had at least one person jumping up in excitement. The playlist that night reminded me so much of my old uni days in pop-punk clubs, so much so that when I got home I annoyed the hell out of Lonelycoo making a Spotify playlist – Saturday Night’s Alright (For Reminiscing). They’re the songs that made you get up and shake your moneymaker in an Apple Sourz-fueled haze back in ‘the days’ – including Bloc Party, System of a Down, Joy Division, Pixies, Transplants, New Order …

So, I’ll definitely be going back to The London Cocktail Club to dance and see what’s new on the menu – not just to ask the manager where they got that wallpaper and who their jam jar supplier is.

Images courtesy of The London Cocktail Club website

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Charley is a professional copywriter and tea-lover currently living in Leeds. She writes about city living and city travel (with a few cats thrown in).