Where to Drink + Dance in East London

Wed, 28 February 2018
night-jar-london-bar-drink

Nightjar

A hop, skip and a jump from Old Street roundabout, this basement speakeasy capitalises on its underground setting with low lighting, comfortable booths lightly wafting jazz notes making it the perfect date spot – if you’re happy to wait in the queue outside. Deservedly listed among the top 10 bars in the world, drinks are mixed with an unprecedented attention to detail by staff who are unparalleled in their liquid knowledge. Seamlessly blending old with new, vintage fittings hold together a copper bar which offers the best seats in the house if you want to watch the experts at work. With its late-night licence Nightjar lives up to its name, enabling patrons to continue trying their award-winning drinks into the early hours.

XOYO

Known for their DJ residencies, the Shoreditch nightclub XOYO is trending with music junkies. Their dance floor is always brimming with energy, dancers matching the electrifying pulse of the music. During the DJ residencies, visitors have the opportunity to see one DJ play week after week and see sets when the resident DJ plays back to back with other artists they’ve drawn inspiration from. If you’re going to let loose, this is the place to do it.

Queen of Hoxton

With the help of Mad Ferret, a festival production agency, Queen of Hoxton transformed its already infamous rooftop to a fairytale world where gingerbread bars and treehouse lookouts exist. Meadow flowers, ivy, mirrors and wonky clocks cover the space creating an Alice in Wonderland atmosphere unlike any other. This is just one of many specially curated events the Queen of Hoxton hosts. Earlier this year they collaborated with So Fresh So Clean, a 90s hiphop and RnB collective that is currently hosting events at MODE. Other events include themed music and dance nights, craft workshops and film screenings.

Untitled

This Dalston drinking den is another of award-winning cocktail curator Tony Conigliaro’s glorious creations (he also has Termini in Soho). In true East London style, interiors are all very minimal, but a rotating roster of 12 innovative cocktails more than packs a punch with pioneering ingredients such as white clay, beeswax and dark oak. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a passing fad of bells and whistles: these guys mean serious business, reflected in even more serious drinks. Conigliaro is the bartender of the 21st-century – and the cool cats couldn’t be happier that he’s opened a spot on their home turf.

The Gibson

A unique drinking venue just a stone’s throw from Old Street, The Gibson transports visitors through time and space with the help of brave and evocative cocktails. Founders Marian Beke and Rusty Cerven seem to have inspiration and creativity in spades; an extensive cocktail list overflows with inventive garnishes and flamboyant finishes. It would be rude not to start with the namesake drink – a twist on a classic martini, which swaps an olive for a pickled onion – and that’s nothing on what’s to come. Inflatable flamingos, ceramic fish and wooden ape heads all feature in an endless supply of drinking receptacles. To complete the experience, live music and nibbles abound.

Sager + Wilde

This Hackney Road wine bar is a neighbourhood jewel which buzzes nightly with a young generation of urban oenophiles. In-keeping with the demographic, it’s all exposed-brick walls, scrubbed wooden floors and industrial lighting are completed by an impressive floor-to-ceiling wine rack. A carefully curated wine list has diversity at its core, offering an international selection of handpicked bottles with labels you won’t recognise. Don’t let that intimidate you – smiling staff can’t wait to give you the lowdown, in line with the founders’ mission to create a “community-orientated place for like-minded people”. Don’t leave without trying their revered grilled-cheese sandwich.

Oriole

From the founders of perennially popular Shoreditch haunt Nightjar comes Oriole, a speakeasy-inspired bar in Covent Garden specialising in whimsically wacky spirits. Named after a bird native to Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, cocktails follow suit with artful blends using flavours local to these far-flung locations to create impressive libations, often garnished with a flourish of gold leaf. Live music is the order of the day, so fill up on the menu of Nikkei-inspired sharing plates before shimmying the night away.

  • 020 3457 8099
  • Go to Website
  • Smithfield Markets
    East Poultry Avenue
    London
    EC1A 9LH

Nightjar

XOYO

Queen of Hoxton

Untitled

The Gibson

Sager + Wilde

Oriole

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