Monday, 31 August 2009

Shoreditch Styling - Callooh Callay, Rivington Street

There are some bars that take your breathe away in terms of visual impact,brilliance of thought and ambiance. And Callooh Callay (yes you heard that correctly) on Rivington Street in Shoreditch is one of those. Picking up the mantle from where the now legendary Loungelover left off, Callooh is is probably the most stylishly innovative London bar this fella has been to in a good few years. And trust me, that covers quite a few bars. 
What am I talking about? In no particular order any place that has a wall of cassettes decorating the entrance to and interiors of the toilets; twenties' gramophones re-engineered into Tiki punch drinking vessels; a retro seventies bar protecting the DJ booth (as in the sort your parents aspired to have in their house); and best of all, a 'through the looking glass' wardrobe that acts as a door to the back rooms; is already doing everything right in the looks department. 
But the innovation extends beyond how it looks, and onto the cocktails we ventured, where once again Callooh came up trumps. After perusing the menu our tasting session began in earnest. The Northerner helped herself to a Hisbiscusaurus (tequila based with apple), Nettle Fizz (Gin, blackberries and Prosecco) and Rocking all Clover the world (Gin, raspberry and rhubarb bitters), which were delicious. I knocked back an Ale of Two Cities (looks like an ale, but with feijoa vodka, bitters, lime, apple and malt syrup) Ready Steady Shake (passionfruit vodka, creme de peche and citrus bitters) and Delicious Sour (courvoisier based) and finally and Afternoon Twee (gin, blueberry, fruit bitters). They were all, without exception delicious and perfectly executed. Flavoursome without tasting overpoweringly alcoholic - despite the fact that most of them obviously were.
We chatted to Richard, one of the founders of the place who was charm personified, and explained that the place, which opened last November, and soft-launched in February was now beginning to pick up momentum - indicated by the taxi loads of beautiful people that rocked up over the course of the evening. I already plan to book my next party there and will be dropping him a line very soon. I can't say enough good about this place except to check it out for yourself. Although don't go too soon. Clearly I want it to stay a 'secret' for a little bit longer.

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