Friday, 18 September 2009

Exceeding expectations - Shoreditch House, London

For an old bar hand like myself most of the hyped places I visit tend to at best fall a little short of expectations. Not so Shoreditch House which the Northerner and I finally checked out recently to see what all the fuss is about. Frankly, the fuss is warranted as the 'Ditch' is beautifully designed, sizzingly atmospheric and topped off with the best view from a bar / club that I have seen in London town. It's no exaggeration that the cityscape panorama on offer matches anything you might see in New York. And in fact, that is the thing about the place. It's very New York albeit in the heart of Shoreditch. What more can you want from a bar?
We were up there to catch up with our 'new friends', the Architect and Betty Boo who we met at a fashion bash a few weeks back. After taking care of a few bottles of champagne to celebrate the Architect winning a battle with a former employer and me losing one with HMRC, we took in some people watching around the pool - the highlight of which were a gang of guys, looking resplendent in shirt, tie and jackets with small tight fitting denim shorts to provide that bit of drama. And lest you found yourself wondering how their 'outfits' worked , it wasn't too long before they had shed them completely and were launching themselves speedo clad of course, into the pool.
We headed down to the 5th floor for some fine Australian Cabernet sauvignon and a mighty fine dinner - which despite me getting pan fried cod with pesto instead of the pork I ordered, was delicious. The Northerner who did get the roast pork said I was unlucky as it was perfectly seasoned and slightly rare - just how I like it.
At our communal table we were sat with a Naomi Campbell lookalike and her tall OTT fashionable American hairdresser friend, while on my side were two of the most obnoxious European investment bankers imaginable who apparently 'know Nick' and were reeling off complaints by the dozen. To their credit the staff managed them back with ease - after all, they weren't famous, simply rich - which made me like the place even more.
I can't actually think of anything to be negative about - a constant criticism of this blog. The atmosphere is great, views - spectacular, and the staff - very charming and efficient. Just like in New York.
I'm not a member, and don't imagine I ever will be, but if I could I would. It's not better then my beloved East Rooms, but has that extra glamour and frisson that you get when style, fashion and celebrity are under, or in fact on top of, the same roof. Nothing wrong with that.

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