London is filled with quirky alternative spaces to grab a drink – and Shoreditch is the hub where many such spaces can be found in abundance. Here’s our quick guide to finding the very best watering holes in and around Shoreditch during your trip to the city…
If being served whiskey on tap from an enormous oak tree doubling as a table doesn’t make the grade as ‘alternative’, then what does? This cleverly-themed bar turns all possible definitions on their head, and benefits from great creativity in both drinks and execution. The basement-venue location only serves to enhance the appeal of such an ingenious space and tests the limits of imagination in the bar industry to create something truly original.
The Cocktail Trading Co. Brick Lane
The newly launched Cocktail Trading Company pedals heavily on novelty and ingenuity, with fantastic results. The impressive drinks menu includes plenty of quirky finds such as the ‘One in a Million’, which is served with a complementary lottery ticket, or the Punch, which is served inside a large seashell. The ‘Guido Fawkes’ is even accompanied by a small explosion, making this one themed cocktail list which somehow works amid the chaos. Great for adventurous bar hoppers staying at the M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City.
Below the Smoke
Located beneath a Scandi-themed smokehouse, this bar is dedicated to Scandinavian-style cocktails with unusual flavours and an even more unusual aesthetic. The bar itself closely resembles a science museum, and the minimalist aesthetic carries through everything from the furniture to the sparsely decorated white walls and metallic counters where your drinks are served. As part of Rok London it’s well worth a look for those interested in enjoying a meal at a restaurant before ascending into this hugely atmospheric bar, and with an imaginative menu of drinks to choose from there’s plenty to keep you entertained during your trip to the M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City.
Bull in a China Shop
Lively and intriguing, this bar specialises in Japanese Whiskey, and also serves a wide range of delicious meals ranging from a packed breakfast menu to late-night treats. Rotisserie chicken is particularly popular, marinated with ginger and yoghurt for a deliciously rich taste. Great for whiskey fans, there’s plenty of Scotch to choose from and a range of signature cocktails ideal for enjoying a night on the town before returning to hotels near Silicon Roundabout.
Based on 1920’s speakeasies, the Nightjar brings a Prohibition-tinged flair to its entire menu, creating a wonderful atmosphere which is completely complimented by the surroundings. Even the music is in tune with the drinks on offer, with a range of jazz and swing tunes allowing you to really get into the spirit of the venue. Comfy and welcoming, this bar really does tick all the boxes required of an alternative drinking spot without seeming overly self-conscious or try hard.