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Islington Girl is BACK to share Islington’s Top Five Cocktail Bars for Fabulous Hens, just in time for festive fun. These definitely need to be added to your Christmas party night with the girls list!
69 Colebrooke Row
Photo credit @69colebrookerow
The king of cocktails, Tony Conigliaro, opened 69 Colebrooke Row in 2009 as his first solo establishment. Many would argue the petite speakeasy is one of the best in London, if not even the world. Expert mixologists in crisp white shirts and blazers, set against a moody black and white vintage interior, create exquisite concoctions – the Amaretto Sour was one of the best I’ve ever had, but their trademark is the Prairie Oyster, consisting of Tomato Yolk, Horseradish Vodka, Oloroso Sherry, Shallots, Pepper Sauce, Celery Salt, and Micro Herbs, which I would highly recommend sampling. That is, if you can find the bar. The charming bijou bar has no obvious signage and the entrance is concealed down a narrow passageway off Upper Street – look out for the black anonymous exterior on the corner of Colebrooke Row and Elliott’s Place identifiable by a single antique lantern hanging overhead.
69 Colebrooke Row, London, N1 8AA | www.69colebrookerow.com
Hoxley & Porter
Photo credit: www.hoxleyandporter.co.uk
Colonial Victoriana meets the Egyptian Orient in this charismatic art deco bar. Decadence and grandeur combine with an interior design which is as inspiring as its experimental cocktails. Dark teak woods blended with teal armchairs and gold filigree pineapples juxtapose against a backgdrop of jungle green and flamingo pink wallpaper. As a marketer, I can really appreciate the attention to detail that has gone into each touchpoint of this gorgeous venue – the leather bound menus alone are a sight to behold, not to mention the elegant tweed bartender’s uniforms. Settle into one of the sumptuous booths and enjoy a simple Giumber, made from vodka, lime, cucumber and ginger; or my particular guilty pleasure, the Rosemary Pisco Sour with egg white.
153 Upper Street, London, N1 1RA | www.hoxleyandporter.co.uk
Photo credit: www.100restaurants.co.uk
Sister to 100 Hoxton, recently opened 100 Islington pays homage to Asia and the Middle East with exotic flavours and design. Located in the heart of Upper Street, the venue is as much a people watching exercise on the al fresco heated promenade seating, as it is on the interior with the cloud formation centrepiece bar, and velvet booths. (Islington Girl Fact: Once upon a time I lived in a house share right above this bar!) The signature 100 Islington brings together Four Roses Bourbon, Earl Grey tea, crème de peche and lemon topped with prosecco, but I personally recommend the Lady Chatterly Sour, a combination of Hendrick’s Gin, cucumber, lemon, Luxardo Maraschino and egg white. Although this week we are focusing on cocktails, it would be wrong of me not to highlight the food offering as 100 Islington’s Head Chef is ex Nopi (of Ottolenghi acclaim) Francis Puyat. Don’t resist the temptation to order some accompanying small plates of Singapore Soft Shell Chilli Crab or Courgette & Halloumi Fritters.
270 Upper Street, London, N1 2UQ | www.100restaurants.co.uk
The Four Sisters
Photo credit: www.thefoursistersbar.co.uk
A minute’s stroll from 100 Islington on Canonbury Lane but seemingly in another era, The Four Sisters Bar was originally home to a brothel. Taking inspiration from its past, the bar retains an intimate but luxurious atmosphere with candlelit corners and dark vintage wood panelling. These guys take cocktails seriously and the talented team craft an impressively innovative menu – I am not a Negroni drinker, but I have been sworn to from a much reliable tried and tested palate that the Barrel Aged Negroni is one of the best in London. Available for private hire, or reservations, the boudoir chic back parlour area will particularly delight your guests. Familiar only with locals in the know, this bar is Islington’s best kept secret.
25 Canonbury Lane, London, N1 2AS | www.thefoursistersbar.co.uk
The second venture from renowned cocktail family Callooh Callay, Little Bat Bar brings its Shoreditch expertise to Islington. Eclectic and quirky throughout, upon arrival guests are greeted by a botanical garden complete with its own swing seat, before moving through the narrow library with floating bookshelves, large comfortable Chesterfields and plush armchairs. Do not miss the photobooth at the back which your guests will adore! Multi awarding winning Callooh Callay regularly features on the World’s Best Cocktail Lists so it’s no surprise that Little Bat similarly delights with Pan Am, runner up in the Bacardi Legacy Globals, with Carta Blanca rum, Aperol, lemon juice, almond syrup, egg white, and Angostura. Espresso Martinis (which as you know, Claire and I have a serious fondness for!) are excellent, as are their Amaretto Sours served in cut glass crystal.
54 Islington Park Street, London, N1 1PX | www.littlebatbar.com