The Cocktail Lovers’ choice: 69 Colebrooke Row, Angel, and The Shop, Kensal Rise
There are style bars and there are bars with style. Cocktail bar 69 Colebrooke Row definitely falls into the latter category. Tucked off an unassuming side street in Islington, this cosy 40-seater room is the kind of local you’d happily move house for. On the décor front it’s simple – plain wooden tables, straight up and down chairs, chequerboard flooring and a smattering of low-key stools at the bar. Unassuming? Yes. Uninspiring? Absolutely not. That’s down to the intimacy, first-class service and a menu made up of off-the-scale drinks. Award-winning ‘flavourist’ Tony Conigliaro and his team approach the crafting of a cocktail with the precision and passion of artists. Expect quality drinks like a Bloody Mary taken to another level with horseradish vodka, pepper distillate and homemade pepper sauce.
Address: 69 Colebrooke Row, London. N1 8AA
Getting there: Tube: Angel
You’ve got to love the playful nature of any bar that serves its cocktails in jam jars. Especially when they’re as good as the ones at The Shop. Like a funked-up W.I. this recently opened bar-cum-retail outlet is every inch the community hotspot with an ever-changing rosta of one-off ‘happenings’, including cupcake decorating workshops, music nights and vintage shopping days. There’s stress-free shopping too, with all items, from the prints on the walls to the tables you sit at, up for sale. But if it’s simply good cocktails you want, you’re in luck. Relive your school break times by sipping fab drinks like the Shop Assistant (tequila, lime, honey, fresh raspberries and a dash of lager) from retro milk bottles.
Address: 5 Chamberlayne Road, London. NW10 3ND
Getting there: Tube: Kensal Rise
These recommendations by The Cocktail Lovers originally appeared in a feature for The Telegraph Online 16 September 2011