Callooh Callay Bar

65 Rivington Street, London, City of London, Greater London EC2A 3AY, UK 65 Rivington Street, London, City of London, Greater London EC2A 3AY, UK
Callooh Callay Bar. London, United Kingdom

Time Out says

Fri Aug 10 2012

As a bolthole to escape the weekend Shoreditch hordes, Callooh Callay is simply frabjous. It’s regularly cited as one of London’s best bars, with a cocktail list of enormous ambition (although the current version is printed on a Pantone-style flip colour chart, which makes perusal as difficult as it sounds). Drinks change regularly, but are often made with fresh herbs, hard-to-find spirits and own-made syrups, cordials and bitters.

The main bar, with its low tables, gets very busy; through a wardrobe is a more relaxed ‘secret’ room where bookings are sometimes sat, and upstairs is a refreshingly attitude-free members’ bar (it’s free to join).

The vague ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme sits uncomfortably with the mishmash of decorative styles throughout, which smacks a bit of Shoreditch circa 2007 – there are Victorian portraits on the wall, and a wall of cassette tapes (because analogue is cool). There’s some art deco and a ‘Blockbusters’ wall of mirrors. A bit more modish is the food – sliders arrive on a twee cake display stand.

But CC doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the cocktails are always superb, even if their try-hard punny names grate a bit?(If You Don’t Gnome Me By Now, for instance, served to share in a big gnome). And if you’re going to tell us how to pronounce a Greek name, please spell it right: ‘Peresphone (pur-sef-own-ie)’.

Beer, though, is a big disappointment – bizarrely, there’s only Moosehead or Viru lagers.

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