I’ve remained in contact with a few of the people I met whilst volunteering at London Cocktail Week – always useful to know people in bars, to get in, for free drinks etc…
And we decided to meet up for some drinks, which quickly turned into a cocktail crawl in East London!
We started out at Bump Caves on Tower Bridge Road. This basement cocktail den is hidden under the Draft House pub with the word Bump visible above the stairs down into it. Inside it’s fairly typical cocktail cave – dim lighting etc, but with a more industrial edge, wood, metal and random bits of machinery form the decor.
The main bar area – lots of mystical potions and interesting glasses – they make their own infusions for the cocktails.
The vibe is experimental cocktail – with the homemade ingredients pimping your usual drinks. For example the first drink I had was a G&T made with hopped gin (ie infused with hops – the usual ingredient for beer) this seemed to continue the trend for bitter cocktails that I blogged about before – but in a good way, it was different, I’m just not sure as a big gin lover that I loved this particular twist…
The more out there cocktails included the Breaking Bad inspired one:
The idea is that you pour the baggie into the drink (it’s citric and absorbic acid powers) and try it. Then zap your tongue with the battery and try the drink again. At the least you’ll have a tingly tongue, at the most people have reported a change in how they taste the drink.
I got the tingly tongue – but the drink was still good!
We enjoyed the cocktails, but the overall consensus from the group was that the branding of the bump caves seemed lacking. The receipts read Draft House not Bump, and people could randomly wander downstairs from the Draft House with their pints looking for a seat – not quite the cool quirky vibe they were going for…
But it’s around the corner from my new office so I’m sure I’ll be back!
Then we had a quick pit stop at my favourite (and now award winning!) gin pub The Oliver Conquest on Leman Street. We enjoyed a quick gin cocktail and some free chocolate (they were celebrating their 4th birthday!) before heading into Shoreditch.
We attempted to get into Discount Suit Company – but there was a private event on – after chatting up the door guy we headed to Callooh Callay.
Here we managed to score a table in the first bar – I don’t want to give too much away, but this cocktail bar has a speakeasy vibe with hidden rooms you access through a wardrobe. An effect that was slightly ruined by realising the toilets were through there also and so it wasn’t quite so exclusive!
The cocktails are constantly re-invented here with the latest edition coming in a Oyster card holder and unfolding to show the range:
We definitely sampled across the range between us!
I enjoyed the Fernet me not – a small reminder of the National spirit of Argentina, and the Quince of the Stone Age. After a while we switched to wine and then finally we stumbled out of the door at 1am.