Callooh Callay bar, 65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY, and the joy of cocktails

Fellow she-blogger Caroline, No and I bonded over our love of The Last Waltz and decided to meet up to discuss fashion, food and Dr John. It was my first platonic blogger date but the problem with two anonymous bloggers meeting is that it is very hard to find each other (hint – we both had the same camera. Losers). You can read Caroline’s review of the evening here.

The venue was Callooh Callay bar, a Shoreditch cocktail bar on my London wishlist and about which I’d heard great things. It’s on Rivington Street which is home to my favourite club Cargo (sadly unvisited in a while) and just a hop, skip and a jump from Favela Chic, Great Eastern Dining Rooms and Cantaloupe. So far, so trendy.

Mix tapes! Oh how I miss you…and a sneaky peak of the HPL, through the looking glass

Caroline and I got stuck into the comfy seats and the cocktail menu and the sushi (which was actually very good) and were well taken care of. The staff were lovely and knowledgeable about all things cocktail – they’ve won awards for inventing them (see the ale of two cities) and hold regular drinks events. My knowledge of hard liquor is sadly lacking, highlighted by my response to what type of vodka I prefered (er…smirnoff? grey goose?). Inside its a cute and quirky Alice-through-the-looking-glass-bar where you go through the lion witch wardrobe to another comfy lounge and where the toilets are lined with mix tapes – mix tapes! Cue nostalgic ranting about the art of the mix tape and admiration of some great old tunes being played – Morcheeba’s Trigger Hippy, Mary J Blige’s I’m Going Down.

Alejandro Sour with a sushi chaser

I’m typically a bottle-of-white-wine-with-the-girls kind of gal and to be honest, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with cocktail bars. I hate the thought that I’m being ripped off (undoubtedly the Scot in me) but I love the taste and the kick you get. I love the fact that cocktails are for slow appreciation not glugging. I hate the pretension of some cocktails places but I love the sophistication of a beautiful looking drink in a nice glass – it feels special.  And whoever came up with putting olives in a martini should receive some sort of prize. I lived in Prague once and they have fantastic cocktail bars – cheap and delicious and fun. But why would you pay £9 for a cocktail – what is it about them thats so good?

Mai Tai

Vodka martini – perfect taste only in a nicer glass purlease?

Well for the sake of experiment, dear reader, we decided to try one, no two, no three, ok then last one four, cocktails – hic. Everything from a recommended  alejandro sour to a mai tai to my FAVOURITE cocktail ever, a vodka martini with a huge green olive and finally a peach prosecco. They were all uniformly delicious with a lovely kick, my favourite being the martini which  either means I’m really boring or really cool in the manner of James Bond. Yes they aren’t cheap but it got me thinking – if a bottle of average plonk is like a cup of tea then a good cocktail is like a good coffee – special and a bit sexy and you only need one (or, er, four) to get a lovely warm buzz. And Callooh Callay is undoubtedly the perfect place to try cocktails. If you don’t believe me, next week is London Cocktail Week – an open invitation to go try it for yourselves.

Caroline and I were guests of Callooh Callay bar. (Guests who wouldn’t leave. Oops.)

Calloh Callay on Urbanspoon


10 responses to “Callooh Callay bar, 65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY, and the joy of cocktails

  1. buhhh sounds like you had a great evening! I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s such a cute bar!

  2. Oh dear. Reading back, four cocktails does seem excessive. You’re right, they’re treats to be savoured. I suppose if a decent bottle of wine in a bar is £20ish, then two cocktails is reasonable. (If you stick at two. Eek.)

    I really loved the place and will definitely be back – the music and cosiness scored big points with me!


  3. I think place sounds fabulous- found you via Caroline, lovely blog

  4. Callooh Callay is a fantastic bar, went there on monday with the London cocktail society where we got to explore London cocktails through the ages in the Jubjub. The regular menu is great as well and Sean is a masterful bartender, everyone should definately check it out.

  5. Pingback: CALLOOH CALLAH (Shoreditch) - Alice and Cocktails | HungryinLondon

  6. amazing interior design ! i’d visit it just for the wonderful atmosphere

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