Tag Archives: Shoreditch

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

Secret Cinema, Saturday 31 October 2009

n153596046777_641Myself and El G went to Secret Cinema at Halloween.  I’d heard of it through Facebook friends and the idea was intruiging – you buy your ticket, turn up to a location which is disclosed only the day before, and find out what film you’re watching just before it comes on.  Its secret, tell no-one, ssssh etc etc.  Previous events looked fantastic – a showing of The Warriors at London Fields with a big marquee rave up after, The Harder They Come at the Coronet Theatre which was transformed into a giant Jamaican party, the Story of Anvil at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, where after the film the band itself took to the stage.

So, it was with great excitement that El G and I turned up to an empty car park in Shoreditch, having been given the address the day before and told to wear white.  It was all very exciting – we all had to wear white “contamination suits” while strange lights and sounds came from inside the venue.  An armoured personnel carrier turned up and people dressed in space suits came out.  The expectation and intrigue was high and the inside of the venue looked amazing – alien lifeforms, computerised images, actors dissecting body parts and crazy sounds.  We guessed the film was Alien – and it was.  I have to say I was slightly disappointed because I’d not seen any of the previous films they’d showed and I knew Alien quite well.  However, its a classic film and it was good to see it again.

Sitting down, about 800 people in identical white suits, Ridley Scott came on the screen and introduced his film. Although the venue and screen were great, and there was a real party atmosphere, the sound was pretty bad and I couldn’t actually hear much of the film.  It also felt a bit odd to sit and be quiet after the excitement of the arrival at the venue.  Secret Cinema is now sponsored by Windows Phone and the announcement of this heralded booing from the crowd – there appears to be some criticism that this corporate link has ruined the spirit of the venture.  After the film, there were drinks and Djs, however most people left – it was suggested that this could be a result of the number of Windows clients/employees invited (tickets were impossible to get even a week before) who are not the usual party crowd, or it could just be that Halloween parties distracted most people.

Either way, it was an unusual and intriguing night out and I’m looking forward to going to another one soon.