eat & drink: cocktail den, full of zen


He took me here on our first date. We came back to reminisce a year later…

Eye candy: Synonomous with the shabby chic style of London’s East, this eccentric and colourful cocktail lounge  is just a few moment’s walk from Shoreditch High Street yet is hidden in a little world of it’s own in a quiet, unassuming backstreet. Look to the left, glance to the right and your eyes will be captured by the mish-mash of Asian-inspired-Victorian decorator’s items that hang grandiosely from the ceiling and are scattered from corner to corner – everything from an anatomical model openly showcasing the body’s organs (something you’d probably find in a science lab or doctor’s surgery) to a giant hippo’s head perched randomly on a wall. Collector’s syndrome or compulsive hoarding perhaps, yet everything seems to work in harmony?

His favourite? The giant blue and white china vase. She likes… the larger than life shiny disco ball.

On rotation & in the air: To complement the Buddha bar-esque ambience and waft of smokey incense that trickles in the air, you’ll drift away to new world electronic sounds played throughout the night.

The crowd: You’ll fit right in if you’re a cosy couple or artsy cool kid dressed in flannelette and skinny skinny jeans. Ladies, toss in a couple of vintage peacock feathered fascinators in your hair and you’re set for the night.

Drinks we tried & liked, food we ate and remembered: Punk Passion, Cupids Chalice & The Smoking Honey. She likes them fruity and He likes the strong with a bit of a kick. With over 50+ cocktails on their menu, there’s bound to be something that tickles your fancy. Trust us. We also had the Five Course Japanese Tasting Menu For Two for £40 via a trusty Groupon voucher (£80 Value) which included edamame to start with, sushi, flavoursome meat platter (beef tartare to die for!), salmon, beef fillet and a creme brulee accompanied by crunchy toffee sugar art.

His verdict: I like it for the crazy decorations and the fact that you can go out for cocktails, but instead of grazing on burgers and fries like a normal bar and feeling the regret somewhat later, it’s a classier and healthier option with sushi and other Japanese delights. I’d recommend going here more for the drinks and keep your eye out for the specials on Groupon so you don’t need to break the bank! My hook for the first date was that I had a voucher that was about to expire. Coming back again a year later and I would still recommend Lounge Lover as a cool and casual date venue, but also works if you gather 4 to 6 of your friends for a few cheeky drinks.

Her verdict: Whimsical, intimate and fun – love this place and it’s Eastern influence and sumptuous decor. It’s somewhere you can even go on a Monday school night and surprisingly still very buzzing, yet you can manage to hold a decent conversation without having to yell to be heard. Luckily for Him, I was one of the 85% who thought it was acceptable to use a voucher on the first date, i.e. romance doesn’t have to come at a high price. Guys, if you’re thinking about taking your lady friend(s) here for a drink or two, don’t think too hard! It’s a winner baby – she’ll be impressed! 

Address: No 1 Whitby Street, London E1 6JU
0207 0121 234

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Square Meal


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