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Dans Le Noir: 97 - 95

designmynight.com's Nick Telson offers his expertise and insider tips on the best nightlife in London

Written by . Published on August 25th 2011.

Dans Le Noir: 97 - 95
Ninetyeight bar and lounge
It’s very easy to walk straight past this fabulous bar. Hidden below the streets of Curtain Road in Shoreditch, you need to look out for a wrought iron spiral staircase down into this bar oasis. Come the night, the small patio garden before you walk in is normally decorated in lights, candles and greenery; you instantly feel transported away from the hustle above. The bar itself is filled with beautiful antique and vintage pieces of furniture and even tubes and bowls filled with coloured candy. As you stroll through the bar you come across a baby grand piano in a glass roofed atrium and a snug, cosy back room. Cocktails are an art form here and you will be able to try concoctions never previously seen before; they infuse their spirits with their own delicate flavours. Whether you want a great place to chill or go for a date mid-week or more of an upbeat, basement party on the weekend, ninetyeight bar and lounge is a must.
Madhatters punchMadhatters punch at Callooh Callay
Callooh Callay
Although a relative newcomer to the Shoreditch scene, Callooh Callay has established itself as one of the best bars in the area. Inspired by the tales of Narnia, this supremely interesting bar really is like stepping through Narnia’s wardrobe. So much so that there is even a secret Narnia bar hidden behind a wardrobe door at the back of the venue! The secrecy doesn’t end there, with a hidden jubjub bar, only open to its jubjub members. In here they make bespoke cocktails and have cocktail demonstrations and alcohol tasting sessions. It really is a drinking den dedicated to cocktail making. On the menu you can expect to find an ever-changing repertoire of beautifully balanced and interesting combination cocktails. Soak up the wonderful interior mid-week for some after-work cocktails or join the crowds on the weekend for a more up-tempo affair with the whole bar up and dancing all night long.
Bourne & Hollingsworth
I have another dinky basement bar lined up for you with this one. Hidden amongst the deluge of restaurants and bars on Charlotte Street/Goodge Street area, Bourne & Hollingsworth is ideally situated underneath all the madness above it. As you descend into B&H it is like being transported back your nan’s living room (in a cool way, of course!), with flock wallpaper and very retro furniture. To carry on this theme, the cocktails are served in china teacups and you can sip on tea infused cocktails that are simply delicious. Don’t think that serving in teacups is a gimmick to retract from the cocktail quality, as they are top notch. The bar is small and can get very busy so if you want to get a seat I recommend arriving pre 7pm and on weekends, with the adage of a DJ, the bar gets very, very busy but it’s well worth the squeeze. If you thought you’d never be able to have a party in your nan’s living room…think again.
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