I’ll start off by saying this definitely one of the most go-to places in London. It’s notable as it’s got three different areas within one – a basement dance ‘club’ area, a main/standard bar area and it’s famous Rooftop!
I went there on the Saturday of Halloween weekend – considering they do go all out for any seasonal event, I thought it would be a good pick when I was out with friends – one main advantage too is that it’s 5-10mins walk to Liverpool Street Station (with lots of night buses/taxi ranks nearby), it’s always a good shout, if ever stuck on where to go on a night out.
The Main Bar area as you enter can initially seem quite crowded – as it has a staircase that goes to the lower levels (for the toilets, cloakroom and the bigger club area) so everything on this floor kind of surrounds it. To the right of this is a dancing/relatively space with tables and chairs around the outsides of it – I wouldn’t call it a dancefloor as such as it can only hold around 20-30 people I’d say, but it’s a good spot to be at for seating/reserving an area. Nearby on the other side of the floor is the main bar, even as busy as it was on this night, the service was really quick (always a plus!) with I’d say the normal selection of drinks/standard mixers. There are still pockets of space around this area (although it can feel a bit cramped given the limited floor space because of the stairwell in the middle) it still has a great vibe. On this Halloween weekend night, they went to town with the decorations and spooky lighting, etc.
When you go down the steep flight of stairs in the middle of the bar, you get to the downstairs club section (as I call it). It’s quite long and very spacious – there are sofas/cushioned seating areas all along the outside, but other than the pillars, a lot of floor space for dancing. The main ‘stage’ set-up is directly in front and raised a bit – so does have that intimacy of a small gig vibe. The lighting and sound in this room are also a lot darker and louder than any of the others too, so it’s not the kind of environment for chatting, etc and more for dancing. The cloakroom is also part of this area too – given it’s length, for queues etc but even then you’re not waiting more than 10mins or so to drop-off or collect your things.
But the absolute main attraction of this venue is certainly the rooftop. Accessed from the main bar area as you enter, and you need to go up five (yes, five) flights of stairs to reach it from the main bar area, the views are totally worth it. I’ve been lucky to go to a few Private that have been held there over the years, and the rest views never cease to amaze. Depending on the time of the year, it’s layout can sometimes change, as during summer months it’s decked out with picnic tables and lawn grass, but during Winter season it’s always got a particular theme. During this particular Halloween weekend, the theme of the Rooftop was ‘Moroccan Modena’ – essentially with many tall tent-like covered areas with warm lighting. The Rooftop area on this night was the restricted smoking area, but still looked pretty amazing. Whichever theme they run, the Rooftop has got a fantastic view over looking East London, and, with a bar at one end of the Rooftop, and lots of seating chill-out areas, it’s definitely a place to stay at.
The one thing about the Rooftop is that it gets REALLY busy – especially during the Summer evenings, so would certainly recommend going there as early as possible, but totally worth it.
So in summary about this venue, I’d stay come for the Rooftop, but stay for the dancing! 🙂
(My phone died that particular night, so couldn’t get any photos 😦 , so the photo I’ve included is from their website!)