A bizarrely decorated beach hut in the middle of Bethnal Green, Beach Blanket Babylon stands at odds with its surroundings, yet retains an air of smugness because it’s much cooler (and cleaner) than the rest of Shoreditch’s bars and my god doesn’t it just know it.
This gargantuan restaurant and cocktail bar has the sort of look you just can’t get your head around.
It’s mental. So mental, in fact, that there’s probably little point paying for a drink here, because by the time you’ve received it your poor little eyeballs will be so bamboozled that you’ll miss the glass completely, drop it on the floor and burst into tears.
Anyway if you are going to visit, and do want to prepare yourself a little for the visual onslaught that awaits, just imagine a bar which you designed when, at the age of 8, you were asked to draw up a picture of a house from the future.
Then fill it with beautiful ladies, press play on your backing track of vacuous, empty laughter, stick a few bits of drift wood in there because you fucking love the seaside, and you’re about there.
Despite being served within the Mad Hatter’s intergalactic cafe, by waiters sporting black suits so tight they’ve undoubtedly been shoehorned into them, the cocktails aren’t bad at all. They’re not groundbreaking – but they’re not bad.
The Verdict: Strange. Trying a bit hard. The wallpaper upset me. I did like the cocktails, though.