Tag Archives: nightlife

Review: Hootananny Brixton

Have you ever been in a pub and thought to yourself… what this place needs is a shitload of passive aggressive people, sweating profusely and jumping up and down to the sounds of some kooky rock band that never quite made it but wholeheartedly refuses to give up…?


You HAVE? Fantastic!


Let me tell you about Hootananny, Brixton’s weirdest (i.e. worst) night out.


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So, What’s It Like?

Like a pub, designed by someone who hates pubs. One half of this grime-encrusted netherworld is really very much like a good old public house, it’s got a snooker table and everything.

The other is more of a school assembly hall, with a stage at the end. Massive velvet curtains too, harbouring small colonies of undiscovered species. There’s also a bar, but it’s been carefully hidden behind a monstrous crowd of slobbering drunks, so you might not see that.

Outside there are many marquees, and street food vendors selling some sort of garlic coated pizza thing, presumably in an effort to add a smattering of halitosis to the rich and varied scents drifting about the place.

There are also patio heaters, conveniently placed in the centre of the marquees, threatening to sizzle the skin off of anyone brave enough to attempt to pass them. So that’s fun!


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Don’t Miss

The toilets. Seriously, these funky-smelling things would give the good old festival toilet experience a run for its money… but that’s not even the best bit! The toilets at Hootannany also come with LIVE MUSIC!!

Here entertainment is provided by the attendants, who delight in screeching the most indecent of lyrics, stopping every so often to shout at you to hurry yourself up. Who doesn’t love to pee under pressure?



Will I Get In?

Hootannany Brixton reckons itself as some of member’s club, delusions of grandeur so hysterically funny you’ll forgive me for taking a few moments just to compose myself.

As you enter mysterious people in a hut whip a few quid from your desperate, nervous little hands, then glare at you as a strapping security guard frisks you to within an inch of your life. Only then are you presented with Hootenanny’s special membership card, which apparently gets you money off when you come back.

Why you would return after experiencing Hootannany once, though, is anyone’s guess.



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Will I Find Love?

No. You won’t. Because within minutes of being granted entry to this entirely tragic arena of awfulness you’ll feel so utterly dejected you’ll consider throwing yourself in front of a bus, before deciding that actually just going home would probably take the pain away.




Who Goes?

  1. People who hate music.
  2. Failed bands.
  3. People who want to fight you.



The Verdict:

Absolutely not.



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95 Effra Rd,
Greater London

020 7737 7273


Talented Mr Fox, Soho

In the backstreets of Soho lies an escape from the rammed pubs and hideous tourist traps. A crazy fox den of an escape… Talented Mr Fox.


He isn’t really a fox, he’s Mr Whiley. But I reckon we can safely say he is talented.


Matt Whiley is behind some of the cocktail community’s top bars, Purl, Worship Street Whistling Shop and Shoreditch’s Peg & Patriot. He’s famed for his madcap concoctions and the use of all sorts of fancy equipment in the making of mixed drinks… and Talented Mr Fox is Whiley’s first residency at top Leicester Square Hotel One Leicester Street.




The cocktails here are definitely for the more adventurous drinkers – on the menu is a Bloody Mary (£16) made with clarified pig’s blood and ‘black pudding distillate’. Even the ones listed under ‘Nice and Easy’ are nothing short of unusual…




Frightened by the very mention of pig’s blood we opted for some more accessible drinks. Mary Hoppins was made with Moonshine Kid Hop Gin, Manzanilla and Honey. The Twisted Nose comes complete with Foraged Leaves, Celery and Lemon – it was the talk of foraging that got me interested, you know. But our last order was undoubtedly the most exciting. This one, whose name I have (to my shame) forgotten, was flavoured with Monster Munch! Pickled Onion flavour! Goodness!


Monster Munch
Monster Munch


Twisted Nose
Twisted Nose
Mary Hoppins
Mary Hoppins


When the drinks arrived I’ll admit I was slightly disappointed. They appeared just like normal drinks. They didn’t live up to their outlandish descriptions, at least in appearance.


On tasting we were largely reassured, they sure didn’t taste like any cocktails we’d ever had before, and all the odd flavours came through despite there being so much alcohol in each one it almost knocked us clean off our seats – definitely proving Mr Fox’s talents! I’d recommend the Twisted Nose, full of sharp citrus flavours and actual salad ingredients (i.e. incredibly healthy).


The Talented Mr Fox Bar
The Talented Mr Fox Bar


The Verdict: Great cocktails unlike any you’ve ever had before. Perfect if you’re looking for a bit of calm in the craziness of Chinatown. I’ve heard the  Urban Foxtail (£11) is served in a little wheelie bin, too. Definitely get that!


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Square Meal



This Saturday (24th May 2014) Urban Food Fest will be hosting a most incredible Superheroes night, complete with heroic street food, costumes and a fully themed bar. 


Barts Bar’s Chelsea Flower Show Cocktail

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show is already causing quite a stir, but it won’t all be about precious plants this year, because top secret speakeasy Barts Bar is getting in on the action,  launching a new cocktail in homage to the show.

Continue reading Barts Bar’s Chelsea Flower Show Cocktail

Why No One Should Ever Go To Walkabout

A sort of village hall come student union, Walkabout is the undisputed king of shit nights out. Like a weeping sore on the banks of the Thames, this miserable chamber of inebriation is immediately recognisable by its garish yellow and green logo, which has the audacity to suggest Australia has actually endorsed it. 


Continue reading Why No One Should Ever Go To Walkabout

Aqua Shard at The Shard

The 32nd floor of London’s highest glassy wonder is home to Aqua Shard, a restaurant & bar serving the best of British cuisine alongside ridiculous views over the capital.


Enter via the robot lift (you don’t have to push the buttons.. it just knows you’re there..) and you’ll find yourself in an impressive three-storey high atrium bar, way up high above the streets of London.

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We stopped for a glass of Champagne and were surprised to find the prices weren’t as bone-crushingly expensive as we’d expected them to be. You can get a bottle of wine (Pe Branco, Herdade do Esporao, Portugal for £24 here… but of course if you’re there for a special occasion there are many more options!


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And check out those views…


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Aqua Shard is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. A quintessentially British menu includes dishes like grilled sea bass and rare breed roasts, as well as puddings like fig tart and buttermilk panna cotta. Aqua Shard also serves afternoon tea, available Monday – Friday 3.00pm – 5.00pm. A classic afternoon tea will set you back £34.50, or the Champers variety is £45.


View all the menus here, or click here to make a booking.



Open Monday to Sunday


7-10.30am Monday to Friday

9.00-10.00am Saturday and Sunday


12-2.45pm Monday to Friday


11am-3.30pm Saturday and Sunday

Afternoon Tea: 3-5pm Monday to Friday


6-10.45pm Monday to Sunday



12pm-1am Monday to Sunday

The bar operates on a walk in basis only, no reservations are taken. Entry is subject to capacity.

Aqua Shard
Level 31,
The Shard
31 St Thomas Street

+44 (0)20 3011 1256

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