The Hype

Nice cocktail bar with food, very popular with the Islington set. Well placed for a pre- or post- dinner drink if eating at some of the delicious locals including Le Mercury and Ottolenghi. 

© Creative Commons – Zilouf’s, Islington, N1 2012 courtesy of Ewan-M on Flickr

The Drink

Excellent cocktail menu including a 2-4-1 section from which we had really tasty ‘Dark & Stormys’. The waiter responded nicely to my request that he ‘make something up involving cherry’ which usually suggests the bar is staffed with proper cocktail waiters, but, although I got my much sought after marashino cherry on top, this experiment usually results in a tastier, cherrier cocktail so might be better to stay on-menu.

The Fun

It has a great buzz about it, and the waiter said it is always packed. Most of the tables had been reserved for parties and we were lucky to be able to squat on a table where someone hadn’t turned up but in future I think I’d book. The decor is exactly the kind of yuppy, retro, but still quite nice look that I tend to love and I especially loved the fish-tank in the corner made out of a reclaimed 80s TV.

Overall Experience

Good (although not world-changing) cocktails in a lively, inviting bar space with nice friendly waiters. I would imagine it gets super busy later on.

Go there if….

You’re going to be down that end of upper street anyway and want somewhere with guaranteed atmosphere for a drink with a friend, or are organising birthday drinks and nibbles in advance.

Don’t go there if…

You find middle-class 20-somethings gathering en masse a bit sinister and usually prefer a Sam Smiths-style establishment, or you’re a cocktail snob.

If you’re pretending to have been there don’t forget to mention…

It’s apparently much quieter in the summer months (probably due to limited outdoor space) and it is firmly at the Highbury end of Upper Street, a good 20 minute walk from Angel (a valuable lesson I learned!)

For more information

Cheeky write-ups from Eats, Drinks and Sleeps, Doctor Drink and Cheese, Peas & Chocolate Pudding.

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