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Best bars in Shoreditch

The streets of Shoreditch are a bustling labyrinth of illusive personalities. Better yet, they’re crammed with some of the most picturesque and alternative bars that London has to offer. Seriously, if you want to swap your typical tourist activities for themed cocktails in utterly unique venues, Shoreditch is the place to do it. There’s something for everyone, any day of the week.

 

1) Trapeze

Trapeze bar in Shoreditch

£ Bargain
Theme: Circus
Closest Tube: Old Street
Happy hour: Mon-Wed 4-10pm // Thu-Sat 4-8pm
Occasion: Perfect for after work drinks, easily carried on into the night


Trapeze is a spontaneous circus themed bar renowned for it’s energy and contagious atmosphere. Situated just five minutes from Old Street Station, Trapeze is spread across three floors with the ground floor boasting of elaborate booths with a disco ball and trapezes literally hanging from the ceiling. Head upstairs to the mezzanine for somewhere a little more private or head on down to the Basement Bar to keep the drinks flowing.

Their cocktails are bursting with flavour so you’ll enjoy generous portions and copious amounts of haribo toppings! Trapeze is made for happy hour which sees £5 cocktails, £15 bottles of wine and £15 bottles of bubbly. Even their Showstopper Sharer cocktails go down in price which are recommended for parties of 6-8 and come in the most obscure circus containers! This one’s definitely up there as one of the best bars in Shoreditch!

TIP: The Lemon Sherbert is a must have if you like fruity flavoured cocktails!

Cocktails in a one of the best bars in Shoreditch

Lemon Sherbert & Would I Lychee to You

A sharing cocktail in a one of the best bars in Shoreditch

Showstopper Sharer

2) Boxpark

Boxpark one of the best bars in Shoreditch

££ Affordable
Theme: Contemporary rebellion
Closest Tube: Shoreditch High Street
Occasion: Summer terrace drinks, takeover events


Fashion and lifestyle shopping by day, fresh and vibrant music by night. Boxpark Shoreditch is made of artfully positioned shipping containers making it the first thing you’ll see when stepping out of Shoreditch High Street Station. If you like a streak of rebellion, Boxpark’s the place for you. I mean, their motto is Eat. Drink. Play.

Boxpark’s bars are located on the terraced upper deck, the ideal place to sit and watch the wonders of Shoreditch in the Summer. The best news? Boxpark Shoreditch now has a fully functional events, dining and drinks space; BeatBox, which as a result has made it as one of the best bars in ShoreditchThis is the ideal place for after work drinks and if you’re looking for a takeover event.

 

3) Cereal Killer Cafe

Cereal Killer Cafe best bars in shoreditch

£9 cocktails
Theme: 90’s nostalgia
Closest Tube: Shoreditch High Street
Occasion: Late night nostalgic drinks, first date vibes

For those of you who have heard of Cereal Killer, you’re probably thinking… how exactly does this fit the bar criteria? Cue their brand new cereal inspired cocktail menu and late opening hours from Thursday – Saturday nights!

Nostalgia and drinking go together like milk and cereal. But have you tried drinking in a 90’s themed establishment? Cereal Killer Cafe in Brick Lane is the ultimate experience for 90’s kids where it’s literally breakfast all day everyday. Think Care Bears, the Flintstones, and Blockbuster Video!

Choose from drinks like ‘Fat Tony’s Float’ (amaretto, coke, frosties cereal milk ice cream) which has a vegan version and the Aye Aye Capn Crunch’ (Captain Morgan, spicy cherry soda, Capn Crunch rim). What’s more, you literally sit on beds as you indulge in one of the best bars in Shoreditch.

This is definitely one for the Polaroid kids!

 

4) Cirque

Cirque best bars in Shoreditch

£ Bargain
Theme: Circus
Closest Tube: Old Street
Happy hour: 4pm-8pm
Occasion: Something quirky, date night


Tucked away next to Old Street Station is Cirque, a cosy bar full of circus memorabilia like tribal masks and a zebra-unicorn hybrid! Trust me, this one’s a hidden gem which is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look!

Spread across two floors, when this place gets packed out head downstairs for a retro feel where Rubix Cube stools await and resident DJ’s fill the room with quirky vibes. If you’re looking for something sweet, cocktails like Aviation, Bramble, Zombie, Happy Buddha really do the trick. Otherwise, it’s 4 beers for £10 in happy hour! What’s not to like?

 

5) Dinerama

Dinerama best bars in Shoreditch

£££ Slightly pricey
Theme: Street Food
Closest Tube: Shoreditch High Street
Occasion: Pardy with a D, Summer cocktails


Dinerama quite literally has something for everyone. This place is the resident street food hang out, with copious amounts of bars serving different drinks across two floors. Free entry until 7pm, Dinerama is most usually packed out so I’d suggest getting here early if you fancy a seat. Otherwise it’s off to the Big Bar £10 pint mojitos.

Wine fan? Check out Winerama upstairs, or the seasonal bar where they serve toffee vodka shots in the Winter and Tiki themes cocktails in the Summer! If you want something a little different, the ground floor is home to ‘German Sex Dungeon’ a crazy bar selling aesthetically pleasing cans, not to mention the blow up Obama sex doll hanging from above.

 

Anywhere to add? Comment if you’ve got a favourite drinking hole in Shoreditch!

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Slices of sirloin steak

 

ROKA is an award winning Japanese restaurant, serving exceptional food since 2004.

 

ROKA restaurants are well-known for their mind-blowing sushi and unique presentation, but with their premium tasting menu costing £90 per person, it’s a spenny option that sits out of reach for the typical Londoner.

Lucky for you, ROKA have an outstanding weekend brunch which lets you experience the best of their menu at just a fraction of the cost! A unique twist on your conventional Sunday brunch, ROKA pull out all the stops to make this a meal to remember!

 

Roka Weekend Brunch (£59 per person)

ROKA Aldwych offers the delightful Han Setto brunch menu at £59 per person.

This includes:

  • A Bellini on arrival
  • Ten Japanese sharing dishes
  • One main
  • Dessert platter

You’ll be pleased to know that this weekend brunch is also bottomless! Cue the unlimited red or white wine! The waiters don’t hold back either, so you’ll be plenty tippled by the time you get to desert.

TIP: If you want a better foodie experience then don’t go overboard, whoops!

 

Starters

Freshly prepared, you’ll be served ten small plates before your mains arrive, allowing you to experience a huge variety of Japanese cuisine. These were an explosion of flavour, and by far some of the best dishes I’ve ever tasted.

TIP: You can order more of your favourites at no extra cost! The waiters just bring out a smaller portion.

Selection of sushi plates

 

Don’t study the menu too hard, you get one of everything right? So why fuss? Enjoy the experience.

Highlights included the 3 sashimi selection, soba noodle salad, and Japanese pumpkin & sweet potato salad.

 

Mains

To view the full selection of mains, check out ROKA’s Brunch Menu. Meg and I shared the same mains the last two times we’ve been to ROKA and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The beef is a phenomenal showstopper which was cooked medium rare (a compromise for Meg, I would have preferred it bloody – don’t judge). The ribs are unlike any baby back dish I’ve had before – deliciously salty, plentiful amounts of meat and a completely unique flavour which isn’t spoiled by your typical accompaniment of BBQ sauce.

Slices of sirloin steak

Beef sirloin, chilli and spring onion

Glazed baby back ribs with cashew nuts from ROKA

Glazed baby back ribs with cashew nuts

Desert Platter

Would you believe it, you’ve chowed down on a minimum of eleven dishes and copious amounts of booze yet there’s still more to come. By this point you’ll be feeling pretty full and boozy, but ROKA know the best way to top off the experience.

ROKA brunch desert platter

Cue a refreshing feast of exotic fruits, sorbets and chocolate treats!

The desert platter includes star fruit, dragon fruit, lychee as well as coconut sorbet, and panna cotta with blackberry. But my absolute has to be the chocolate Buddha which is accompanied by a glorious filling.

ROKA desert chocolate

 

Where is ROKA Aldwych?

Roka is literally a 5 minute walk from Temple tube station, easily accessed via the Circle or District lines (just 8 minutes from London Victoria).

 71 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4HN

 

Book ROKA For a Special Occasion

Both times we’ve been to ROKA we’ve been celebrating something special. Given that it’s a slightly spenny option, it’s the perfect way to mark an occasion, especially when they do such an amazing job of personalising your desert platter! It was the perfect surprise which Meg has now got into the habit of arranging.

 

Save Money! ROKA Time Out Offer

Even better, this hugely popular offer is even cheaper on Time Out at just £42 per person! This incredible bottomless brunch gets snapped up pretty quickly, so you’ll want to book quickly each time tables are released!

 

  • 71 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4HN
  • Book through ROKA (£59 per person)
  • Book through Time Out  (£39 per person)

 

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Igloos along the riverbank

 

Coppa Club Igloos

Looking for an alternative foodie experience that takes a really memorable picture? Well date night just got a whole lot more interesting! Coppa Club Igloos are the ultimate culinary experience for adventurers looking to enjoy their food in one of London’s most original and secret venues.

These bad boys offer a quirky alternative to traditional London dining and are likely to fill you with FOMO. Let’s face it, you won’t get something any more unconventional than a riverside brunch in your very own igloo.

 

What can I expect?

Coppa Club igloos are designed using timber frames and perspex sliding doors, giving you an unobstructed 360° view of some of London’s most iconic features like Tower Bridge and the Shard from the shelter of your own personal recluse. And if you’re a dab hand with a camera, you can squeeze it all into a single pano!

Unlike your typical Igloo, Coppa Club’s are anything but cold. These structures are dominated by rustic decor and generous layers of soft rugs and chair toppers for an elegant but warm finish.

Cushions, candles and Edison bulb string lights only add to the allure, with electric heaters ensuring you stay cosy even in the harshest weather! Trust me, I braved these in the snow.

 

Coppa Club Food

Already sold on the views? Well the food certainly doesn’t disappoint. Whether you’re starting early with a pastry or tuning in for a couple of cocktails, don’t be afraid to chuck in some nibbles for variety. Coppa Club’s food is surprisingly way more budget friendly than you’d think too. Between the two of us we ordered:

Nibbles

Deep fried truffled gnocchi (3.50)
Chorizo (3.50)
Italian sausage rolls (3.50)

Mains

2x Eggs Benedict served on fresh waffles or toasted English muffins.

Served with crispy Coppa, eggs & hollandaise (8.45)

Served with kiln smoked salmon, spinach, eggs & hollandaise (9.45)

Drinks

Bellini – Prosecco & white peach purée (6.95)

Bloody Mary – Ketel One vodka, dry sherry, tomato juice & house spice mix (7.45)

Out of everything I’d thoroughly recommend the deep fried truffled gnocchi. And for £3.50 you can’t really go wrong! Brunch is served from 9am whilst Coppa Club’s all day menu is served from 11am.

The service was outstanding. Our nibbles were prepared and served in a matter of minutes shortly followed by our mains (we used an empty table for a bit of extra space as it was just us and another couple). Our waitress was hilarious, her dry humour definitely added to the experience – so no complaints in that department!

 

Where is Coppa Club?

Dotted alongside the Thames, Coppa Club’s igloos are a temporary addition to the riverside terrace of Coppa Club restaurant and bar. Located just a 5 minute walk from Tower Hill tube station, don’t expect to have enough time to burn off the copious amounts of brunch you’ll be eating!

Address: Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AH

 

How do I book an igloo?

Coppa Club release a number of dates available to book at a time. Whilst reserving your slot is completely free, you may incur a £10 charge per no-show. You can book your Igloo for a maximum of eight people, whilst tables of 2-6 should be prepared to share their igloo with other bookings (we actually befriended another couple so… every cloud!).

*Please note: Coppa Club are not currently taking dining reservations, however there are a number of igloos on hold each day for walk-ins so you might want to try your luck this way! If there’s a short wait you can always grab a couple of drinks in the main restaurant and bar!

 

All in all Coppa Club was a pretty impressive experience and definitely something I’ll be booking again when they release more tables!

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Book your igloo at Coppa Club, Tower Bridge

 

Epiphany

(noun) – ” A moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation. “

 

I didn’t wake up with the realisation I was coasting. Christ didn’t come to me in a dream and I certainly didn’t experience a moment of instant clarity. If anything, a monotone comment from my driving instructor just knocked a bit of sense into me.

It’s 9am, Saturday morning and I’m freezing my tits off in my instructor’s Mini Cooper – because I’m the sort of person who regrettably books their slot that early and unknowingly sacrifices their beloved boozy Friday nights. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Anyway so we’re driving along the dual carriageway and as I’m turning off he asks, ” Laura, why shouldn’t we coast around corners? “. Boom, I’d been practising this one in my driving theory… ” Because I’m not in control “.

 

Eureka. I am a coaster, as depressing as that sounds.

 

For me, finishing University was a cold, hard slap in the face. That heavy-hearted nostalgia along with the realisation that most of your friends live two hours away can be pretty hard hitting. Especially when you’re rejected from every graduate scheme and end up back at Sainsbury’s taking complaints and being spat at by Crawley ‘badmen’. Let’s not even broach the time I found a human faeces in aisle 6.

Fast forward a few months and I finally secured my first job in Digital Marketing. Working in the realm of Social Media and visual content which is exactly what I love doing. Nonetheless, life hits you where it hurts and I ended up entering redundancy a year later.

I’ve spent years striving towards deadlines and working endless hours just to afford the basics, so I can’t begin to explain how empty it feels to coast without a purpose. Redundancy is a difficult process to get your head around. Someone has made a decision you have limited control over, and that’s why I need to take it back.

 

Coasting isn’t an option anymore. 

 

Therefore, I’m taking this experience as an opportunity and hitting the reset button. Starting with this blog. I’ve always been a little envious of bloggers. Does the stuff they write about really happen? How do they have the time to invest in such a project? How can they afford to fund their experiences?

Well I love writing, and a little while ago I started an Instagram account to keep track of my favourite affordable food safe havens. Now I have the time, I’ve decided to use the skills I’ve learnt across social media and website design to transform it into fully-fledged, uncensored food and travel project.

Whether you’re after a bottomless brunch, drinking den, date night idea or an Airbnb – you can follow my uncensored journey around London, and even further afield.

 

I hope you have as much fun reading this blog as I will writing it.

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