Callooh Callay, London
England EC2A 3AY
Tel: 44 20 7739 4781
Concierge.com's insider take:
A bar named and decorated after Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky might sound a tad gimmicky, but this Shoreditch venue is delightfully eccentric. Step inside and you are transported to a surreal world, the perfect antidote to the gritty urban neighborhood. Up front, the decor combines wildly retro 1970s wrapping paper on the walls, black ceilings, etched mirrored walls, stone hexagonal tables, and an eclectic mélange of cozy wing chairs, 1950s-style folding kitchen tables, and low purple divans. The real attraction, however, is the huge antique wardrobe in one corner. It's through this Narnia-style closet that you'll find a VIP lounge, a second room with bathtubs turned into sofas, a chandelier hanging from a crane, and rest rooms tiled floor to ceiling with old cassettes. The house specialty cocktail, the Mad Hatter's Punch, is a blend of four different rums, crème de pêche, ginger cordial, prosecco, freshly squeezed lime juice, and Angostura and grapefruit bitters served up in an old gramophone and designed to be shared. This place is kooky, hip, and refreshingly unpretentious, attracting a mixed crowd of the casual and besuited.—Giovanna Dunmall
Open Sundays through Thursdays 5:30 to 11 pm, Fridays 5:30 pm to 1 am, and Saturdays 6 pm to 1 am.