Ladies & Gentlemen, Kentish Town
Four words: FORMER. UNDERGROUND. PUBLIC. TOILETS. Wait, come back! The key word is former as Ladies and Gentlemen is the latest hip bar to hit the newly trendy area of Kentish Town (K Town to its friends). This petite bar, located in former public washrooms on Highgate Road, is small but perfectly appointed having been refurbished into a cosy cocktail bar. If you hate the crystal maze trendy bar treasure hunt you are in luck, as a large illuminated sign with a cheeky phrase du jour removes any mystery and guides you to your destination. Descending into the bar you part a magic curtain and are met by date-friendly low level lighting, familiar tunes and stress free table service. Resembling a Prohibition-era speakeasy Ladies and Gentlemen has a relaxed after-hours feel where you feel part of some secret stonecutter’s style club except that it’s free membership and the staff are dead nice.
Table service removes the 10 person deep queues that you experience in regular Camden cocktail bars. Settle down at a table for two next to the book-lined walls and order one of the house recommendations. If you like your cocktails served with a wink then the gin-based Rhubarb and Custard is served in a Birds Custard tin and the gentleman’s Old-Fashioned with Rye is served with plenty of ice and a chewy Werthers Original to take home to your Granddad (or enjoy with your drink). Be sure to order the Guinness Flip, a mixture of Hennessy, Chocolate Liqueur, Maple Syrup and non-surprisingly Guinness, which is frankly the best cocktail currently going in ye olde London town. If you want to go off-piste then the friendly bar staff will whip up any drink your heart desires and if your heart desires a knockout Amaretto Sour then you are in luck, as they make a bloody lovely one.
With the no-reservations Soho House holy trinity (Pizza East, Chicken Shop & Dirty Burger) only a short stroll away, you have ample choice of food. If you find yourself having to wait for a table then head to the Southampton Arms and get cosy next to the roaring fire in winter, cool off in the garden in summer. Regularly voted the best pub in London due to its ever changing line-up of local ales and ciders, it’s a great starting point for any evening. If you are after some of London’s best gastropub food then reserve a spot for dinner at the popular and much-lauded Bull and Last. Kentish Town has a thriving bar scene with the award-winning Grafton, the Rick Edwards (remember him?) approved Oxford Arms and the Camden Town Brewery all located in close proximity.
Perfectly formed but small so go on a weeknight to increase odds of a prime date spot.
3. Order some of their home-made gin and drink to forget what used to happen on the premises.