London Cocktail Club, Covent Garden

London Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue
Wet n wild
Bling
Rating
Booze
Rating
Sex
Factor

The Vibe

You enjoying your drink, baby?‘, says the frankly bizarre waitress as she deposits four happy hour cocktails on your table. Drinks deals may not be the chicest start to a date but they do guarantee a degree of fun, whether drinking to toast your partner or obscure them. London Cocktail Club strikes just the right balance between cheesy and cool; it’s a dark basement bar, where familiar strains of speakeasy chic are juxtaposed with pirate touches and a lick of vintage. I’m talking velvet skull wallpaper and brightly painted tattoos on the walls, nostalgic menus printed on video tapes, big old bowls of rum cocktails and either a Tarantino or Disney soundtrack. This place has a sense of humour and, most importantly, will chill a date right out. The drinks come in twos – a little too much ice, a little too much fruit -and come thick and fast, promising to deliver some, metaphorical and literal, bang for your buck. On weekends it’s pretty popular, so book in advance. But on a Tuesday or Wednesday, go around 6pm and try and grab one of the corner tables in the back. Since the staff are so hands on and hyped, it keeps you at a safe distance and will also let you smooch to your heart’s content.

The Order

At £7.50 a pair you can drink your fill of the ‘Club 18-30’ list: Mojitos, Hurricanes, Bellinis and Brambles. Oh it’s classy. Their forte is rum so ask for the bartender’s finest Captain Morgan concoction or step up to the £100 dram in a silver cup with your name engraved. At 70ml a measure, this is excess at its tackiest. But if you do want to swank it up a touch there’s the ‘Continental’ list, for those who shun sugary drinks in favour of slick Sours. Like any playful bar worth its salt, there are punch bowls for 2 to share, and rum buckets for 7 if you’re feeling stupid. There’s also food to line the stomach, but mostly of the hot dog/cheese/chip variety so skip that and maybe wander elsewhere later. Just so you time this right, happy hour is 5pm-7pm Tuesday to Saturday and all night on Monday. Start the week badly, please.

The Game

As woman-loving Charles Bukowski said, ‘if nothing happens, you drink to make something happen‘. Apply this to your date. Meet, sit, order and wait patiently. There are two possible outcomes. You drink ever more quickly to assuage the boredom and soon find a happy place where you are purely intent on amusing yourself. They sense your sarcasm and respond in kind, leading into a evening of over-the-line teasing, a tacit agreement that you are badly matched and a very drunken kiss to confirm this fact. Or, a couple of drinks down you start enjoying yourself. They have livened up and you’re being forced to rethink your initial judgement. You quickly chalk down the lacklustre opening chat for nerves and start to pay more attention, marvelling at the newfound momentum to their stories and swooning at the racy glaze over their eyes. Happy hour comes and goes. You move onto the posh cocktail list and make a pact with yourself to imbibe till the moment you kiss. It happens. You fumble in the dark for hours and are spat back onto the street at an ungodly hour. You should not, must not go back to theirs, but the likelihood is that the homing device that usually returns you safely to bed has been deactivated by booze and you’re now going where they’re going.

The Faults

Very Central London.

Sex Factor

5. You’ll get more ass than a toilet seat.

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