East London, and Shoreditch in particular, is full of fascinating places (a couple of my favourites here and here). That’s the adjective I would use to describe Callooh Callay, a bar hidden in a sketchy looking street close to Hoxton Square.

Callooh Callay has everything going for it: creative cocktails, funky decor and a members-only venue. I had thoughtfully made a reservation in advance and would advise you do the same in order to enjoy this place to the fullest. When I first entered I thought that the bar rather small and easy-going. Minutes later, I was following my kind waitress through a closet  door to the black room all the way in the back. There I was, in a hidden lounge that felt like a fairytale. Very Narnia-like, don’t you agree?

Much peaceful than the front bar area, this space has a completely different aesthetic: mirrored walls, dark velvet couches and metallic palm trees make up for the most kooky yet elegant surroundings. The cocktail menu, which looked more like a Pantone colour chart, is extensive. I had three cocktails – strictly for research purposes of course – all fabulous. I guess this explains how Callooh Callay was chosen as the World’s Best Cocktail Menu in 2012!

65 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY, UK; +44 20 77394781; website / facebook page

calooh_callay_london_01 calooh_callay_london_02 calooh_callay_london_03 calooh_callay_london_04 calooh_callay_london_05 calooh_callay_london_06Calloh Callay on Urbanspoon