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Review of The Sugar Cane Bar, Clapham Junction

Tuesday February 12, 2013

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Themed bars seem to be enjoying a bit of resurgence lately. Perhaps hipster irony has joined the mainstream and it's now ironic to be ironic about irony… or something.

Take a look at Mayfair's famous Mahiki. Despite having being around a few years they can still command a minimum spend on tables reportedly a cool few thousand pounds on their bigger nights. Who wants to sit down anyway?

But if this, strangely (that's sarcasm not irony by the way), is a little out of your budget but you still fancy indulging in hula clad lei laden cocktails served in coconuts and treasure chests then head south of the river to Sugar Cane.

Located on Lavender Hill just five minutes walk from Clapham Junction, Sugar Cane comes decorated as you'd expect from any self-respecting Pacific Island bar with plenty of palm hut booths, rum adverts (?!), exotic flowers, cane chairs, woven banana leaves and the statutory Tiki face mugs. No surprise then that it was designed by the same team behind Mahiki.

What is surprising is that this wonderful oasis of Pacific charm comes without the pretentiousness and jaw dropping prices of its more OTT cousin.

The focus is on relaxed fun and whether you're there to party away the weekend or hideaway in a cheeky corner on a weeknight, Sugar Cane welcomes all.

Hen and Stag parties occasionally frequent the joint but it's mainly popular with 25-30 year old professionals - both local and those who make the journey from elsewhere - lending an eclectic air to any evening. Food is straightforward and reasonably priced with the generously portioned Sugar Cane platter leaving you change from £20.

The drinks list is wonderfully substantial with brilliantly priced cocktails and regular two for one happy hour. The usual suspects appear along with a few house surprises and over 50 different rums to choose from.

And if its dancing or private party you want, a downstairs DJ booth, bar and dance area complete the offerings of this Polynesian paradise.

It's not new, having opened in 2007, and it remains a staple favourite for those in the area from the beginning and recent demographic shifts in the area are increasing its appeal.

Staff are knowledgeable and efficient with a focus on keeping the fun flowing and the drinks coming quickly.

If you haven't been to a Tiki bar, Sugar Cane could act as a spoiler should you venture further afield, and if you have, this is a welcome addition to the scene.

Sugar Cane
247-249 Lavender Hill,
Clapham,
London,
SW11 1JW
http://www.thesugarcane.co.uk

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