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Review of The London Cocktail Club - Goodge Street Gin Palace

Tuesday February 26, 2013

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If you like your cocktails served up with an admirable amount of kitsch and Tom Cruise/Brian Brown shaming flaming then The London Cocktail Club deserves a visit.

Located in the fashionable Charlotte Street area of Fitzrovia - a welcome bolt-hole for those tired of the throngs of Soho - the LCC is a basement bar staffed by that rarest of finds in London: highly professional and efficient yet friendly cocktail makers.

Relaxed yet raucous fun is the order of the day at the LCC. A small basement hangout with swallow covered wallpaper, a collection of bras hanging at one end of the bar and a comfortable back area, it boasts an impressive array of drinks at reasonable prices, flamboyantly served and oft aflame.

A young up for it crowd (and the word crowd is entirely apt) frequent the venue throughout the week with a particularly raucous atmosphere on Saturday night.

Get there early to secure a table, although you're unlikely to be sitting for long, because as the evening progresses the LCC fills rapidly and completely. It's loud but not unbearable and drinks are served remarkably quickly, helped by a generous number of clearly experienced staff.

Competitive cocktail making between bar tenders is not a rare sight with receipts tucked into armbands hinting at the numerical prowess of each and if cocktails aren't your thing there are a generous selection of well-priced beers and wines.

A predominantly British tongue in cheek menu helps line the stomach but don't leave it too late as it can be difficult to digest as the crowd builds. And while it's descended from award winning JJ Goodman's centrepiece, the London Cocktail Club in Covent Garden, it's more younger, boisterous brother than replica.

Don't expect contemporary chic and a connoisseurs approach to the art of the cocktail while lounging in a sophisticated manner with a healthy appreciation of irony hanging in the air. What you can expect is a predominantly early to mid-twenties crowd up for a party, with talented and showy cocktail making focusing on entertainment and the occasional frat party feel, yet rarely a compromise in quality of drink.

Oh, and if you are planning on heading down with a group make sure you call in advance to avoid disappointment.

Raucous, unpretentious, uncomplicated cocktail based fun.

P.S. Yes they sell lots of gin.

The London Cocktail Club Goodge Street Gin Palace
61 Goodge Street
W1T 1TL
www.londoncocktailclub.co.uk/goodge-st-gin-palace

WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS

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