Opened in 2008, Callooh Callay rapidly became a destination bar and has been ever since. Institution is a word that is often thrown around loosely about bars in London but this could very well be one of the times that it’s accurately used.
Separated out into three main rooms, the main bar itself can become incredibly cramped at night due to its size. Being organised and booked ourselves in especially in to the second bar. Something that we cannot stress more. If you want to visit here. Book.
Entrance to this second bar is found hidden in a wardrobe at the back of the main bar. The second bar itself isn’t that much larger but with no bar (table service) and great staff, there’s an air of calm in there that you don’t find outside in the main area.
There is also a third space. The Jub Jub bar. You can only visit it if invited, or if you hold a members key. Membership, it is rumoured, is only granted through the appreciation of fine drinking, before you ask. Almost like if you worked on a London centric bar blog…. Not that we are hinting here!
Incredibly intimate, the Jub Jub bar only has capacity for 25 people. Callooh Callay bartenders take turns in creating their own bespoke menus that change weekly… Well worth trying to waggle a visit there if you can.
Anyway, back to the second bar, where we were. After talking to others before we visited, we were actually a bit disappointed by the décor. Many talk about a land of Narnia, and Lewis Carroll-esque decorations. It was cool, it wasn’t classy but it wasn’t the experience of walking through the wardrobe that we expected….
Think we all wish that we’d stolen the cocktail menu that night as it was proudly displayed in a mock Oyster card wallet.
And that’s not the only thing that we wish we’d…borrowed. The glassware is original, well thought and fits around each drink. The above was the most normal glass that we got all night. The drink there is a Little Miss Sunshine by the way.
Our glasses ranged from the below red cup for a festival themed bourbon beverage through to a jam jar and a Mexican wrestlers mask type affair.
Reasonably priced for what you get, the cocktails cost £10-12. Incredibly strong, they obviously use premium ingredients and clearly prepare drinks with care. Resulting in a treat for everyone. You could take a large group here and definitely find a drink for everyone.
Sadly though, our table came with the standard 2.5 hours turnover rule and we were booted out pretty quickly after that time elapsed to allow staff to turn the table around.
Callooh Callay is definitely worth a visit. Just make sure that you book a table and don’t be late. Tables are given away incredibly quickly if you’re not there on time…