By Christian Rose-Day.
Yes, it has been hot this week, and any hot new bar doesn’t really “officially” open until Fluid London has attended its launch party, drank all its beer, and then stumbled home after falling asleep on the night bus (naming no names). This week, two such occurrences occurred.
Firstly, on Wednesday, the school night of all school nights, All Star Lanes opened their 4th and largest London venue at the brand new Westfield Stratford City mall with probably the biggest and most swinging launch party ever. The theme for the ‘10 Pin Ball’ (haha) was Prohibition and many of the attending revellers donned costumes befitting the era. The Correspondents provided some live tunage and Norman Jay was on the ones and twos. The big blue neon light outside shining the words ‘Hello Good Times!’ could not been more apt. As well as 14 of the shiniest bowling lanes you could ever eat your dinner off, this American diner-cum-cocktail-bar-cum-bowling-alley-cum-club treated us all to a variety of potent cocktails (including the excellent Jack’s Apricot Sour), buckets of Dixie beers, affable table service, flamboyant costumes, and plenty of mini burgers. I even managed to leave with a free pair of socks (tip: if you’re wardrobe is running low, turn up at All Star Lanes without any; they’ll supply you with some).
The second big launch of the week happened not 24 hours later on the up-and-coming (once again) St John’s Hill in Clapham Junction (believe me, this area will be hot hot hot very soon). The Lost Group - home of the inimitable Lost Angel and Lost Society - launched their Victorian eating and drinking den, where much of the food and drink options have been sourced from within the UK, and where the staff all appear to be in the band Mumford & Sons. The highlights include, again, table service (much needed), several English wines (including the refreshingly floral Three Choirs Coleridge 2010 from Gloucester), an abundance of foliage in the greenhouse section, delicious fresh oysters, and cocktails with names such as Grandad’s Allotment and the John Constable. I guarantee you’ll visit this bar before the year is out.