Nightjar was recommended through a trustworthy source at Jamie Oliver’s FIFTEEN. (Thank you!) By the time we were on our way, I had officially turned into one of these nocturnal birdies. They were the clever inspiration for the name of this speakeasy located “on the fringes of Shoreditch”. With lofty ideas of going clubbing and a walk through “the fringes”, we successfully stumbled upon a guarded door which led down a really dark staircase and finally led us into the magical art-deco-cocktail-underworld. Sound familiar?
During my last few trips to London I intended to find some of the city’s speakeasies. I wasn’t very successful as I usually start out with a loose itinerary and let the rest fill itself in. This search lies low on the list of priorities when I get my fill in NYC. Plus the genre is a bit “has been”…Where can we go from here? Long gone are the days of Milk and Honey and the reign of our dearly missed Sasha Petraske.
(Pictured Above: The necessary mysterious signage subtly posted for only the super observant to see.)
I wrote my college thesis on the speakeasy trend and applied a marketing analysis where I dissected the success in the hospitality scene. Twenty some years later the movement is still going strong, and globally at that. They’re perfect places for jokers coming out of a full meal that believe they “can hang” but not really enough for a club. This usually allows for some aggressive seated chair-dancing into the wee-hours of the morning. Chair dancing is so fun to LIVE jazz music! (Lots on here.)
Enjoying a Yorkshire Punch @nightjar ❤️ #latergram #Nightjar #London #LondonBars #LondonSpeakeasy #JenzieSips #cocktails #mixology #Hoxton #Shoreditch #fringesofShoreditch #NotReallyShoreditchbutAlmost #bigbird #LoveLondon #LondonLife #birds #birdsofafeathersticktogether #ipag2005reunioninlondon #Blighty #BlightyBars
Nightjar‘s cocktails fall under five categories: Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, Post-War, Night Jar Signatures and Sharing. One sounded more tempting than the next and watching the artistic presentation of these fascinating drinks was no help. The bartenders were almost entranced in their own world as they spun, shook, tossed, stirred and whisked all kinds of magic potions behind the bar…I wanted them all! Sadly even Jenzie has her own physical limitations to adhere to.
Picking our way through a list of ENDLESS exotic ingredients prompted all kinds of questions. Our mind was made up by the giant smoking bird.
What is in the giant smoking bird? The stuff that dreams are made of! (Of course)
YORKSHIRE PUNCH: Gin Mare, Apple & Rhubarb, Absinthe, St. Germain, Berry liqueurs, Lemon, Yorkshire Tea, Honey and Ginger. After the fanfare of the dry ice wore off, we were stuck with a giant pitcher and tin mugs filled with an array of interesting garnishes. There was a Yorkshire tea bag (bien sur) a yellow tomato (or toh-mah-toe) and herbs (like Rosemary or H-eubs?) on top of rather large ice cubes… Yes, herbaceous would be the adjective to describe this concoction. It took a while to finish since it serves 2-4 people. This shared-punch might have been the closest I came to having tea that entire weekend!
All good things must come to an end when Jenzie has jetlag. As we made our way back up the staircase and left the roaring and mysterious cocktail-land behind us, we heard quite the ruckus on the street. It turned out there was a legit brawl up in this piece!
Thankfully we had the friendly door man to protect us. The hostess didn’t want us to leave as it seemed we had some unfinished business to tend to. FYI – Nightjar includes a cover for their live entertainment.
People were screaming, getting naked and throwing punches! Startled by this uncivilized behavior, it was officially time to call my uber.
No worries, I made it home safe and sound! Can’t wait to try their sister bar Oriole next time I’m in town.
<3 Jenzie xoxo
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