Published on March 2, 2014 | by Hannah Lockley

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Nightlife review: Lounge Bohemia

★★★★★ 

This cocktail bar is undoubtedly pretty popular, so booking in advance is strongly advised. [Tom Setterfield]

Firstly, I have to admit that I had no idea I was going to Lounge Bohemia, so I had no preconceptions of the place beforehand. Nor was I given the chance to google the bar to get the low-down before I arrived – can you tell I hate surprises? However, I was pleasantly amazed to say the least.

With ‘speakeasies’ being the drinking hole du jour in London, this cocktail bar is undoubtedly pretty popular, so booking in advance is strongly advised.

Although located on one of the busiest streets in East London, you are soon distracted by the bustle of Great Eastern Street and led down a flight of stairs where walls are lined with newspaper print and foreign text. As I entered the lounge, I was dutifully welcomed into a treasure trove of cosiness and opulence, sixties style.

The worn out phrase ‘Never judge a book…’ feels like it was coined here, so don’t let the exterior or lack of, put you off going.

The Czech-themed bar feels as though it has been meticulously designed as a tribute to Eastern Europe during the sixties; think avant-garde with low sofas in cool tones of beige, greys and light oranges.

Atmosphere

What strikes you is how relaxed and calm it feels, aided by the soothing jazz. This place is a definite refuge for anyone tired of packed and noisy bars on street level. You can actually have a conversation with your friend, rather than hand signalling and mouthing the word ‘WHAT?’ tenfold.

Drinks are ordered from tables only, so no standing around at the bar – in fact no standing at all, which feels like a luxury compared to other cocktail bars. The service feels personal and our drinks were made swiftly. Menus are found inside volumes of classic Czech literature and this is where it gets interesting.

Forget your Mojitos and Cosmopolitans; this cocktail menu offers expert molecular cocktails that come in a variety of glasses, selected specifically for each drink. A small edible side accompanies and compliments every beverage.

I chose the Apple Pie, Lavender Crème Brulee and the Holy Smoke. The Apple Pie came with a taster spoon of frozen vanilla custard and a mini apple, whilst the Holy Smoke was served in a flask smoking with frankincense and myrrh. The Lavender Crème Brulee tasted as you imagined – I even overheard someone describe it as “a flowery orgasm in a glass.”

There are a number of beers on the menu, and drinks to share, like the Tea For Two – however if you want to try something with a strange but spectacular twist, then I’d recommend giving Lounge Bohemia an evening to spare.

 

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