Thursday has been the new Friday for a long time. Sore heads and lighter wallets accompany feeling-sorry-for-yourself statuses and tweets, but the draw of a drink (or many) to welcome in the weekend is too hard to resist. Last night I went on a jaunt and discovered some brilliant places behind some impressively unassuming doors.
The Yard, I headed to the Experimental Cocktail Club in Chinatown. Sandwiched between two restaurants and hidden behind a very nondescript blink-and-you'll-miss-it door, the ECC is a haven away from the busy streets of Soho. The immediate staircase takes you straight up to the first floor where exposed brickwork and deep red walls give the bar a prohibition-era vibe; mirrors on the ceiling and a great half-moon window keeps the place from feeling a little too dark. The inspired cocktails were a welcome change from the standard menu - I had an Old Cuban, rum-based with citrus and ginger, and a Sage Advice, a twist on a mojito, topped with fresh sage. Definitely a place to return to.
The Box. Only in its first year, it's infamous - many celebrities are pictured tumbling out of its massive oak doors, and the cabaret shows are legendary (so I hear). A friend of a friend was DJing so we skipped the queue and headed straight upstairs, momentarily stopping off in the old theatre before dancing the night away in the loft. Despite two attempts, we didn't manage to catch any of the downstairs entertainment but the music made up for it. Plush and dark, The Box oozes hedonism, so it's easy to see why it's fast becoming a firm favourite - a little bit naughty, a little bit nice and right in the heart of shabby, sexy Soho.