29 July 2013

& other places: Cottons Rhum Shack, Queen of Hoxton, The Light

On Friday night, it seemed only fitting to make hay whilst the sun was shining and indulge in some al fresco drinking.

Cottons Rhum Shack
We originally headed to the Queen of Hoxton, to make the most of their rooftop but even at eight o'clock the queue upstairs was one-in one-out and the main bar area downstairs was so swelteringly hot that everyone was decidedly shiny. So we struck out and went to Boxpark instead. For those who don't know, Boxpark was a temporary shopping mall on Bethnal Green Road made out of shipping containers with rotating residents. Having proven popular, it's more of a permanent feature and now has restaurants and bars on the first storey. We found ourselves at Cottons Rhum Shack, which boasts 25 years in the making and over 250 rums. We had two cocktails each - strawberry daiquiri and a Sista Nancy (golden rum, strawberry, lime, basil and cardamom), and a mojito and a Dark & Stormy (dark rum, ginger beer, lime). They were decent enough but nothing special, with an average price of £7.50. Service was slow because the queue was rammed and the staff were trying their hardest, but we managed to grab some seats and soak up the summer outside.

Queen of Hoxton
We did then try to return to the Queen of Hoxton and had to pay £5 for the pleasure. We then realised that they'd just shut the roof terrace so were forced into the sweaty heat of the main room. We only stayed for one - a Wray & Nephew based cocktail - and people watched. It seems the great roof terrace experience that everyone talks about is going to remain elusive for yet another occasion.

The Light
The Light's one of those places that, despite being on the main drag, you don't really notice. An old warehouse, it's been converted into a bar and restaurant with some decent outside space and a real mixed crowd. We ended up here and were swiftly whisked inside, despite it being quite late and there being a queue. Service was impressively quick and drinks not too expensive, whilst a DJ brought the atmosphere. Having had a quick google this morning, the food menu looks pretty tasty and I think it may be worth a revisit, but be warned, the crowd does feel a little older than the teenyboppers of Shoreditch.

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