Premeditated indiscretions at Loungelover

September 12, 2010

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons User bixentro

LONDON, UK – I’ll always remember London for the time I had a “Night of Passion” followed by a “Bit on the Side.” No, no, dear reader, don’t misjudge me–these weren’t scandalous affairs. They were fabulously fresh, torridly named cocktails at the hipster cool Loungelover.

Housed in a former meatpacking factory, the ultra-plush cocktail and small plates lounge is now a “meat market” in another sense, trafficking in the trappings of romance. The low lights, rich crimson décor, and baroque furnishings provide more than just a nod to the boudoir. A posh clientele lounges in stylish comfort–exactly what you’d expect from a hotspot in Shoreditch.

The tasty Asian-leaning tapas menu, brought to you by the same owners as the restaurant Les Trois Garcons, features selections like asparagus and shiitake nigiri and duck/mango salad. But the deft mixologists are the real draw here.

The cocktail menu is divided by the kind of “lover” you might be seeking, including “Hot Lover” (incorporating spices like wasabi, ginger, and star anise), “Herbal Lover” (showcasing fresh produce like strawberries and basil), and “First Love” (classic cocktails like Manhattans and martinis). Truly, it’s hard not to be seduced by the fresh ingredients, premium liquors, and all-around cleverness. Take for example the signature LoungeLover cocktail, a ridiculously tantalizing concoction of fig liqueur, sweet vanilla, and zesty lemon oil finished with Loungelover Champagne. Now that’s amore.

Though the hottest love affairs are characterized by spontaneity, Loungelover’s having none of it in their seating policy, what they refer to as their “booking system.” You’ve got to call ahead for a spot, even if you’re just stopping in for one drink. This is a touch frustrating if you’re a drop-in-at-the-last-moment sort of gal. Tables are large, but the bar is small, so plan accordingly when inviting companions. Either a date for the bar or a gang of friends for a table is best. Because really, no one should nurse a “Dr. Strangelove” on her own.

Read more about Loungelover in our London Guide.

1 Whitby St.
Shoreditch, London

RL contributed to this post.

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