Unfortunately for us, we chose possibly one of the warmest, sunniest Friday early evenings for a drink at Oriole. While everyone was basking in the London sun on heaving terraces, we were under ground (under Smithfield), very much out of the sunshine, sipping cocktails. This is clearly a night time haunt, preferably in the winter, when you don’t feel guilty for being inside. And while we were quietly wishing we were outside, it didn’t take away from how stunning this bar really is.
I totally adored the interiors, all green leather banquettes, leafy wall paper, with a beautiful bar. It screams exotic, sexy, alluring. It is the ultimate date place, and if you like jazz, then all the better but they have live music performances seven nights a week. It is the sister property of the award-winning Nightjar bar (which is always fully booked), and it’s gone for a similar vibe. Booking a table is highly recommended (unless it’s a 30 degree Friday evening..).
The cocktails are sublime, even if the list is somewhat overwhelming. Divided into Old World, New World and The Orient, these are not your run of the mill cocktails. They are concocted with thought, and care, and the result is wonderful. I opted for the Karachi Sour (Cana Brava Rum, sweet ume paste, yellow courgette, lemon and fresh sea herbs), leaning, as always, towards a fresh and citrusy drink. It was also served in the prettiest glass (shaped as a fish). Rob had an ‘Anchor Steam’ beer from California, which he really enjoyed.
They also had a very good food menu, and we really enjoyed an Asian version of padron peppers, and the most moorish black truffle croquettes.
We left after a drink, in search of sunnier places, however I loved this place and will definitely return when it’s raining outside.
East Poultry Avenue,
London Central Markets,
London, EC1A 9LH
Photo credit: Oriole