Callooh Callay: A Hidden Gem
Located in oh-so-trendy Shoreditch, the quirky-decored Callooh Callay has become quite an institution on the London cocktail scene, and for good reason. This surreal bar, named after the Jabberwocky’s nonsensical cries, is a deliciously wacky experience, a series of rooms decked out with a mishmash of furniture.
The Lewis Carroll theme doesn’t just stop at the name – Callooh Callay bar invokes all of the curiosity and kitsch of the Jabberwocky poem with an eclectic interior that really does feel like you’ve passed through to the other side of the looking glass. Bright colours, vintage lighting, gilded mirrors – it certainly makes an impression. Boisterous and fun, this bar is joyously witty and British.
The main bar is a lively space where the knowledgeable and friendly staff serve up consistently well-executed drinks. There is a feel-good factor from the moment you walk in, and I was quite happy to take the advice of the bartender when picking my first cocktail of the night. If you want a seat, you need to get in early!
As soon as my guests arrived, we entered through the Victorian wardrobe and were taken up to the JubJub bar, which is accessed only by those lucky enough to be invited or to hold a members key. It is an intimate space with seating for only around 25 with the bartenders taking turns to create a bespoke menu that changes weekly. With regular tasting events also being held, this is the place for those with a genuine interest in spirits and cocktails.
It is with the JubJub that Callooh Callay delivers the full circle of being all things to all people. The night we were there the menu was celebrating one of the world’s favourite scotch whiskies, and even though I am not usually a fan of whisky, the cocktails were divine and proved that this is a place that knows how to mix and deliver a good cocktail.
Callooh Callay delivers on many levels, great cocktails, friendly staff, comfortable yet fascinating surroundings and the ability to be able to relax and chat with friends.
If you are a lover of good cocktails and haven’t yet visited Callooh Callay, it’s about time!