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Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Drift, City

Costa; Nando's; Gallo blush wine; Hotel Chocolat; CK One; Hollyoaks; Barratt Homes: I bet the clientele at The Drift, a mahooosive new bar/diner in the ginormous new plate glass slab of real estate that is Heron Tower, buys into them all. As with those brands, the aspirational lifestyle peddled by The Drift - and its successful City sisters The Folly and The Anthologist - isn’t aimed at this maverick old soak. My mid-20’s fashion-forward date ain’t wearing it either. Her assessment? ‘Thinks it’s Paul Smith. Feels like Ted Baker.’ Miaow! Tonight, the joint is jumping: above the hard-edged duplex space’s echoey airport terminal-like cacophony, I bark my order from a list that includes Crème Brulée Martini, Lime and Coriander Splendito (no, me neither) and bog standard Smirnoff-laced Homemade Ginger Lemonade, pricey at £8.95. Our drinks are how I imagine Tesco Finest cocktails might taste if such things existed. A table of demob-happy suits and suitesses - the next series of The Apprentice cast at a stroke? - are loving it. So too, an injection-moulded Joey Essex girl in a too short prom dress, too high tramp platforms and a 'why?' white sailor's cap - who rates the place ‘reem.’ A positive, I believe. I totally get The Drift’s drift but my date hates its contrived quirkiness - battered old trunks filled with random period crockery, pearls and God knows what else isn't stylish; it's tat, guys. Above the shrieking drunk girls, the music is also grating on the date's lugs. ‘That’s Plan B,’ I say. ‘Yeh? What’s yours?’ she hisses. ‘Jubjub on Rivington Street?’ We exit, her too sweet daiquiri left barely half drunk. Her thunderous face turns all sunshiny again.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2