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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Shoreditch

Callooh Callay may have got there first, but that has not prevented this nearby newbie from also referencing Lewis Carroll.  Given its owners' other bar is The White Rabbit in Stokie, 'Looking Glass' fits the overall brand, I suppose. What next? The Queen of Hearts - where punters down free mezcal, Aftershock and meths shooters to cheers of 'off with their heads?' Tweedledum - a niche Hoxton venue aimed at thickos - and Tweedledummer, its Brentwood twin for the TOWIE cast to hang out at? To those not used to the currently fashionable London pursuit of  'hunt the hidden door', this cocktail joint will seem a bit on the poky side. You, of course - wise to their game - will instantly identify the white framed looking glass as a portal to another dimension, in true Alice style, a magnified mirror image of your current surroundings. Into the room's concrete industrial shell - the place was formerly a rag trade wholsealer's - chuck tacky antiqued Louis XVI furniture as found in geriatric Jews' Golders Green villas ('Why buy a load of old schlock for thousands of pounds when you can find the same thing, only brand new, for a pony in a sale on the Edgware Road, bubeleh?') To this, add DJs, live bands, burlesque and cocktails that just keep getting curiouser and curiouser. Pop Goes The Walrus (a buttered popcorn-infused bourbon and caramel sundae) and Looking Glass Fizz (stewed ‘brambly’ apples, blackcurrant, gingerbread and prosecco) may not scream 'DRINK ME!' (to me), but if High Tea (vodka, strawberry jam, milk and rum'n'raisin ice cream) is your cuppa, hare down to Hoxditch and discover Wonderland! 
49 Hackney Road E2 7613 3936 http://lookingglasslondon.co.uk