The Ladybird Bar Islington - London Cocktail Bar Review

Published . By Mariam S.

"I don’t know where I am, but I’m not in England" is the first thing my mate said after entering the Ladybird Bar. Hidden in plain sight on the grand trunk of Angel Islington sits a slick little story of a Parisian party times and I couldn’t wait to add it to my arsenal of nights out in London Town.

The Venue

Habib, Ladybird’s ostentatiously generous French owner, says he dreamed up the Ladybird while living it up in Cannes. A Frenchman’s dream of London, we’re cocooned in a compact chic lounge-meets-bar-meets-club setting and sat in snug leather-clad seats that turn into semi-private booths. There’s a marriage of eclecticism with odes to the artist Piet Mondrion all over the walls, a deeply dark purple-hued bar, a pair of ladies legs hanging from the ceiling and a huge screen playing epic scenes from Scarface in the background. The vibe screams crazy good clean fun in a detached, sophisticated French accent that eventually becomes seductive.

Ladybird is a seductive lair of deep purple, Piet Mondrion artworks and French sophistication.

The Cocktails

The Ladybird menu is a storybook you read before bed, and all the drinks are very magical characters; enter liquor-drenched Rapunzel, Snow White and Tinkerbell (all £8.50). They taste like sophisticated little kiddy sweets and are served in huge martini glasses the size of my face, which is handy after a few too many and you’re done with polite straw-sipping: think cat, bowl, cream, face, me. As I look up, I see a sign: "The Ladybird; where the girls are always on top" This place is overwhelmingly entertaining to your processing abilities. (Possibly why the drinks are indulgently strong). In the background, two samurais are kung-powing each other on a big screen – an original movie that inspired Tarantino’s work – and the in-house DJ trips party tunes from his private booth. I casually sip my tequila-hammered Rumpelstilskin amidst the madness, feel soothed and carry on investigating.

Disney-themed cocktails come served in martini glasses the size of your face here.

Atmosphere and Clientele

Generally, if a venue is serious about its music, it's less of a magnet for the poseur crowd. With ten selected DJs on rotation, the Ladybird has something to offer everyone every night. And I mean everyone. We’re talking groups of friends down for a good time, girly get-togethers and some very loved-up couples. This dance-centric crowd are clearly here to party from Monday to Sunday and after 11pm, the Ladybird gets club-cray. If you're already experiencing slight cognitive overload, the DJ sets out to razzle dazzle you as music takes centre-stage with popular and shameless dance tracks, hip hop, techno, disco and a lot of deep house. Downstairs we’re hit with another bar and a few rounds of playing Sonic the Hedgehog arcade-style (more cool.) Like all things French, the music is taken seriously and the crowd dissolves into a dance spot where serious pro-street-break-hip-trip-dub-step movers look like they’ve been devoured by the seductive party tracks. It feels like your best friend’s most epic birthday party, and is a lot of fun.

Wild nights out with the lads... fun date nights... girly get-togethers... all are welcome on the Ladybird dancefloor.


Whether you're a sophisticated barfly, a disco freak, a discerning Francophile, an amorous lover or a music fanatic, the Ladybird guarantees a night of absolute good clean fun that’s crazy, not wild, and if you’re into dancing, it certainly deserves a spot in your arsenal of night outs.