Taking up a prime position just a few seconds from Brick Lane, Apples & Pears bills itself as a neighbourhood bar with a creative cocktail list and a lively atmosphere. Would the ambitious drinks menu help this East London bar stand out from the crowd, or have they bitten off more than they can chew? I swung by one Friday night to find out.
The cosy, cool interior felt like a world away from some of the more rustic bars in Dalston or Hackney, with trippy art and exposed brickwork giving the venue a classy feel. There are plenty of tables tucked away so couples can enjoy a sneaky drink, while the bar also had enough room for groups to party hearty without disturbing other punters.
The resident DJ is on hand over the weekend to lay down some toe-tapping Motown and plenty of other funktastic beats; so the dancefloor is guaranteed to get packed if you're visiting towards the end of the working week.
A mixture of couples and groups; the atmosphere was lively yet relaxed enough to enjoy a drink and a conversation. With its close proximity to Brick Lane’s many bars, Apples & Pears is ideal for a pre-drink warm up, or if you want to dance but can’t deal with hitting a nightclub, it’s the ideal middle ground.
The bartenders are attentive, creative and passionate about sharing their signature creations. Be wary though, you could easily spend all night tasting some of the many phenomenal libations available.
Every single drink my friends and I tasted seemed better than the last, with something for every kind of taste; be that sour, sweet, spicy or strong. For those partial to the odd Bloody Mary, the Bloody Marley was excellent. With a nod to the reggae king, the drink infuses Appleton rum with Reggae Reggae Sauce and spices for a fiery mouthful of deliciousness.
My personal favourite was the Tincup Rocky; pegged as a 'real man's drink' and containing Tincup Whiskey, bitters, Victorian lemonade and topped by some roasted figs to nibble on, it’s the signature drink the bar should be proud of.
I could go on and on about the inventiveness and creativity behind the drinks menu, but it’s the friendly staff and great vibes that are going to bring people to Apples & Pears time and again. Come for the cocktails, stay for the music but return for the good times, and always blame it on the boogie.