Electric Social Acre Lane - London Bar Review
40 Acre Lane, Brixton, London, SW2 5SP
Open less than a year ago, Electric Social is a relatively fresh face on the Brixton bar scene however it has quickly emerged as one of the locals favourites. Heading down to Acre lane, the venue sticks out like a brightly lit sore thumb amongst the somewhat gloomy surroundings but from the intriguing exterior you know you wont be disappointed once inside!
Electric Social; the successful new addition to Brixton's bar scene
Décor and Ambience
The bright lights of Electric Social instantly give out a warm, welcome feeling with flaming heaters outside which seem to be welcome by the chatting crowd of smokers huddling outside in the freezing winter evening.
Once inside, the quirky mix of antique British with a retro twist instantly created a cozy ambience mirrored by the buzzing Saturday night crowd, which had already filled the place by the time we arrived. The mix of beer hall-style long wooden tables, high tops and slouchy sofas seem pretty comfortable makes it feel like a big party playing out in a country manor. Unfortunately arriving at 10pm meant there was little chance of finding a spare seat. Nevertheless the bar, located at the back was ultimately the first point of attraction and its set up perfectly combines authentic and modern. Top hats are used as lamp shades, a union jack gleams from behind the bar, whilst altered classic paintings such as a moustached Mona Lisa hang proudly on the wall.
Fighting the crowds, we head upstairs, where the ambience couldnt be more different; a good sized open dance floor, raised DJ booth, small corner stage and minimalist seating define the live music and club setting. Two bars on either side of the room ensure drinks are aplenty once the room fills up whilst the wall long sofa and neon lit cube tables evoke a more modern setting. Although the DJ is in full swing, the pre-party chill out music is a little bit loud, making it hard to chat therefore only managing to pull in a small crowd of people at the early stage of the night; most preferring to soak up the busy yet more relaxed atmosphere downstairs.
Electric Social perfectly delivers old country with funky urban twist
Atmosphere and Clientele
After enjoying our first round of drinks upstairs, we decide to go back downstairs and join the livelier crowd. The packed bar is comprised mainly of local professionals and groups aged 23-35 who chat excitedly over the up-tempo retro music played by the downstairs DJ. Whether you are in a large group or on your own, the lively mix inside Electric Social creates a great opportunity to strike up conversation and make new friends. Be it whilst waiting to be served or trying to find some seating space.
On a busy Saturday night you could excuse bar staffs willingness to chat and put up with indecisive customers, however the Electric Social staff were only too happy to help us out with the impossible task of choosing a drink from their mouthwatering cocktails list. The selection is both inventive through name and mix offering drinks such as Black Forest Gataux made with Vodka, berry liquor and double cream. Furthermore service is fast but neither compromises on quality or presentation. After seeking advice, the Forbidden Fruits recommendation unfortunately did not quite hit the spot. Although refreshing (shaken up using a blend of fresh fruit and ginger beer) it felt a little bland and could have done with a bit more texture nevertheless the quality of alcohol used meant the taste was light leaving plenty of room for a second try. The subsequent Apple Pie and Custard Martini more than restored expectations; an ingenious mix of fresh apple and cinnamon flavours of the martini perfectly complimented by a side serving of Advocaat bought back memories of home baked apple pie and most certainly felt appropriate for the cold time of year.
All in all the drinks were excellent value (£7.50) and exceeding the quality of other more expensive cocktail bars you find north of the river. To make the selection even more tempting, you can always pop in Monday to Thursday between 4-7pm for Primetime Libations and take advantage of offers such as 2 for 1 on the cocktail list.
As well as cocktails there is a good selection of European lagers on tap at the bar and a select list of wines can be found varying from house choices Castelbello dry white or merlot (both £13.50), up to the Paul Deloux Chablis (£22.95).
Electric Social's events line up create a perfect excuse for a mid-week tipple
Offering lunch, dinner and Sunday roasts, the Electric Social kitchen is open from midday to 10pm everyday. The menu carefully reflects the venues theme combining traditional with a modern twist. Dishes such as Potted Haddock and Ritz Crackers (£5.25) and Stuffed Globe Artichoke (£11.50) certainly sound appetizing and will have to be tried out on our next visit!
Music and Events
After a somewhat slow start, the dance floor seemed to fill up as we were leaving with people still walking through the doors after midnight. Overall the music fitted the venue nicely with a variety of musical treats being spun from both DJ booths; the Funk Punk Saturday night lineup (a regular event) ranged from chill out, funk to old skool classics chosen by resident DJs to get the crowd moving until closing time.
Although a popular venue at weekends, Electric social also runs several regular events throughout the week such as Swing dancing classes on Mondays and Open Mic night on Wednesdays.
With a fun-time party atmosphere, good music, food and drink, Electric Social is a welcome addition to the London bar scene and is definitely worth a visit any day of the week. Combining traditional charm with an urban twist it brings some of those quirky East London vibes to the other side of town, however you dont need your skinny jeans and tea dresses to feel at home as this is a good old knees up and everyone is welcome at the Electic Social party.
Budget: Happy Affordable
Pre-designs: Fun-time Party Night, Pre- Club drinks, After-work drinks, Chat, Drink & Dance