Official declared owners of London’s best Happy Hour and purveyors of kitsch cocktails, Simmons are a force to be reckoned with in this City’s cocktail industry. Here lies the tale of discovering the goodies at their King’s Cross maiden.
If you weren't seeking this little spot out, it’s humble Caledonian Road plot would go a miss to the untrained eye. Looking and feeling somewhat like you’re delving into the wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia, you’ll find a humble space of vintage charm and off-kilter style rather than a collection of fur coats and a mystical land (still searching for Aslan). Simmons has all of the eccentricities of what it would be like if your grandma were to set up a cocktail parlour in her reading room. This is a grandma with a penchant for glittering mirror ball skulls, of course. Upstairs is one twee room of reclaimed wooden furniture reminiscent of those long forgotten primary school days, except there's a bar instead of a blackboard. Expect a den of retro wallpapers, a curiously large collection of lamps and a nostalgic music philosophy that pumps out the best of classic Hip Hop and general good fun music.
Charming is a word most likely overused in this review, but it encompasses everything about Simmons perfectly. Cocktails come served in all manner of kitchen wares from china teapots, to cutesy teacups and kilner jars. Basically, you can get sloshed under the illusion that you’re drinking like a ladeh (or that’s certainly the practice the Hen Party crew were going by next to us anyway). As mentioned, with a Happy Hour across Sunday to Friday from 4pm until 9pm it’s no wonder this under-stair cupboard of a cocktail club is so popular with London’s thirsty crowd. You can quite literally drench yourself in lush libations for threepence and stumble out at just passed 9pm feeling like a midnight reveler. Fantastiche; that’s what we call winning, epic winning. I opened the evening with an Espresso Martini and it's safe to say I was more than chuffed with this coffee infused tipple. But the cocktail that stole the show was their Long Island Ice Tea. So much so that we ordered this big-hearted bevvy each and every way it was served: giant teapot, teacups, glassware and all. Luvvvely.
The Atmosphere & Clientele
Entertainment wise, there’s a sweet little DJ nestled somewhere in the back jamming out everything from Hip Hop greats to R’n’B classics. Basically, the best of the best to get your head bobbing as you natter and sup away. Simmons nurtures a care-free ambiance, all be it a busy one having popped down on Good Friday. The intimacy of this bar means the staff are everything they should be: friendly, approachable and pretty damn chilled. Even though it was busy, there was never a queue and it wasn't hectic - Simmons is a strictly good vibes zone.
Boasting a collection of frilly lamps that would make ye olde grandma jealous, Simmons is the place for ambient cocktail lounging and kitch style tinkerings. Revel in their Happy Hour for your after work aperitif or stay ‘til late when this shoebox bar turns into a party pad. Nuff said.