I was peckish, parched and feeling for an adventure... The time had come for London's scruffiest pup to embark on a curious adventure through the liquid delights of The Big City. My hair was brushed, my shoes were polished and my tights were not their usual tattered selves - I entered Forge, Late Night London's newest pleasure palace, for a night out with the city slickers.
Anyone that's into London bars knows that a Late Night London refurb is a big deal. Forge existed in a previous incarnation as Abacus, catering to a city crowd in need of a cheeky wee disco and flurry of post work cocktails. Summer 2014 saw the grand opening of Forge as a space for the work weary to chow down before tactically executing that well oiled city charm in the downstairs club room.
A wonderland of industrial chic, Forge is mighty good looking. Showcasing a brooding palate of muted tones against a backdrop of exposed brickwork and distressed paneling, this City of London space is more than a little easy on the eye. We eventually managed to tear ourselves away from this decorative haven to explore the darker, deeper pastures of the basement club space. Vast and impressive, the club area boasts a floating central bar area, lined with plush leather booths and extending itself into a sleek VIP and private hire space.
The Atmosphere & Clientele:
We found ourselves seated for dinner upon the lowest level of the ground floor area, sheltered from the vocal patter of the bar area and the drafts from the door to the front of the venue; it was a safe space, and the ideal suitor on our hunt for relaxation quarters in the City.
As we placed our order, we sat back to take in our human surroundings: well groomed city slickers sat at scattered tables, supping on bottled beverages and chattering away to a gentle soundtrack of chart hits. Lights were low but moods were high, only intensifying as we descended into the debauched pit of the downstairs club room. The clamour intensified as the party watershed passed in an intoxicated flurry, and city folk abandoned the woes of the working week.
The Food & Drink:
In preparation for our wild descent into the pleasure palace that lay beneath us, we first needed to line our stomachs. We were in need of a hearty portion of ballast, so we quickly set about ordering our starters and mains: to begin, I enjoyed a pair of chicken and Spanish chorizo skewers, dressed with a refreshing mix of beetroot, sour cream and spring onion. Main course took the form of a medium rare fillet steak: the meat was pleasantly tender and served alongside a horseradish bhaji, a curious accompaniment that worked.
We began our intoxicating foray into their beverage offering from the get go. I like my cocktails as I like my men: tall, bitter and with an ice cold demeanor - in light of this confession, I was recommended the No. 61, a heady mix of Aperol, Campari, Galliano, lemon juice and sugar syrup. This boozy blend won me over with its sour punch and high alcohol content, paving the way for my sampling of the No. 21, a potent jumble of Zacapa 23 year rum, Velvet Falernum, lemon juice, sugar syrup, pineapple juice and Angostura bitter. Don't let it be said that the good folk at Late Night London don't know how to show a girl a good time.
I'd like to think I did a fair job of sneaking my way into Forge, one of London's most talked about City bars. Not an environment I'm particularly used to, I swanned around as though I was one of the city big dogs, snaffling my way through their wildly intoxicating food and drink offering, even dipping my toe into the tepid waters of their nightclub room. Forge, I raise my hat to you - you're mighty nice.