Nestled between the endless row of party bars on Kingsland Road, Translate caters for Shoreditch revelers who don’t take themselves too seriously. We stopped in for the Rugby World Cup opener on Friday night, where a spirited evening of sporting glory, happy hour discounts and guilty pleasure dance tracks took place.
Found right at the core of one of East London’s liveliest late-night streets, Translate is a relatively small party hub with a number of bookable sofa areas and teetering bar stools. There are a handful of road-side tables for people-watching when the weather is fine, and a cosy beer garden space out back, where party-goers retreat for a breath of fresh air once the party gets into full swing a little later. Quirky artworks and exposed brickwork give the venue an industrial feel, but there’s bags of charisma and charm to Translate, especially once the Whisky Fist cocktails are in full flow.
Think hedonistic, unpretentious and friendly. The bar team here is made up of glowing personalities, and everyone who served us on the night made the effort to stop and chat to see how our night was going, even when the sports fans piled in the direction of the bar at half-time. This calm and collected approach made our stay all the more pleasurable. The fact that the rugby was on may well have attracted a slightly different clientele to Translate’s staple, but we enjoyed the company of a raucous home-crowd who cheered every English try with passion. The party really got going after the final whistle, when a playlist of retro party tracks dominates air-time and the crowd lets off some steam on the makeshift dance floor.
The Food & Drink:
Often find yourself getting struck down with food-envy? You’re in for a tough time at Translate. The menu is handily divided into Stuff To Pick At, Stuff In A Bun and The Big Stuff, and a common tactic here seemed to involve grabbing a sharing platter and feasting on a spread of nachos, wings, garlic bread and onion rings (£12). We chose to settle pre-match nerves with a Normal Burger - a satisfying patty with all the trimmings and a side of fries for £8.95 - although we gave serious thought to it’s mischievous Abnormal Burger cousin, which is two cheeseburgers and "a heap of bacon" for £12.95.
Translate is perhaps best known for its happy hour, which offers among the cheapest drinks in the area from 4 until 9pm every day. Enjoy cocktails like the Respect Your Elders - a minty mix of gin, lime and elderflower as big as your head - for just £4.75, and pints of Happiness and Thatcher’s Cider for £3.25.
With wallet-friendly cocktails, genuinely friendly staff and a buzzing dance floor, Translate is a key player on the Shoreditch scene. The drink deals until 9pm makes it a strong shout for after-work drinks, and the promise of "cake, sparklers, party hats, the whole caboodle…" naturally makes it a great place for birthday party shenanigans.