Let me set the scene: It’s Saturday night and I ‘m looking forward to trying out The Lucky Pig in swanky Fitzrovia. I am, however, mistakenly under the impression that this is also a restaurant (to some extent at least). So, when we arrive and go to the bar to order our first round of drinks, I go for it and get an In Fashion. Warning: This drink is not to be consumed on an empty stomach! Lesson learned, Mum! I head back to our table and order the cheese board to help me finish my cocktail. The cheese board wasn’t massively appetising. I suggest you eat before heading to The Lucky Pig and stick to the master list of cocktails for the evening.
Ambience & Décor
We arrived and were greeted by a bouncer atop a metal staircase, and were ushered to the bar by a bubbly hostess who checked our names off the list and got our table ready. The bar was not full but buzzing with what looked like a large birthday party in the main area, in front of the antique bar. The walls are greyish-blue with the plaster chipped off in the corners to look rough and antiquated but this only adds to the shabby chic, old school charm of the place. There are also posters from years gone by and small wooden tables and chairs which all come together nicely for a nonchalant and easy going look. Adding to the quirkiness are the multi-coloured oriental sun umbrellas spattered across the walls. In amidst all of this kitschy gear, you would think your head would boggle but the mix is so carefully considered that it wows you rather than overpowers you. The décor is definitely intriguing and strongly contributes to the ambience and mood of the bar.
Clientele & Atmosphere
Filled for the most part by a birthday party, or three, The Lucky Pig seems to be popular for larger groups but can also accommodate moderate sized ‘dos in the red curtain-clad private alcoves. Those looked fun and I am extremely jealous I didn’t get to have a seat in one! The atmosphere was not that of a normal London bar where City types, Hipsters, Heirs and Heiresses mingling together: The Lucky Pig felt more cliquey. This would be due to the fact that the clientele is largely party and function based rather then small groups of friends or couples heading over for a quick drink at the bar. That said, the birthday groups were living it up in the space and had a great time dancing with themselves and with the staff!
The Lucky Pig is a cocktail bar with a halcyon day charm.
Food & Drink
My first choice of drink was inspired by my obsession with Mad Men. The In Fashion from the Experimental Cocktail List is a reinvention of the signature Old Fashioned which is an ubiquitous order for the slick ad men in the series. The In Fashion, however, is not as easy to put back as they make it look on TV. The bourbon mix is smooth but very strong, so ladies, beware! After that stinger, I thought I would go for a Slickey Ricky. I basically chose the Ricky because I love the name but the drink itself is also pretty good! Fruity but not at all weak on the alcohol side - gin hits the spot every time!
Meanwhile, my date was busy working through a Caipirinha, a classic as always: sweet, heady and cachaça-fuelled. He followed this with a Pimp My Side Car - also very sweet and packing a strong punch with the extravagance of being rimmed with sugar. We shared our third drink, the Cuba Cuba, made specifically for two. Cuba Cuba is a very juice laden concoction which, to be honest, was far too sweet for me. We couldn’t finish the jug and had to leave most of it as our sweet tooth was dying after the first sip! However, those of you who can mix your spirits and juices along with masses of sugar will fall in love.
I would actually prefer to rent out the entire venue and do a proper fancy dress themed night to take full advantage of The Lucky Pig and its potential to host a fantastically authentic prohibition-era party. The Lucky Pig is not for an after work drink but rather for a special occasion or for impressing a large group. The lights turn down even more while the music gets turned up later in the night so stick around to dance alongside the live trumpet player who expertly belts out accompanying music to the drum-heavy beats blasting from the speakers.