The Toy Shop is a cool and quirky addition to the leafy suburb of Putney in South West London. Upon finding out that some friends of mine lived nearby, I simply had to see what the fuss was about, so I boarded the District Line for a night of fun and fancy cocktails.
As you'll see upon your approach, the colourful Toy Shop sign is a glowing beacon for fun seekers who might be wandering across Putney Bridge. Inside the theme is no different with a stylishly fun decor with a hint of 50's diner chic added to its check tiled bar space. As you venture through the bar there's an interesting blend of old and new themes that I could only marvel at. In short, it's all extremely cool.
The Ambience and Clientele
At 11pm on a Saturday night The Toy Shop was nearly bursting at the seams, so my advice would be to get yourself on the guest list to guarantee entry. The bar was lively and packed with revellers enjoying the many cocktails on offer, while the mixologists themselves put on quite the show to entertain the crowd. This is a brilliant distraction for those still queuing for their drinks, although in reality the wait wasn't that long. As you venture deeper into the bar the party atmosphere steps it up a notch, by the time we'd made it through to back room it was simply pandemonium, with groups everywhere showing off their best moves.
The selection of beers and wines on offer is substantial and tasty, but in reality they aren't in high demand. The drinks list is designed for fun and adventure, so embrace it by ordering Jagers in tiny tea cups and alcoholic 'shakes. I followed suit and insisted my guests do the same with a round of Hobo cocktails, which are potent and served in a bottle that is wrapped in newspaper. This all came to a very reasonable total, that was a lot lower than the Soho establishments we had visited earlier in the evening, another bonus.
It's refreshing to find a bar that ticks both boxes for being stylish and fun, as we're usually made to choose between one or the other. The friendly staff and well chosen music at The Toy Shop (a modern mix of favourites without any of the cheesy stuff) make for an ultimately enjoyable evening while the cocktails are a natural talking point too. Even if you're not from Putney it's definitely worth the journey to experience this unique bar.