A self-proclaimed 'non-stop, experience led bistro', Mrs Riot is the latest cocktail bar to open up around Covent Garden, bringing party vibes and daily live music sets to Central London. But does the colourful drinking den really succeed in waving 'goodbye to boring'? I paid the place a visit to see if it lived up to the bill...
This one is certainly no shrinking violet. Tucked in along Henrietta Street, the bar is a playground of clashing wallpaper prints, brightly coloured furnishings, neon lights and gold decor. It's unashamedly OTT and I'm all here for it. It's a Thursday and the place is filled with glitzy groups. We're led to a bright blue banquette at the back, slotted between a gigantic cartoonish mural and an emerald green wall, and soak in the eccentric scene.
Drinks here are a stylish affair, presented in snap-worthy glasses and flaunting pretty garnishes. We start things off with a couple of summery spritzes. The Fair Songster (£10) has me sipping on a vermouth with grapefruit and rosemary tonic, while my comrade chooses a pink grapefruit gin, St Germain and blood orange tonic elderflower spritz (£10). Today's entertainment comes from a duo performing popular renditions of party classics that, at times, make it a little hard to hear each other, but overall adds a fun upbeat energy to the evening.
As for food, the kitchen offers a select number of meat and veggie dishes to nibble on. As well as charcuterie platters, truffle oil burrata and Scotch eggs, there's also an organic spreads sharing board (£20) that we dive into. Tubs of olive tapenade, artichoke cream, olive and sundried tomato confit and chickpea cream, sourced from French bio-organic farms, arrive with hand-rolled grissini breadsticks - good snacking material but they don't quite fill the hole.
Moving on to their main cocktail menu, we check out their range of signature serves. A collection of twelve fruity offerings, mixes are made using a fun array of cherry bitters, yuzu and elderflower caviar. While, I'll admit, I'm not usually a fan of long drinks - short drinks are my game - the Kitty's County House (£9.50), a fragrant lemon, basil and gin concoction with peach and jasmine tonic, is refreshing without being too sweet. However, the drink of the night has got to be the dramatically dark red black margarita (£12); a potent medley of blackberry puree, tequila and Cointreau, topped off with a chic black salt rim. And yes, it tastes as good as it looks.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Loud, proud and rowdy as hell, Mrs Riot may be small in size, but boy does it pack a punch. Whether you fancy catching up with mates over a couple of wallet-friendly cocktails and some live music or you're looking for somewhere to hit up before a night on the tiles, this glamorous bar has got just the thing. Get your dinner somewhere nearby, but finish off the evening at this beauty.
💰 The damage: Around £85 for six cocktails and a sharing platter.
📍 The location: 10 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8PS.
👌 Perfect for: Music lovers and fun nights out with the gang.
⭐ Need to know: Get here before 7pm every day to enjoy £7.50 spritzes.
Want a piece of the action? Book your table at the cocktail bar here.