Who opens two sparkling new venues in the lead up to the festive rush? Dirty Martini, that’s who, and boy are we all the better for it. Having firmly established themselves as cocktail lovers go-to plot for a slice of after work refreshment at sites in the West End and Bishopsgate, focus has shifted to Monument and St. Paul's, where the latest in a line of sophisticated drinking dens were proudly unveiled this autumn.
Plonked in the shadow of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper and within easy sauntering distance of Monument; we descended the staircase at 1 Lovat Lane to discover a bustling bar alive with animated chatter and bass-heavy dance tracks. It’s set up in an ‘L-shape’ formation, with deep red leather alcoves and head-turning artworks sandwiched between two striking bar areas. Guests settle at these tables soon after the clock strikes 5pm and gradually shuffle over to the dance floor to set the world to rights as the evening wears on.
Ambience & Clientele
This is the perfect location for a handsome city crowd to forget the trials and tribulations of a day in the office. Visiting at around 7pm on a Thursday evening, the atmosphere was positively vibrant as the crowd took confident strides towards the promise land of the weekend. The place was awash with cheerful chaps toasting a good day at the office and glamorous girls easing into a night out, with the odd sprinkling of couples to round things off. The DJ cranked up the decibel level as we moved out of “just a quick drink” territory, and the atmosphere retained its buzz without becoming brash throughout our stay.
Food & Drink
Priding themselves on the strength of their bespoke cocktails, it’s hard to look past their Martinis as the stars of the show. Brought to the table by our impossibly charming waitress, the Gin, Campari and apricot jam Bitter and Twisted provided an early refreshing hit, while the exotic Smokin’ Joe Fresca - a blend of Quiquiriqui Mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse and Punt E Mes with strawberry syrup made from scratch - was a delight. Starting at £8.50, impressive value for money is assured, particularly if you visit during their lengthy happy hours.
To eat, we picked at a blend of their Mediterranean and Vegetable platters, which offer a good coverage of cold meats, dumplings and flatbreads, and are more than enough to cater for two visitors.
A buoyant cocktail bar at the heart of the City’s social landscape, Dirty Martini are going from strength to strength in Monument. An absolute must for after-work drinks, there’s a strong case to stay later and dance the night away as the martinis work their magic and the DJ whips out all the latest upbeat party anthems.