London’s happy hour kings have added a new member to their family tree in Islington. Having been to quite a few of its sister bars I ventured down to Simmons Amwell Street for a sip of the cocktail action.
With Google Maps on my screen and a strong after work drink on my mind, I set off in search of Amwell Street. 15 minutes of strolling led me off the beaten track to my desired destination, Simmons. Switching off my data and looking up, I couldn’t help but feel a jolt of excitement. Entering the charcoal black venue, we were welcomed by the familiar interior Simmons venues are known for i.e vintage lampshades and kitsch ornaments. Having been a pub in its previous life, Simmons of Amwell Street bears a ghost pub feel that’s undeniably awesome. Moving our way past the bar towards the back we were pleasantly surprised by a large space, a vintage Nintendo and lion infested wallpaper. They also had board games like Jenga at hand to keep idle fingers busy. Needless to say I came, I Jengad and I conquered. Another stand out feature of this joint was the hallway leading to the ladies toilets. It was covered in emerald green tiles and made me feel like I was on my way to The Ministry of Magic instead of the loo.
Food and Drink
As mentioned above, Simmons are happy hour kings. What does this mean? 5 banging hours of happy hour, that’s what! However, only specific cocktails apply for the 2 for £10 offer. With winter aggressively knocking on our doors I have grown fond of whiskeys and bourbons. This led to my first drink of the night being The Old Fashioned. Priced at £9, and not showing up on the happy hour section, this warming concoction contains a trace of bourbon, muscavado sugar, a dash of bitters, a zesty orange peel and a cherry on top. It was the perfect start to my evening at Simmons. Matt, our bartender for the night, then made me a Sazerac even though it wasn’t on the menu (now that’s what I call service). It containing no ice, plenty of alcohol and went down so smoothly I found myself licking my lips after every sip. We then ordered the Porn Star Martini and Espresso Martini to end the evening. The night ended on a (caffeine) high and with such informed bartenders I can see myself returning for more boozy fun and competitive Jenga!
Clientele and Atmosphere
The music as Simmons is upbeat, funky and current giving the joint a party vibe and thanks to its board games and Nintendo console its atmosphere is nothing but fun. People are encouraged to get involved and interact with each other which doesn’t happen in many London cocktail bars. For a Thursday night the place was a bit quiet but with its spacious venue and more than affordable drinks I can’t imagine things staying this way for too much longer.
Simmons Amwell Street has all the old tricks up its sleeve when it comes to happy hour but brings a new surge of life to the Angel drinking scene with its pub/cocktail bar vibe. Sometimes it’s hard to decide if you want to head to your local or venture out somewhere different and Amwell Street solves this problem with a combination of both. It’s done us pub loving, cocktail drinkers proud!