Sorry, but your web browser is too old to display this page properly.
Please update it to the latest version or switch to a more modern browser,
Google Chrome or
Internet Explorer 8 (they're all free).
Table booking is essential and standing is not permitted at this sophisticated sepia-toned Long Island luxe lounge summoning up the 1920s. Rare, revived and new-fashion old-fashioned cocktails line
up like flirty chorus girls demanding attention, and they’re all top drawer. Arcane infusions, homemade distillations, macerations and weird ingredients such as umami foam, seaweed air and tapioca
sugar inform seductive drinks with out-there presentation, although blue-sky ideas can sometimes lapse into kitsch: witness the Pit Cairn punch with its Alpine forest scene atop a mix of Cardhu
whisky, Tanqueray gin, durian and jackfruit infusion, served in a blue tin mug. But if you’re after a nightcap with some tapas, charcuterie, cheese or Negroni chocolate truffles, you’ll be hard
pushed to better this Count Basie belter with its regular live jazz and blues.
Praise the Protestants! Credit where credit is due, we must give thanks to those who started the Prohibition Era of 1920’s America, in turn giving us the most hallowed haunt of the liquor enthusiast – the speakeasy. Intended as secret dens selling the elicit sauce, the modern day speakeasy has growing prominence in London. Be this as it may, Nightjar does it best.The entrance to this speakeasy is easy to miss; its only signage a discrete emblem of a nightjar (a nocturnal bird) on an isolated door. The door leads onto a narrow staircase which takes you down to the darkened bar area itself, complete with clandestine alcoves and crooks. The pressed tin ceiling is a beautiful thing, and suggestive of the night we have in store. There is a strict table service policy – no standing around and no ordering at the bar – we are here to be served...
More from Wrap Your Lips Around This »
A drink with Ernest HemingwaySpeakeasy is defined as a place where alcoholic beverages are illegally sold, specifically during the period of prohibition in the United States. The drinks at Nightjar are not illegal but they are definitely from another time period. In fact the entire venue of this underground gem, is a mixture of ‘Once upon a time in America’ and ‘Midnight in Paris’. The setting is somewhat dreamlike; live jazz music that makes people dance in their seats, bartenders making potions behind what seems like a bar and some guy in the corner looking like Ernest Hemingway. Is this a bar in Old Street or are we on set in Los Angeles? I entered and sat really close to the band as they played ‘Almost blue’ by Chet Baker...
More from The Apposite »
Are you the restaurant owner?
Click here for Links & Logos
Are you making a general enquiry or enquirying about private rooms?
If you want expert advice on the best private rooms and their availability use our free Square Meal Concierge service and earn extra Square Meal Rewards points with every booking.
You are making an enquiry at
By clicking 'SEND' you agree to the Square Meal User Agreement