Beach Blanket Babylon

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Square Meal Review of Beach Blanket Babylon ?

It's sometimes berated for a lack of ‘substance', but that doesn't stop labyrinthine BBB getting packed out every weekend with dedicated followers of ‘style'. Opulent interiors go all the way, with ornate purple chairs, elaborate fireplaces and vaulted cellars suggesting a cross between the Palace of Versailles and a drag-queen club. The hordes of moneyed young things who gather here add to the lavishness of it all – linen suits, perma-tans and Russian accents abound. Cocktails hover around the £10 mark on a list that rarely breaks new ground – think million-dollar mojitos and Moscow mules. ‘Pedestrian' food also plays it safe, which means a trawl through chilli salt squid, seared tuna with couscous and apple pie with whipped cream. Service continues to get mixed reviews, ranging from ‘polite and efficient' to ‘appallingly slow'.

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  1. A bizarrely decorated beach hut in the middle of Bethnal Green, Beach Blanket Babylon stands at odds with its surroundings, yet retains an air of smugness because it’s much cooler (and cleaner) than the rest of Shoreditch’s bars and my god doesn’t it just know it.

    This gargantuan restaurant and cocktail bar has the sort of look you just can’t get your head around.

    It’s mental. So mental, in fact, that there’s probably little point paying for a drink here, because by the time you’ve received it your poor little eyeballs will be so bamboozled that you’ll miss the glass completely, drop it on the...
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