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The remoulding of former local café Olive into an indie cocktail bar on two floors further boosts Stoke Newington’s credentials as a drinking destination of note. For, despite the bar’s lo-fi look – with a sprinkle of foreign exotica, and post-war decor that conjures up the Victory Mansions of Orwell’s 1984 – the cocktails here are well-bred triumphs. Part-owners Stuart Binks (ex-Hawksmoor) and Benji Purslow (late of Keystone Crescent) are responsible, reflecting cocktail-savvy Londoners’ ever-more sophisticated tastes in creations such as a subtly twisted Americano, made with rosehip and peppercorn-infused sweet vermouth, or Hanky O’Panky (a Jameson Irish whisky tribute to the gin-based classic). Thankfully, back-up provisions aren’t reminiscent of 1940s Dig For Victory recipe books. Instead, you’ll encounter interesting wines from £19, a brunch menu (pancakes with bacon and Guinness and Marmite syrup), and evening dishes such as whitebait with caraway and chilli aïoli; or pan-fried quail, lentil, pumpkin and pancetta (£8).
Named after the protagonist’s home in Orwell’s 1984 (check out the CCTV spotlights on the bar’s exterior signage) and co-run by six mates (including two awarding-winning mixologists: Stuart Binks and Benji Purslow) who refurbed the venue by tapping into their own reserves of savings and elbow grease, Victory Mansion is a neighbourhood bar in Stoke Newington.
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