06 April 2013

Two out of Three Ain't Bad

As part of the gentrification of King's Cross, a couple of years ago saw the arrival of Drink, Shop & Do, on the site of a former sex shop (cf The Brewhouse on York). Although it sounds like the slightly less hippy-dippy sequel to an Elizabeth Gilbert book, it's actually quite a fun concept. Up front, there is a shop selling cards, jewellery and other girly and/or quirky gifts. At the back, you can grab a table and, depending on the time of day, enjoy breakfast, tea and cakes, or a cocktail. I often peruse the shop section and have been to a Christmas party in the basement, the best part of the do being the retro snacks, including Skips and Scotch eggs.

Drink, Shop & Do: fancy tablecloths and a front garden cocktail

This week, I managed to drink and to do, although not to shop. Not bad for a Thursday night, though. We started with a few cocktails. My favourite was the, er, front garden, which contained gin, lime, elderflower and basil. It was delicious and the £8.50 pricetag isn't too horrific for central London. We did face some pressure from the bar staff to order more drinks, however, even when we had clearly just got a round in.

Vintage chic

The 'do' on Thursday involved having vintage hair and make-up done, at £10 for one or £15 for both, which is pretty reasonable. I have only had my make-up done once before, when I was a bridesmaid and I'm still not entirely comfortable with it, especially when sitting in the middle of a crowded bar. Still, although I didn't exactly give very specific instructions to the ladies, I was quite pleased with the finished look, even if the hair seemed to me more 1940s than the "Mad Men bob" the hair stylist suggested (I have long hair, so I'm not sure how that would have worked, anyway). I look a little pale in the photo, partly due to having to use the flash on my camera and partly because they didn't have very many shades of foundation. The amount of time and effort it took for the make-up artist to apply liquid liner hasn't exactly converted me.

Afterwards, there was an early doors disco downstairs, or an "old people's disco" as I refer to it. Perfect for people who like a bit of a dance but can't face the late nights and/or the queue for Fabric. It finishes at 11 pm, so you can be home before midnight, even if you live South of the River. Drink, Shop & Do is a fun place to hang out, so do check the listings page on their website. They arrange a lot of different activities and the drinks are good; the food is a little pricey for what it is, but I can't say I wasn't tempted by the menu. Oh, and as well as the formal shop section, you can also buy pretty much anything else that isn't glued down, including the artwork, the tables and the funky shelving unit on which they were displaying a series of glass bottles. It looked great, but it was also £220...

Drink, Shop & Do. 9 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX (Tube: King's Cross). Website. Twitter.

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