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Reviews and contributions written by LukeS

Fluid Reviews

Picture of Bedroom Bar (closed), Shoreditch, London

Bedroom Bar (closed), Shoreditch (Bar / Club)
“I've got mixed feelings about this place. There's not a huge amount of seating, instead being designed rather like a dancefloor with the bar along one side and seats along the other, and the bed in one corner struck me as rather gimmicky. It was strangely quiet on the Thursday night that we visited -- especially strange given that they do a good happy hour until 9 O'Clock and the resident DJ was spinning some excellent New York house grooves. Also good is the lighting: not too dark, not too bright; nice colour balance. For a dancefloor-dominated place, it's aesthetically nice. The DJ informed me that on Fridays and Saturdays the music policy is apparently pop, so take your earplugs.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
LukeS, [ Unknown ] 29 Mar 04

Picture of Below 54 (closed), Shoreditch, London

Below 54 (closed), Shoreditch (Bar)
“Went here on a Thursday in March 04 and will definitely return: Thursday nights host live video DJs - not that I could really tell that the video was being mixed live - that accompanied a fantastically-crafted DJ set of house and electro. Had I not heard it with my own ears, I wouldn't have thought that the two genres could sound so complimentary and seamless, so hats off to the DJ for keeping the East vibe, but injecting some funky flavours to keep the mood upbeat. Another nice thing about this place is the abundance of sofas; in a commercial world in which bars try to cram in punters by removing seats in favour of having standing room only, it's refreshing to visit a bar that's trendy 'and' actually makes it easy to sit down and have some banter. The last important feature is the low lighting, which combined with the sofas makes Below 54 an ideal venue for a date and smooch! Personally, the low lighting would make me hesitate from spending too long here on a Friday or Saturday - I find that places that are a bit too dark tend to chill me out so much that I lose the party mood!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
LukeS, London 29 Mar 04

Kavanagh's Irish Bar (closed), Kensington (Bar)
“Went here on a Saturday night in Feb 04. Arriving at 11, we just missed a live band, but the place was really busy; I guess that’s what happens when it’s one of the few places open after 11 in this part of town. The most striking feature of this place is the number of blokes in there: a ratio of 5:1 is about right, and the only girls in there were 19 year-old American students from some halls across the road. As the other reviewer said, this place is very popular with Americans (fine by me) -- actually, I don’t recall even hearing another British accent in the two hours that we were there -- so probably best avoided if you’re French! We had a fun night nevertheless, but I think that was largely because of the huge volume of fine Belgian beer we consumed next door at Abbaye beforehand!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
LukeS, [ Unknown ] 10 Mar 04

Picture of Bunker (closed), West End, London

Bunker (closed), West End (Bar / Restaurant)
“In short: Nice bar, with long tables and a few (a little too brightly lit) booths. A definite improvement on its days as Freedom Brewing Company. Best of all: a DJ plays awesome funky house for shoppers 4:30 - 8pm on Sunday afternoons. As for drinks, the draught "Bok" is much nicer than the Pilsner, and apparantly the Organic beer they do is pretty ropey! Prices seem good for nice beer in Covent Garden at about £2.80 a pint. Think they do cocktails, but I didn't try those.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
LukeS, [ Unknown ] 12 Feb 04

Picture of Smiths of Smithfield (SOS) Dining Room, City of London, London

Smiths of Smithfield (SOS) Dining Room, City of London (Bar / Restaurant)
“Beware of the table service in the cocktail bar, especially if you're onto your second or third drink: Because you can't see them mix it, the bar staff seem to think that they don't need to use any alcohol. Pretty cheeky, at £7 a pop. The waitress grudgingly took them back, to which the chap behind the bar gave us a look that illustrated his irritation that we'd noticed he'd scammed us, rather than expressing any surprise or apology. Sadly, the music policy was equally disappointing: although all 4/4-based (good), the tempo, mood, and style had no structure, nor any hit of an overall direction, and consecutive tunes often jarred. (one minute techno, the next disco? This is not what good warm-ups are made from.) It sounded like an aged jukebox was randomly selecting from a stock of hundreds of "best of dance" albums. Suddenly makes you realize the importance of a well crafted background soundtrack: when the tunes were silky and groovy, as one might expect for this kind of venue, the vibe noticeably picked up, but instantly fell as the next tune came in. And, expecting there to be massive crowds on a Saturday night, we even arrived early. But at 9pm, there were still plenty of tables around. Even the booths in the cocktail bar regularly became free. Hardly surprising, really...”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
LukeS, [ Unknown ] 08 Aug 03

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