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Grand Union Farringdon (Bar)

Picture of Grand Union Farringdon in City of London, London

55 Charterhouse Street, Smithfields, City of London, London, EC1M 6HA
Cuisine: Bar
Tel: 020 7251 5259 | Email to Grand Union Farringdon | | Transport: Farringdon | Write review

Grand Union Farringdon Review

Book a table at Grand Union Farringdon

Best for: tall cocktails and privacy.

Great: food, atmosphere and personality.

Everyone has their ‘thing’. I’m pretty sure America created the concept of the ‘thing’. You know how in films, someone always has a ‘thing’ about them. It’s what gets the girl or the guy in the end and makes them dance even if they have never danced before. Grand Union has its thing, which makes it different and you will sense it.

Picture the type of place you’d expect as the setting for the song ‘Lady Marmalade’, sung by Pink et al. Beautiful and antique but without the courtesans offering more rough and tumble at a price. I’ve had my fair share of bar visits recently but none of them had the sheer beauty and authenticity of Grand Union.

Cocktails have been a recent calling for me due to the amount of people I know screaming to go out every week. Tonight, however, I am going to have another drink with the addition of quiet privacy. Just what the doctor ordered.

“Ooh swankay!” I say to myself as I climb the steps and take in my new surroundings. For a bar that has loud music blaring from unseen speakers, the music is not actually audible until you are inside.

This is a bar unlike any I have ever been in before. Something in me starts singing ‘Lady Marmalade’, trying to hit the notes that only Christina Aguilera can hit. It’s unusual, vintage, beautiful and has something special.

Flower wallpaper, large mirrors, Oriental paper fans and chandeliers adorn the walls and drip from the ceilings. I could get used to this. Split between two floors, Grand Union is everything the girly girl will want, to make the day end oh so right. Even with music blaring, it feels chilled.

I have been reserved a booth and a table - yes, those are separate here - and it goes well with my want for a simple, private night. You may ask if it’s normal to want a private night when you’re in a bar/nightclub/restaurant. I tell you, yes, it is.

I order my first cocktail of the night - a Pina Colada - and look at the food menu, picking the dirtiest, most tasty sounding burger with onion rings. Maybe that’s what makes this place different, I say to myself, as I drink the creamy cocktail. It’s fresh and somehow feels like that cold glass of water on a hot day. Simply perfect.

But that still isn’t what is different about this place. Maybe it’s the fact that the clientele are basically happy drinkers who are too busy enjoying themselves to give the mean eye. Student types, City types, young types, any types; all are welcome here and they know it.

That’s not it though. Maybe it could be the menu that is completely devoid of soulless, dull bar food. We don’t all want overpriced olives that cost more than the drinks and Grand Union does not swing that way. But it’s not that either.

All at once, I’ve found what made this place different. The full menu, beautiful cocktails and awesome décor are all a huge drum roll that lead to the golden envelope. The booths which are in your eye range the moment you reach the bottom of the sweeping staircase are the winner’s prize: heavenly.

It takes a lot not to squeal. The brick booths are the kind of thing that those who like to party away from the party will love and I have one all to myself. Squashy armchairs, tasselled velvet curtains and candlelit atmospheres call to you, allowing you to observe the City types who could not dance their way out of a paper bag.

Obtainable by booking, with a strict ‘do not come in here if your name is not on this little card’ rule, these booths offer a vantage point of the whole floor. By the time 11pm rolls around, I am rolling around, laughing, dancing along to the music and trying not to fall prey to the extremely attractive Braeburn Pie cocktail.

Grand Union manages to take the ordinary and make it fun. It’s intimate and unique. After going to the same places over and over, drinking the same cocktails (some at ridiculous prices), one can be happy to just enjoy the night. And that is a ‘thing’ in itself.
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Customer Reviews for Grand Union Farringdon

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Grand Union Farringdon.

“I love it here. Its fun, exciting and the music that they play on Thursday nights is brilliant. Its always good to come here when I'm in need of a quick after work pick me up”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Caroline, London (6 years 2 months 3 days ago)

“Stopped by Grand Union for a bite to eat at lunchtime. A great selection on the menu, prompt service from the cheerful bar staff and some great, good value grub. Would def recommend.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Joshua Humphries, London (7 years 3 months 17 days ago)

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Grand Union Farringdon Opening Hours

Monday: 12:00pm - 2:00am Friday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Tuesday: 12:00pm - 1:00am Saturday: 5:00pm - 3:00am
Wednesday: 12:00pm - 2:00am Sunday: Closed
Thursday: 12:00pm - 2:00am    

Additional Information

Grand Union Farringdon Hire Details

Any area in the venue can be reserved on any night of the week; small groups of four who want to dine, couches to enjoy cocktails or a small section of one of the bars to celebrate a birthday party.

Updated 27/11/2011

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Venue ID: 22360

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