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Lowlife (Bar)

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34a Paddington Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 4HG
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7935 1272 | Email to Lowlife | Transport: Baker Street | Write review

Lowlife Review

Sometimes I wonder what people will think looking back on the 90s. In many ways the 90s was the decade of retro. First of all it was the 60s, then we moved on to 70s music and design. Finally trendies chasing their childhoods latched onto the 80s. Currently 50s rat pack is the "in thing" in design. So after we've plundered every decade in the modern design era where can we go next? Will we combine all these elements to create a homogenous design concept of good and bad? Will Choppers and Disco be forever cool while Eames furniture and Mini Coopers be consigned to design room 101? Will there be a sort of league table of cool?

Well, if there is a league table of late 20th century cool then the creators of Lowlife bought a copy. Is it the most stylish bar in London? No. Does it serve the best drinks? No. Is it in the best location? Have the finest glassware? Serve the best food? All no. Is it worth a visit? Absolutely!

Lowlife doesn't want any of these accolades, because it is exactly what it is. The little basement venue makes up for in enthusiasm and effortless cool what it lacks in style and polish. Really, if you insist on definitions Lowlife is a DJ bar. Second hand retro furniture and spray painted walls combine happily with the urban beats played live most evenings. The crowd vary from young office types drinking after work to cool twentysomething cats that flock for the music. The drinks menu, styled like a cult comic book, has a list of contemporary cocktails, some of which are original innovations, as well as the usual bottled beers and wines. The cocktails themselves suit the venue perfectly: they are unpretentious but still bang up to date, and most are well worth trying.

Even when busy you're likely to get table service from a friendly member of staff, although the quality of drinks sometimes flags a little when the bar staff are really run off their feet. One time my 'Manuka Melon' was served in a cocktail glass and another time over ice in a lowball. The food is reasonably priced and tasty with Eastern leanings, for example Daal, Dim Sum and Thai mussels. I've not been for lunch, where there is a separate menu which also looks interesting.

As I mentioned earlier, Lowlife is what it is. It isn't a style bar, even though it has cocktails that might remind you of one. It has a raw enthusiasm that might not suit everyone. It has rough edges but I still think it's a gem. If you're looking for a stylish place to impress a future employer or love interest you'd probably do better to walk for 10 minutes and go to Salt, but if you're looking for a fun relaxed environment with one of the best atmospheres in London then head on over to Lowlife. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
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Customer Reviews for Lowlife

Average (based on 7 votes): 7 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 Lowlife.

“I've been to this bar plenty of times and I love it!!! The staff is really cool and friendly. If you are looking for a place to have a drink in a nice atmosphere with great cocktails, don’t look further, this is the place. The guy behind the bar, James is the best bartender and entertainer. Really can recommend it to anyone.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Agnes, London (10 years 1 months 26 days ago)

“Excellent night out, fantastic, relaxed atmosphere. Great staff and managers (particuarly Keiran) and an amazing selection of music. Lowlife is a perfect escape from the world above.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ross, Guildford (13 years 5 months 8 days ago)

“I must admit to living in the neighborhood only a few months - enough time to visit a few locals and take a couple of trips out of the neighbourhood in the evenings to check out a few other spots around the city. So far, Lowlife is it. It's the perfect special local. The food is (most often) excellent, the service is prompt, professional and attentive. Mostly - i enjoy the atmosphere. It's the kind of bar you can meet a friend at, and if she's (of he) is 20 minutes late, it's OK. the staff look after you and you feel relaxed.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
mini, London (13 years 5 months 15 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Lowlife

“Great little haunt bustling with underground atmosphere. last time i went along they had a couple of dj's playing indie, punk, rock and all other sorts of damned great tunes. rockin'!!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
steve, london (13 years 8 months 7 days ago)

“Lowlife rocks! The service you get is with a personal touch. You are made to feel at home. The staff are amazing, especially Kieran! The atmosphere funks. The layout is perfect - you can have privacy or mingle. The music is great. Lowlife is an extension of your living room (or one very cool house party).”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Joanna King, London (14 years 28 days ago)

“I always have a great evening when I hang out in Low Life. Chilled venue, great music, the best cocktails in town. Basically if you''re looking for somewhere to kick back and meet a friend after work for a jar or two, this place takes some beating!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Justin, [ Unknown ] (14 years 2 months 21 days ago)

“What a great find!!Dragged down to this underground haunt last night with some workmates,had a wonderful greeting and the night just kept getting better.Great food,amazing cocktails and friendly staff who were eager to plaese.The DJ kicked ass too....can't wait to go back!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Laura, [ Unknown ] (14 years 4 months 24 days ago)

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Venue ID: 2821

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