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Queen of Hoxton (Bar, Club)

Picture of Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, London

1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3JX
Cuisine: Bar Average Price: £15.00
Tel: 020 7422 0958 | Email to Queen of Hoxton | Transport: Old Street | Write review

Queen of Hoxton Review

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Best for: Ticking all the boxes that a London bar needs ticking.

Great: Roof garden, dancing, artistic endeavours, and cocktails to match.

I think I can speak on behalf of the entire human race when I say that multiple choice forms are fun to fill out. On the pleasure scale, the intense satisfaction of adding an X to a box falls somewhere between ‘an orgy of French cheese’ and ‘finding the only item of clothing in TK Maxx that’s an acceptable size and acceptable to wear in public’. With every nonchalant tick or cross (I prefer tick, it’s more positive) we slowly filter ourselves further along the social spiral so eventually only Nigel Mansell and a 7-year-old horse called Daisy from Coventry are the only other beings joining us in our miniscule club of like-minded mindlessness.

Discovering a new bar in London works in much the same fashion. And it yet doesn’t. On the one hand, there are various columns longing for ticks, and on the other, the outcome usually doesn’t result in Warwickshire-based equine friendships. Instead, bizarrely, we end up in harmony with more, not less, box tickers.

On the whole, your typical London bar will earn a tick in one or two key boxes: are the cocktails not restricted to either ‘mojito’ or ‘beer’? Does the barman wink at me and only me? Does the enormous beer garden have a ‘no feral children’ policy? Very rarely a landslide of ticked boxes occurs and Tickageddon comes around once in a blue government (current coalition not valid; blue + yellow = green, apparently).

The Book Club in Shoredtich had me using up several pens when I first visited. I got hand cramp from all the ticking I did. It seemed perfectly logical, therefore, that I’d need to buy several packs of Bic biros for a visit to its sister bar, Queen of Hoxton. The guys that run both The Book Club and Queen of Hoxton - aptly named Mothership - have got their thinking caps on, over their thinking balaclavas, which themselves are secured over the top of their thinking scarves, that are snugly tucked into their thinking cagoules; that’s the level their operating at to keep their bars interesting.

When I and my tick-prone comrade ventured into the concrete jungle known as Queen of Hoxton, we found many a box that required ticking: one box that simply dealt with large, light-welcoming windows; a box that was only concerned with artistic murals daubed on every visible surface (and a few they’d just made up); plus a very persuasive box (filled with ticks) which was roughly the same length, width and height as a magnificent roof terrace (or Apres Ski roof terrace when we visited; the warmer months will provide one of the summer’s best vantage points).

We’d seen the box marked ‘Curtain Road location’ and ticked it prior to arriving knowing full well it was London’s most prolific address for fantastic bars. We also heard a few boxes - ticked with musical notes - which were crafted into a mega mix from our childhood (Wham, Bobby Brown, Janet Jackson, Pointer Sisters, and Prince TWICE in one hour. Yeah!).

There was a box marked ‘40% of ladies present are hot’, so we ticked that. Then we saw a box just behind it marked ‘the other 60% are even hotter’, so we ticked that as well. There were a variety of boxes that contained hoodies, check shirts, facial hair, asymmetrical haircuts, unnecessary glasses, space invaders, and fussball so - this being a Shoreditch bar, not a City bar, despite its close proximity - those boxes required ticks as well.

One box kept changing colour, flavour, and shape whilst we sat and observed it. Each time it transmogrified it gave itself a different name and persona: Don Quilita was a descendant of Jack Daniels and Grand Marnier with a mean but delicious, savoured characteristic; the Madhatter, from the Woodford Reserve and Martini Rosso family, was robust and manly; whilst Cherry Popper, the old rum tease, left us waiting but ultimately delivered.

One box was left empty because although we enjoyed our steaming rooftop stew (from the seasonal menu), the normal menu was hugely uninspiring. This should give Mothership something to get thinking about, though.

For me, Queen of Hoxton epitomises London: large, open ramshackle spaces joyfully utilised by all manner of creeds, hairstyles and noises. This non-monocultural mini London has the perfect mix. Nobody would feel uncomfortable (aside from any BNP members who may have accidently slithered out of that cave they call Burnley).

If Queen Elizabeth can be found snogging herself on the stairwell and big-next-year bands play live in the basement club, then this is a bar worth waiting for. Queen of Hoxton is so gay, it’s as gay as it gets. It’s lighthearted, carefree, brightly coloured, showy, brilliant and most definitely characterised by cheerfulness and pleasure. So call the Mothership, and giving them a good ticking off.

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Customer Reviews for Queen of Hoxton

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 Queen of Hoxton.

“The best roof terrace in the whole of London. It has its own bar, own toilets, and the sun beams down all day. I recommend getting there early (around midday) to grab a seat. And take cash, no card payments upstairs and then there's a one in one out policy to get back up to the roof. Beautiful babies in the sunshine!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ben Truth, Clapham (7 years 10 months 29 days ago)

“Amazing roof terrace. Possibly the best roof terrace in London. A decent array of cocktails and the vibe is definitely Shoreditch. Everyone is there to just let loose and have an ace time. The addition of the club downstairs makes this one the best bars in Shoredtich by far.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ted Frilton, Kensal Rise (8 years 4 months ago)

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Food

BBQ is available on the roof every evening weather permitting and bar food is supplied by local foodie heros BLT.

Buffet and canapes are also available if ordered in advance and for groups of over 15 people.

Updated 06/07/2009

Drinks

We mix a combination of classics and new temptations using only the freshest ingredients. Our staff are continually trying out new ideas so tell them your favourite ingredients and see what they can muddle up!

Updated 01/11/2006

Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Bar
  • Average Price: £15.00
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Mothership Group

Queen of Hoxton Hire Details

Available Mon- Wed daytimes + eves
Thurs, Fri & Sat – available daytimes only
Roof Terrace – available all week

Updated 03/03/2009

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Venue ID: 2896

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"Popped in for a few gins, and the bartender, Sophie was fab! Super friendly, knows what she's doing, drinks were lovely. Super nice pub. " Which venue is this?

Hated

"Popped in for a few gins, and the bartender, Sophie was fab! Super friendly, knows what she's doing, drinks were lovely. Super nice pub. " Which venue is this?

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