Reviews

Love & Liquor

By Miette L Johnson

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Love & Liquor is the latest escapade by the Columbo Group (Paradise, XOYO) and combines proper prohibition-inspired cocktails with an End-of-the-World party vibe, set against a backdrop of stripped-back Brooklyn-warehouse cool. Pitched right on Kilburn’s high street, if you blink during daylight hours you’ll miss it, but when darkness rolls in, L&L’s exterior is a blaze of neon hearts and eager party-goers teetering on heels waiting to be, god, yes, please, FINALLY admitted to London’s most-hyped party.

Creative Director Clem Ogbonnaya is clearly a man on a mission to bring love, liquor and no-holds-barred hedonism to anyone up to the challenge. Partying here is serious business: open Fridays and Saturdays only, L&L is built for purpose. If you’re lucky enough to secure a spot on the guest list (and we definitely recommend you do), consider it your passport to an Epic Night Out. Already an ELLE favourite (we loved it so much, we chose the hidden ‘Volstead Library’ as the setting for our #ELLEsessions featuring Bebe Black), it seems we’re in good company with Tinie Tempah, Rita Ora and Will.i.am already firm regulars. Dress to be looked at— and you will be looked at, and photographed— so it’s got to be stylish. We opted for big hair and body-con paired with neat biker boots, a good cross-section of the looks fashionable revellers were rocking during our last visit. Consider it your uniform for killing it on the tiles until 3am closing.

The crowd varies depending on the evening, a peek at what’s on (check the website) will give you a good indication of who and what to expect. Hot off the back of Carnival weekend, which was hosted by the inimitable Idris Elba, this Friday, September 6th marks L&L's 1st birthday. Celebrations kick off at 9pm, with ELLE favourite Mr Hudson on the decks and an animal kingdom dress code, things are set to get wild. Tickets are £10, get on the guestlist by emailing clem@thecolumbogroup.com.

Watch our exclusive short inspired by David Bowie starring Mr Hudson here: http://www.elleuk.com/elle-tv/fashion/london/oh-you-pretty-things-elle-exclusive-bowie-inspired-shoot

Watch Bebe Black perform an acoustic version of her track Deathwish for ELLE Sessions, shot on location at Love & Liquor here: http://www.elleuk.com/elle-tv/fashion/london/elle-sessions-bebe-black

The ELLEuk Score

Drinks 8

Ambience 9

Service 7

Value 8 (but there is a door charge)

Address: 34 Kilburn High Road, London, NW6 5UA, enq 020 8969 0098, loveandliquor.co.uk, @loveliquorbar

Opening times/days: Fridays & Saturdays 8pm – 3am.

Price of cheapest cocktail: £ 7.50

Signature cocktail: Velvet Elvis -Jack Daniels, Chambord, lime juice and lemonade £7.50

Price of glass house wine: £4.80

Price of bottle house wine: £19.90

Price glass house champagne: £8.75

Price bottle house champagne: £50

DJ: Always. Check loveandliquor.co.uk to see what’s on

Style of music: Disco, House, Hip-Hop & Party Bangers

Private rooms and Parties: Table and booth hire for 6-30 people, and the hidden Volstead Library can host 150 guests. Contact clem@thecolumbogroup.com for party specifics

Garden: No (Cordoned-off smoking area in front, as standard)

Who goes? Savvy north-west London locals, beat-loving bohemians, stylish music industry types

Celeb spots: Tinie Tempah, Rita Ora, Will.i.am

Door policy: Guest list advisable, via the website. Free before 10pm

Nearest tube: Kilburn High Road (overground), Kilburn Park (underground)

Good for: Special occasions, Big Nights Out

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