Last week we went for Thursday night cocktails at Dirty Martini in Covent Garden. Yes, naughty, I know when I’m meant to be training for the Nike Run to the Beat, but when we were invited to try out their Summer Nights cocktail menu (all in the name of journalism, of course), it was an offer that was hard to resist.
Dirty Martini is one of those bars I’ve always known about but never stepped foot in during the many years I’ve lived in London. There are two in the West End – one in Hanover Square, Mayfair and another on Russell Street, Covent Garden (where we went). I’ve also just found out, a third Dirty Martini is set to open in Bishopsgate in the City any time now.
Their Covent Garden venue is actually on the main piazza, next to the London Transport Museum. This part of the West End is great, if you don’t mind weaving through thousands of tourists. It’s always buzzing and full of activity.
Passing the usual buskers, fire eaters, entertainers and bustle of the piazza market, it seemed a shame to then find out the bar didn’t have outside seating. No people watching then.
But once we walked down the steps into this dimly-lit, subterranean hide-away, we discovered a buzzy atmosphere, huge sparkly chandeliers, and a very chic vibe.
You might have seen these art deco style chandeliers on my instagram. Oh so trendy.
The Summer Nights menu at Dirty Martini is basically a selection of six cocktails which cost £6 each until 10pm (cocktails usually priced at £9 +).
On top of that, they offer a Summer BBQ sharing board of mini hotdogs, prawn and vegetable skewers and sliders, for £20 – a little steep we thought for the size and quality of the food, but I guess it’s the price you pay in the West End. And cost aside, it’s a really nice way of enjoying some informal bites with your drinks.
We were really impressed with the cocktails. The Mandarin iced cooler was brilliantly citrusy and refreshing and the Berry margarita was a new taste for me – very sweet and fruity with a layer of sugar around the rim. A good choice if you want to look sophisticated too (!)
Mr OhSo loved the Gin Blush and the Summer Sours. I like to see a slightly edgy, spice-infused cocktail on a menu which a man can shamelessly enjoy without feeling like his macho mates are going to judge him (we know what you’re like, you men). So the Summer Sours, (Wokka Sakki shaken with Midori, lemongrass, lemon juice, gomme syrup and fresh egg white) was perfect. Big thumbs up.
The winner for me was the apple pear fizz (yes, we did stay for a cheeky third).
It did was it said on the tin – an Oh So fruity concoction of Absolut pears vodka, Lychee liqueur and fresh apple juice, with a delicious fizz from the Prossecco.
Served in a tall glass with a fan of chopped apple on top, this was the drink for me.
Alas, it was only when we left that we realised we hadn’t tried out their signature drink – the martini. But by that point, we were giddy on cocktails and I was ready to be taken home. I left the Thursday night revellers to party the night away.
For a night time pre-clubbing spot, after-work drinks and even dance spot, Dirty Martini is a pretty cool place.
We’ll forgive them for playing One Direction and it wasn’t really to Mr OhSo’s taste (he favours the edgier bars that are slightly rough-around-the-edges and don’t play One Direction).
But hey, for a central London night spot, it has energy and is a great place to take the girls.
Thursdays are the new Fridays, apparently.