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The Allegory

Bars and pubs, Wine bars Shoreditch
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

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An all-day bar and restaurant from the Drake & Morgan group.

Drake & Morgan must be doing well. The hospitality group now boasts a staggering 23 venues across London, most of which can be found in the City. The Allegory is their latest venture, a new bar and restaurant in Principal Place: a box-fresh complex of office and dining spaces in that no-man’s land between the City and Shoreditch. Exposed lightbulbs hang from high ceilings; faux-fur pelts rest on the upholstered seats. Service was cheerful enough and the mixologist behind the bar let me sample a concoction with grape juice and basil he was testing out, which was very nice. Whisky sours, espresso martinis, old fashioneds and mojitos were less exciting but decent enough, and not badly priced, at between £7.95 and £9.95.

It’s certainly a handy go-to if you work nearby and need somewhere for a swish business lunch or after-hours dinner and drinks. But there isn’t much heart or soul on display. With 175 covers inside and another 86 outside, it’s far too big to be cosy, and it gets noisy fast. You might say that if The Allegory’s an allegory of anything, then it’s of a rapidly changing area that developers have misguidedly christened the ‘Un-Square Mile’: a place pumped with shedloads of money and corporate aspiration but little else. Except it’s probably more of a microcosm. Which is one reason you shouldn’t name your bars after literary devices – you’ll only get smartarse journalists trying to find clever ways to close their reviews.

By: Matt Breen



Address: 1A Principal Place
Worship Street
Transport: Tube: Liverpool St
Price: ££
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