Night out or photoshoot? It’s the dilemma of our modern times. Tonight Josephine wants your visit to be the latter. It’s a bar, sure, but it’s really one epic photo opp in a hundred shades of pink. It’s like a Venus fly-trap for Insta-obsessed millennial feminists. ‘Why the fuck can’t I have fun all the time?’ asks a sign outside. ‘Well-behaved women don’t make history,’ screams a neon sign at the bottom of the stairs. ‘Wear the pants, boss lady,’ insists the wallpaper. This tiny basement bar is plastered – literally – in cyber-sayings and meme-material. It’s silly, sassy and utterly shameless. It wants you to be too – and then to post about it on social media. Josephine is that girl who is desperate for likes.
The menu is as loud as the music (late ’90s denim-clad girlband B*Witched was blaring out of the speakers during my visit), with cocktails that are pretty to look at but sugary sweet. The Violet Femme, a purple, gin-based drink, came with a tube of Parma Violets balancing on its fluffy egg-white top. Love Potion, a tangy concoction featuring pineapple syrup, strawberries and prosecco, was sipped out of a glittery sugar-rimmed glass. The flavours weren’t anything to write home about but the drinks matched the vibe of this brash, hot mess of a place. There’s also a small wine and bubbles list, bottled beers, cider and shooters: Skittles-infused vodka if you really want the sugar to go to your head.
When it came to the hashtag potential, I ended up obliging. Two cocktails down, Tonight Josephine’s ‘lady garden’ sign just spoke to me. After all, if you don’t post about your night out on social media, how can you be sure it even happened?