Ever got drunk in the Tardis? From the Kingsland Road pavement, this bar on the Shoreditch/Hoxton border doesn’t look like much more than a cute little bottle shop. But wander on in and you’ll discover there’s a whole world of bevvying to be had inside this converted police station.
Past the front-room ‘liquor store’, stacked high with beers, wines, spirits and mixological gear, you’ll find a wood-panelled drinking parlour. And in a further space upstairs, TT also hosts supper clubs and pairs cocktails with cult movie screenings: think ‘The Big Lebowski’ with white russians. And then there’s the main event: a speakeasy-style bar tucked away in the cellar, its brick walls lined with caged bottles and the obligatory old-school filament bulbs. This is the former cop-shop lock-up, now a drunk tank of a much more upscale variety.
The cocktail menu references different eras of barmanship with a lean towards gin, though the staff are more than happy to go off-road. Adding jasmine tea and soda, the Groglet spun out the classic gimlet into something longer and more laid back, while the Rosetta came over like a short and floral margarita. Service is affable and unshowy, drinks are gimmick-free and the crowd is refreshingly short on the kind of wankers you might expect to find in a basement bar on the Kingsland Road.
If you’re acquainted with the two bars that TT’s founders also helped set up, Discount Suit Company or the Sun Tavern, you’ll recognise the stripped-back vibe – but this separate project of theirs is bigger, grander and more ambitious. I haven’t even mentioned the warren of old police cells filled with long tables, each seating a party-friendly ten to 15 people. This multi-purpose booze bunker may not actually travel through time, but it will leave you wondering where the evening went.