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Gaudy fun pub spin-off from The Vaults arts company.
Part pub, part theatrical production, this Waterloo-based boozer is owned by the brains behind The Vaults (the arts company in the tunnels under Waterloo station) – and you can tell. The place is littered with humungous props that whisper of onstage antics: a gigantic replica moon sits among tables and a ginormous pair of glittery red lips smile brightly at drinkers. One of the tables is a treehouse accessed by a mini staircase, another is in a little grotto, strewn with camo nets. One of the bar stools is so deliberately, comically high that you can sit with your bum positioned a clear foot above the bar.
It’s lots of fun, right down to the drinks selection. Beer-wise, there aren’t many craft options beyond Lagunitas, but there’s espresso martini on tap (poured from a rope-entwined pump, glowing with fairy lights), draft negronis (from a tap shaped like a miniature barrel) and boozy lychee or Pimm’s slushies. Anyone who can’t decide what cocktail to have will find themselves offered a spin on a ‘Wheel of Fortune’-esque pointer that’s clearly been made out of cardboard for a laugh by the bar staff.
This place is obviously not the work of a slick, high-budget design team. It feels like a DIY project – notably in the cellar, with its chipped mirror ceiling and red velvet curtains. But the random collection of gaudy homemade signs and props is what makes it so charming. Anyway, there’s only one sign on display that matters. It’s the one that says: ‘Fun, fun, fun’.
34 Lower Marsh
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