February: the month that drew the short straw. Blink and it’s gone. This year’s a Leap Year, meaning the 28-day month is granted an extra day, out of pity. That’s why we have to pack into February the most events possible, adding to world holidays like Valentine’s Day, the Super Bowl and Slovenian Culture Day. Tick off these new London venues over the course of your 28 – nay, 29 – days. We asked venue experts Hire Space for the coolest new spots to see you through the month.
Adding to the cluster of eclectic venues at Granary Square in King’s Cross is The Lighterman, a 'pub, dining room and bar'. Set on three floors in an expansive, industrial style, the multi-faceted establishment will offer craft beers, seasonal cocktails and wines, alongside wholesome food cooked in the on-site wood-fired grill and pizza oven. Putting February to the back of our minds, The Lighterman will undoubtedly be a popular summer spot due to its alfresco terrace, which will look out onto Regent’s Canal.
Below-ground boozing is a wily way to escape the February chill, with the added advantage that it’s cool when a venue doubles up as a well-kept, subterranean secret. This cocktail bar and lounge recently opened on Dalston’s Kingsland Road, and features comfy booths, a wine list picked by local connoisseurs, and Vietnamese food – like lotus root crisps and chilli soft-shell crab – from the people at Hanoi Kitchen. We're intrigued by the Bananadrama; rum, sherry, condensed milk, banana and toasted pecan bitters.
Intriguing Soho enthusiasts ever since the release of its promotional YouTube ad, this restaurant, club and bar will keep doors open from breakfast time until the early hours, supplying round-the-clock visitors with gourmet coffee, signature drinks and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine – think black cod provencale and marinated Basque beef. Late at night, an exclusive club vibe sets in, set off by booths and bottle service. The venue will also hold over 850 standing attendees for live gigs, at the very place where the legendary Marquee Club once stood and hosted artists like David Bowie and Led Zeppelin.
In the Summer of ‘15, eclectic venue Oval Space played hosts to Behind This Wall, which describes itself as a ‘peripatetic bar / club / exchange’. The popular pop-up is peripatetic no longer, as it opens its own hip drinking establishment in early February between Bethnal Green and Clapton. The permanent Hackney space will be welcome for fans of BTW’s ‘medicinal mixology’ in the form of infused cocktails, as well as its Tannoy Gold sound system to create, once again, its signature late-night grooves.
For sit-down dining this month, the place to head is Covent Garden for a plate of the venison haunch with burnt cucumber, spelt, radish and harissa, or the roast wood pigeon with popcorn polenta and succotash. 'Native' refers to the dedication to local ingredients, with the award-winning head chefs using British produce and their pop-up and street-food experience to create innovative dishes at their permanent new Neal’s Yard base.
For more awesome London venues, head to hirespace.com