The lights are low with smooth R&B pumping early in the evening as the crowd begins to filter into the Beaufort Street bar. Candles top the low tables, sleek mirrors adorn the textured walls, and there’s greenery illuminated around the bar. It’s got moody 1960s vibes. Take it all in and people-watch from the velvet seat on the other side of the aforementioned curtained window, or settle in with some pals to snap up one of the cosy velvet booths.
Late Night Valentine’s post-work happy hour spans 6pm to 8pm Wednesdays to Fridays, but prices are decent even if you rock up later. The bartenders will talk you through the cocktail options to find something to your taste, be it a strong sugar-rimmed Countess (gin, Campari, Cocchi Americano and grapefruit) or long Trader Vic’s Mai Tai (dark rum, fig, cinnamon and citrus). The snack menu – affixed to the back of a vinyl record – offers a small selection of diner-influenced eats. Snap up a spicy fried chicken burger, prawn and sweet corn hushpuppies, or a smoked ‘corn dawg’ with beer mustard.
Take a peek beyond the main room, and you'll discover Late Night Valentine isn't just a small bar. A courtyard awaits just outside the back door, which in turn leads out to a much bigger outdoor amphitheatre for events. DJs hit the decks both inside and out throughout the week, and you can head down to the basement on the first Sunday of every month to check out the in-house ping pong social club.
Whether your interests lie in top-notch cocktails, solid tunes or competitive tabletop sport with strangers, there's a lot to love about this relaxed Highgate hotspot.