Jazz, cigars and pop stars come to Docklands

Tim Badham
WITH finishing touches being made to Battery Club in Canary Wharf, the owners are not resting on their laurels. They’re in the midst of launching Alphabet City, a hip new members only dining room, bar and lounge at the O2. With all manner of pop star after-parties in the mix, locking down a founder membership could mean landing your very own “meet and greet”. With the Gresham Club due this summer they still have a few more tricks up their sleeves.

Another recent Docklands launch is Boisdale of Canary Wharf on Cabot Square, which opened over two huge floors, complete with signature colour scheme, mahogany paneling and a generous helping of McDonald tartan. Whereas the original in Belgravia conveys an old school eccentricity, here the bold reds lend a more contemporary backdrop to a light and airy space and stunning sunset views. The 1,000 sq ft Cigar Terrace and Cuban Cigar Library (complete with members’ lockers and indoor smoking room) complements the stock of 1,000 rare whiskeys to ensure a treat for connoisseurs. With Jools Holland as Patron of Music and a large music stage on its upper floor, Boisdale seems to be hitting the right note in its effort to bring a world class jazz venue to Canary Wharf as well as world class whisky and food.

Pollen Street Social, the brainchild of ex-Gordon Ramsey chef Jason Atherton, has opened just off Hanover Square with its own separate bar. The Social Room lives up to its name as a laid back, unstuffy affair with big windows and simple, low-key luxury to put patrons at ease. The “deconstructed” cocktails include intriguing options like the Breakfast Martini – vodka, Grand Marnier, marmalade and toast.

Over in Shoreditch, The Worship Street Whistling Shop has just been unleashed by the team behind molecular speakeasy Purl in Marylebone. Taking the Victorian gin palace theme to new levels, the folk here concoct scientific-style potions. Try the Cocktail Emporium for an instructional, sensory experience or the Dram Shop for serious gin consumption and an honesty bar.

Last but not least the appealing Riding House Cafe opened last week on Great Titchfield Street with an NYC sociable vibe. Just avoid eye contact with the lampshade squirrels if you can.


Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s leading providers of VIP entertainment, including film premieres, fashion shows, launch parties and members club access.