Jason Allen 17/11/22


The Spiteri Brothers have opened a floating cocktail bar called Bruno’s, and this time they’ve really pushed the boat out.

Metaphorically speaking, that is. Except for bobbing up and down a bit, the boat itself isn’t moving at all.

Of course, at this point you’re probably justifiably wondering just what makes this fraternal duo (the wonderfully named Fin and Lorcan) so qualified in the area of aquatic hospitality? Because while, yes, their dad founded Sessions Arts Club, and yes, their mum founded Rochelle Canteen, it’s more to do with the fact that they themselves already run Caravel, a floating restaurant, in a covered barge, moored on the Regent’s Canal, literally right next to Bruno’s. And it happens to be fantastic.

bruno's bar

To get to Bruno’s, you’ll need to make your way to Packington Bridge up in Islington, and from there, you’ll need to find the locked iron gate leading to Studio Kitchen (a separate, land-based restaurant), buzz yourself in, and stroll down the quayside past the boats and alfresco seating until you come to a jet black barge with two names on it side: Rosie and Bruno’s. One is the name of the barge, and the other is the name of the bar.

After alighting on the deck, you’ll descend into the belly of the vessel and grab a seat in either the scarlet sofa area at the front, in one of the blushed pink velvet armchairs that line the length of the space, or in one of the casual bar-style seats set up below the portholes. It’s all very intimate, and it’s been put together by the brothers themselves too. No big design studio here. But it’s the stainless steel bar at the back that you’ll be most concerned with.


Bruno’s cocktails all come courtesy of Fin, whose own CV looks like the world’s best bar crawl, stretching from 69 Colebrooke Row to Quo Vadis. Here, he’s shaking up the likes of the house original Below Deck (with blood orange & bourbon); the Monkey Gland (a forgotten classic made with gin, grenadine, and absinthe), and some nice hot buttered rum with cinnamon.

Of course chef Lorcan is muscling into the action here too, and serving up a truly unique bar menu of “Grownup Lunchables” served in a sealed, portioned tray. Only, instead of a triangle of Dairylea and a dry cracker, you get saucisson, soppressata and fine cheeses.

Um, yes please.


NOTE: Bruno’s is open Weds-Sat. You can find out more, and make a booking at their website right here.

Bruno’s | 172 Shepherdess Walk, N1 7JL

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172 Shepherdess Walk, Islington, N1 7JL

8.8 | Great