Darling House is not your typical, average, everyday, ho-hum, garden variety bar.
Normal bars are typically accessed through a door rather than a painting. Normal bars restrict themselves to one or two rooms, not half a dozen. And they certainly don’t have beds, bathtubs, and 5ft high tigers heads coming out of the wall.
You’ll find this eccentric, alcohol-fuelled marvel above Hello Darling, the lavishly decorated Waterloo restaurant from theatrical set-designers Darling & Edge (who have created the spectacular worlds at Gingerline, Alice’s Adventures Underground, etc.). It’s accessed through a painting on the wall at the top of the stairs that you might otherwise breeze right past trying to find the loo – head inside, and you’ll come into what is essentially a permanently ongoing casual house party.
The whole space takes up two floors and combines a miniature labyrinth of six rooms, all crammed with interesting artworks & details, and all of which come together to create the feel of an actual, liveable house: there’s a:
- Lounge – playfully striped like a Big Top tent, this is where you’ll find the aforementioned huge, snarlingly eye-catching, three dimensional tiger’s head popping out of the wall.
- Library – as with most libraries, there are a lot of books on the walls here. As with not a lot of libraries, there are also hundreds of butterflies on the walls too.
- Twin Room – dressed in a snappily ’30s style, this room has sofa seating and hand-painted flowers surrounding you on the walls.
- Kitchen – sure, there isn’t a toaster, but there are chandeliers and marble countertops.
- Bedroom – most of the space here is taken up by the huge, four-poster bed (which you’re welcome to lounge on), while the decaying walls are decorated with huge fronds of pampas grass.
- Bathroom – feel free to jump into the tub and soak up some cocktails.
Like everything else here, the bar isn’t exactly normal either – it’s located inside a cupboard on the landing within which a strapping mixologist will be shaking drinks all evening, from a classic negroni to a prosecco-addled Darling Rose. And speaking of prosecco, if that’s your poison then you should locate & ring the brass doorbell nearby. It’ll reveal a hidden magnum of the stuff from within the wall.
If you fancy, you can hire out the entire venue for your own house party. Each room has its own independent speaker system for you to curate your own playlist, and you can get your own performers too, for a little “burlesque in the bedroom, magic in the library and singing with a queen in the bathtub”.
We are amused.
NOTE: Darling House is open Thursday-Saturday, 5pm-midnight. You can find out more, and make a booking on 0207 401 8958, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or heading to their at their website right HERE.
Darling House | Above Hello Darling, 131 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UR
Like drinking in elegant parlours? Pay a visit to Zetter Townhouse