As we all know Shoreditch is heaving with staggeringly cool, subterranean cocktail bars…
…but even still, Prague-inspired Lounge Bohemia is definitely worth Czech-ing out.
You’ll find it under hidden under a nondescript kebab shop, just before Boxpark on the right. An unmarked door will lead you down a couple of staircases and into the bar itself. Suddenly you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time, to communist Prague in the 1960s. That, or you’ve just entered an East London design studio full of expensive retro furniture, all of which you want but can’t afford.
Image: David Turecky
The interiors are actually inspired by owner Paul Tvaroh’s own Czech heritage. In fact, some of the bits of furniture come straight out of his grandma’s living room… and so would ours, if our grandma owned a handsome mid-century bar; a selection of brightly upholstered retro armchairs and benches; kitschy white plastic tables; and low-hanging paper lanterns.
Of course if you’re there you’ll have booked ahead – bookings are compulsory – so, after a quick look around, a charming member of the team will guide you to your seat. Here you’ll be given what, on first glance, appears to be a book, although a brief flick of the pages will quickly reveal the cocktail menu hidden within.
Image: bellini-flavoured gummy bears |David Turecky
Cocktails at Lounge Bohemia are like the food at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck. They have a couple of traditional classics, but for the most part they arrive smoking or bubbling from glass pipes, upside-down lightbulbs, test tubes, or teapots. It’s molecular mixology at its finest, which you can either experience in the singular, or they have five distinct tasting menus to choose from, each of them promising to take you on its own theatrical journey courtesy of six totally unique courses. And not all of the courses are drinks either. Some are drinkable, sure, but others take the form of house-made, booze-soaked sweets, like their Bellini-flavoured gummy bears, or gin and tonic flavoured ice cubes…
…which are definitely as cool as they sound.
NOTE: Lounge Bohemia is open Monday-Saturday, 6pm-12am; Sunday 6pm-11pm. Bookings are compulsory and can be made via the telephone number to the right of this page. There’s also a dress code: everything but a suit. Everything else you’ll find to the right of this page, or you can visit their one page postcard of a website here, although we wouldn’t recommend it.
Lounge Bohemia | 1e Great Eastern Street, Hackney, London, EC2A 3EJ
And if you fancy dinner afterwards… try Lahpet or Smoking Goat up the road.