Oriole | Smithfield Market
That’s how they pronounce “jazz” in New Zealand.
Which – you’ll have quickly noted – is a fact that beautifully fuses our specialist subjects of music and geography together almost as seamlessly as the team behind Nightjar manage to achieve within their bar, Oriole.
Though officially described as a “classic old-school nightclub with live jazz, blues and swing”, this is actually the place to go for an exotic, extravagant, epicurean journey around the globe via the lesser-known mode of transport that is “The Cocktail”. Located beneath London’s iconic Smithfield Market, its décor and menus draw on the explorative spirit of a bygone era in order to send you on a journey around –
The Old World (Europe & Africa): Where you can sip cocktails like the Carpathian Swizzle – inspired by mountain ridges wreathed in dark forests, and prowled by bears and wolves – and the Roman Holiday, which tastes a bit like riding a Vespa without a helmet on.
The New World (The Americas): Where you can stop off at a key stage on the Inca Trail by consuming an Ollantaytambo; drench yourself in the wet wilderness of an Everglade; or get lost in a vast expanse of blue sky, rolling grassland and unending wheatfields with a Prairie Horn (the bourbon in which will assist your imagination).
The Orient (You Know This One): Where you’ll be challenged to imbibe daring cocktails like the Meihua Shan – inspired by the fleeting, fragrant spectacle of Plum Blossom Hill in Nanjing – or a Hyogo, a region bursting with modern Japanese cities, traditional villages, isolated islands and busy ports.
There’s live music seven nights per week (including some great Calypso, Cuban Son, Brazillian Jazz, and regular performances from Nightjar’s well-known roster of swing jazz musicians) plus space at the front for dancing. So… Jizz Hands at the ready. Ooh, and there’s food too. It comes in the eclectic, worldly form of small plates like sea bass ceviche; crab causitas; Mexican chicken with miso corn; lomo salteado with pardon peppers; black truffle croquettes; chocolate textures with mullet wine and poached pear; and a bunch of other stuff.
We highly recommend the other stuff.
NOTE: Oriole is now open daily, 6pm-late (around 11pm on Mondays, 2am other nights). Live music starts at 9pm, 7 nights per week. You can reserve a table online HERE
Oriole | East Poultry Avenue, London Central Markets, London, EC1A 9LH
Like hidden cocktail dens? Check our ultimate London hidden bar guide