East London

Published on April 21st, 2014 | by Gavin


Dirty Martini, Bishopsgate

Dirty Martini, Bishopsgate Gavin

Summary: If you live by the motto ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ then Dirty Martini is playing hard personified


Party Time

The Dirty Martini brand doesn’t hide that it’s a cocktail bar for people that like to party hard.  In fact, they positively embrace it.  Following the successes at Covent Garden and Hanover Square; I took the opportunity to visit the Bishopsgate branch to get my first fix of the Dirty Martini experience.

As far as bars go, Dirty Martini Bishopsgate couldn’t be in a better location for a venue craving large footfall.  Right in the eye view of anyone exiting Liverpool Street Station and situated in the extremely busy financial district, I was expecting the basement level bar to be fairly busy at 7pm on a Wednesday evening, however not only was the large bar busy, it was packed to the brim.  Not only that, there is already a DJ spinning commercial house tunes and I could hardly hear the waitress as she greets us at the door.  If you were questioning what kind of establishment you were walking into before entering, you would be left in no doubt once down the stairs.

The crowd is a mix of twenty and thirty somethings, mainly in pairs or very large groups, and the vibrant atmosphere is complimented by bright, contemporary artwork and striking purple booths.  Surprisingly there aren’t many suits about and the best way I can describe the environment is like an episode of Channel 4’s First Dates.

There are 13 martinis available from the classics (made with either Grey Goose vodka or Tanqueray gin), to unorthodox rehashes like chocolate, lychee, and almond.  We tried the Mango & Chilli and Lavender & Rose- both were fruity and very drinkable, though bore little resemblance to a proper martini and is aimed very much towards the female clientele.

Much of the remainder of the huge menu caters for the female audience with Skinny cocktails, Bellinis, and bespoke Distinctively Dirty drinks with fresh fruit and purees.  But traditionalists need not worry; the classic cocktails are well made and use quality spirits.  Despite the queue at the bar being at least 4 deep, they still manage to pull off a 5 minute Woodford Reserve bourbon Old Fashioned.

At around 8:15pm, the lights dim as they gets ready for a late night as it’s open until 3am and there’s still almost a couple of hours of half price cocktails to go.  However, after a few too many late nights recently, this is my cue to make my excuses and leave.  If you are after a quiet, sophisticated experienced then steer well clear, however if you live life by the motto ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ then Dirty Martini is playing hard personified.


Dirty Martini Bishopsgate, 158 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4LN

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About the Author

Born and raised in Croydon, South London, Gavin is a lover of cocktails, a passionate foodie, and a self-proclaimed ‘dancing god’. A (relatively) normal guy that decided to start blogging about his experiences around the city he loves.

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