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A Bartender's Night Off

Christmas Date Night

Dan Garnell
As the days get shorter and Christmas decorations appear along the streets and in the shops my nights off tend to gravitate towards basement bars and cosy corners. I've worked and lived in east London for four years now so Spitalfields has been my regular playground for all things, including shopping and drinks. But I like to leave the busy streets behind sometimes and wander over the Thames to see the ever beautiful view from Dandelyan. And of course drag the girlfriend along with me.
  • Start here

    Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar


    157a Commercial Street, London, E1 6BJ


    Mon-Thu 5pm-11pm Fri 5pm-Midnight Sat Midday-Midnight Sun CLOSED

    My first stop is down the stairs to Hawksmoor. With its beautiful cooper details and homely feel this is one of my favourite bars to drink at, and order an amazing burger and triple-cooked chips on the side. Plus the fact it's dimly lit so my girlfriend still thinks I'm beautiful. Say hello to Ali and the crew, if they're not galavanting around the world winning competitions, and grab yourself the Christmas burger and a Full Fat Old Fashioned or Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew to kick start the evening. With a full belly and the taste of delicious drinks still lingering we take a short walk down the road to...

  • Move On

    Discount Suit Company


    29 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7TB


    Mon-Thu 17.00-00.00 Fri-Sat 14.00-01.00 Sun 17.00-23.00

    One of my favourite hidden gems of the back streets of Liverpool Street, walking down the set of narrow stairs is always a delight, not to mention the smiling face waiting at the bottom. As it's date night I can't loiter at the bar making bad jokes with Tommy or Matt, so instead we grab a table and order some of the bars tasty drinks. There's an amazing new menu at the moment - go for the Conference Call with whisky, smoked and salted maple syrup, walnut bitters and toasted orange. Once you've finished a few drinks here we need a bit of time to get our wits about us so we take a fairly long walk over to St Pauls and across the bridge. As long as it's not raining you'll always have a lovely walk to...

  • End Here



    Mondrian Hotel, 22 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD


    Mon-Thu 16.00-01.00 Fri-Sat 12.00-01.30 Sun 12.00-00.30

    This bar is simply beautiful. One of my favourite reasons for coming here is not just the awesome staff and banging drinks but for people watching as Londoners drift past the floor to ceiling windows. Pour over the latest botany-inspired menu from the team, you can't get a bad drink so be brave and try something new. Along with the drinks it's time for dessert, if your girlfriend is anything like mine that means a cheese plate and boy do they do a good one here. To finish the night step out into the brisk air of the Thames and look out over London, just be sure to tell your date they're beautiful before you say it to London with this view.


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