Tall Tales: Working (it) lunch - ES Magazine - Life & Style - London Evening Standard
       

Tall Tales: Working (it) lunch

It's never too early for a party, says Lucy Hunter Johnston

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At first glance, Drink Shop & Do appears to be a typical, trendy Caledonian Road shop and café, selling decorated milk bottles (a snip at £12) and quirky brooches alongside cappuccinos and cakes. But lurking at the bottom of a tucked-away staircase, under a neon sign that proclaims ‘ADULT & Erotica’, left over from the days when the basement was a sex shop, is a small but perfectly formed nightclub, Drink Shop & Dance.

The hidden micro-club (it has a capacity of just 80) is seriously cool, with oversized exposed light bulbs, a feature wall of vintage boom boxes and a set of DJ decks hidden in the top of an antique piano, not to mention a bar serving 30 types of gin. Most nights the mix of electro and retro rock packs the dancefloor from around 8pm, but on the last Friday of every month, aka payday, the party gets started early. Really early. Like, lunchtime early.

It’s never a good idea to go dancing alone. But since most people I know spend their Friday afternoons in gainful employment rather than propping up a bar, it proved impossible to find anyone who wanted to meet me in a club shortly after midday. So I found myself trying desperately to appear invisible as I sidled into the candlelit basement.

To my surprise, it wasn’t deserted. A hen party dominated the dancefloor, enthusiastically belting out Chaka Khan under the vast black glitter ball, and two suited women sitting at a checkerboard table were working their way through some potent-looking cocktails, bemoaning a break-up. In a room this small, invisibility simply wasn’t an option. I had little choice but to join in the revelry so I grabbed myself a beer (lunchtime drinking felt totally justifiable) and tried to look as if I was engrossed in the music with a nonchalant foot tap.

Suddenly the DJ, North London institution Jess Indeedy, inexplicably switched off Kylie’s ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ and started playing my favourite song of the moment, ‘212’ by Azealia Banks. It felt like a sign, and I bopped my way to the middle of the unsticky dancefloor and tried to pretend that no one was watching. It was a glorious but all too fleeting moment, and the next track, Madonna’s ‘Holiday’, brought me back to reality. It’s one thing to be dancing to cheesy club classics on a heaving dancefloor at the end of a long night; quite another when you’re by yourself, not to mention sober, at 3pm.

The Lunchtime Disco is meant for people who feel a bit ‘antsy’ on a Friday and can’t wait for the weekend to start. If that sounds familiar, then there’s no better place; Drink Shop & Dance wins hands-down over a tired boozer. Just don’t go alone.

(drinkshopdo.com)

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