Ladies and gentlemen, I am old. It is time to make my deal with the devil and hide a photograph in the cupboards on the landing (I’m a student, why would I have an attic or a portrait?) But even if I am now walking closer to the inevitable end, the send-off for my youth was a damn good party. When I say cocktails, and I mean decent cocktails, you’re probably thinking £10 plus a drink – we’ve all been to that one bar because the drinks were great but we cry afterwards because we can’t afford food.
Do not worry – in fact, rejoice – there is a place where you can have very good cocktails and then afford a kebab on the way home (it’s a staple of any good night). Behold the wonder of Be At One. Now there are quite a few of them scattered around the city, from their flagship in Shoreditch – it’s huge, you might get lost, I recommend taking a whistle and a flashing light – to some smaller, though no less enjoyable, versions. I’m thinking here of the Be At One at Monument, or the bar in Soho that’s slightly hidden (if you stumble onto it you’re doing well, but you may feel like people use it as their local.
But my favourite, and hopefully I’m not alone in this, is their Guildhall establishment. Built over two floors, you have the bar downstairs – five bartenders so your order never takes that long, louder music and tables that act more as drinks trays than actual “let’s sit down and talk tables.” Upstairs, the bar is a lot smaller but upstairs is always pretty empty. There’s huge chairs for you to be enveloped by and the music isn’t as loud. It’s that haven everyone wants at some part of a night out – and you don’t have to leave to get there, just up one flight of stairs!
But, this is supposed to be a Bangin’ Bargains piece – so I shall tell you the secret of my love for Be At One. Happy Hour. Just two little words that turn the scorching price of £9.50 a drink into the loving and tender caress of two for £9.50. And don’t let “hour” fool you – depending on which one of their bars, it could be just an hour or stretch to five. And really, you’re unlikely to not find something you like on the menu. From tequila to vodka to rum and then champagne, every kind of alcohol is ready behind the bar.
An added bonus is that you don’t even have to rely on the bar having a happy hour; if you just download their app and, providing it isn’t Friday or Saturday, you can have your own personal sixty minutes of unadulterated half price drinks. There really is no excuse not to at least try. And for the old people, among whom I now have a place, the bars close at midnight so back in bed in time for the 9 am class and a banging hangover.
Yay or Nay: YES TILL YOU’RE SPILLING YOUR DRINKS!
Average price: That’s a very good question…it’s low enough to be a Bangin’ Bargain.