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London's Little Nan's Bar makes kitsch cool again

I discovered Little Nan’s Bar recently and can barely believe it’s taken me this long to find it. I know South-East London very well. I know the bars and if I don’t know them, it’s because they are yet to exist.

The bar is located in a building that resembles an old warehouse in Deptford’s Market Yard, handily situated right by Deptford train station. On arrival, you will be hypnotised by the leopard print carpet and jazzy walls, not to mention the abundance of snazzy sombreros and giant toy cats. It becomes a pointing game: 

“Look at that bizarrely detailed painting of a giant pink swan!”  “Look look, a bedazzling cowboy hat with sequined tassels!”

I had heard bits and bobs about Little Nan’s prior to my visit from a friend and then later, a friend of a friend. It’s one of those secret gems you always mean to visit but you never actually get around to doing it, like the Untitled Bar in Shoreditch – HOW have I still not been here?

All distractions aside, I took the opportunity to scoot on over on a balmy Tuesday evening for a birthday soirée. And it was delightfully cosy.

Context

In 2013, Tristan Scutt (Grandson Tristan) used all of his grandmother’s furniture, relics and kitsch ornaments to fill a back room of an old nightclub just off Deptford High Street. Following some landlord mishaps, the bar was forced to close down but was soon reopened and moved into a charming Victorian railway arch in 2016.

The Drinks

One word. Exotic. (Or tropical.) Their signature cocktails are filled with pineapple juice and bubbly coconut concoctions and are served in an array of quirky teapots, dainty mugs and vintage vases.

If you’re a passion fruit fan, then you must try their Porn Star Nan (sounds scarier than it actually is), being a fruity mix of passion Prosecco, vanilla, passion fruit puree and chilled vodka served in a delicate little tea cup.

The King Del Boy! cocktail is all citrus and tang, so opt for this if you enjoy pungent flavours and an instant energy lift.

Who comes here?

On a weekday, you can expect to find locals and young professionals hanging around here for after-work drinks from as early as 6pm. Come the weekend, the crowd is a mishmash of individuals attending birthday extravaganzas and smaller gatherings.

I would seriously consider coming here for a romantic soirée out of sheer fun, so if you’re meeting a hot date from Bumble for the first time or you’re wanting to venture out of the same old local wine bar, go here. For those first timers, it’s quite a small building so expect an intimate and cosy setting.

Highlights

The menu is glued inside an actual children’s story book with scrawly, child-like handwriting and various clippings of Phil Mitchell and Pat Butcher from EastEnders – super kitsch.

The names of cocktails are really fun too: “Queen Kitsch Bitch” being one of my favourites and a must try!

Location

Right next to Deptford station and moments away from restaurant and bar Buster Mantis – just in case you’re in the mood for dancing to some dancehall beats post-cocktail number five.

Their second permanent home is located in Catford Broadway Theatre. I’m intrigued.

The Verdict

London is brimming with kooky pop-ups and suave bars – sometimes with rooftop pools and other times with igloo pods. Picking where to go can be a pain in the bum if you’re new to the city or you’re wanting to venture out to other locations for the first time in a long time.

That said, Little Nan’s bar is a sparkling and dreamy forest brimming with character, and who can possibly refuse that?

 

 

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