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Anywhere for Great Pre-Dinner Cocktails in Islington?

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Without question, 69 Colebrooke Row.

It's an olive stone's throw away from Islington Green. Tony Conigliaro is the barman (with Stuart his able deputy) and his range of avant garde drinks using ingredients from the lab above, coupled with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the classics, demonstrates why he won International Barman of the Year (at Tales of the Cocktail awards in New Orleans), and a heap of other awards at Soshu and Isola. This is the first gaff he's owned himself and it immediately picked up Time Out bar of the year. It's quirky, with a slightly scruffy speakeasy feel (don't expect the plush jewellry-box surroundings of say, the Ritz) but very friendly and small enough so that the proper time can be taken over the drinks so they're not being sluiced out in industrial quantities.

At about £8-9 a cocktail it's a relative steal.


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