The Dolls House

Words by Jane Ryan on 19-Oct-2013

Address: 35 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NN, United Kingdom
Website: view The Dolls House’s website
Door: Members & guests only
Style: Members' club/lounge bar
Food: Set menu
Established: 2013


This multi-faceted, three-level venue has been brought to trendy Hoxton Square by the team behind Dead Dolls Club in Dalston. Yes, another bar in Shoreditch, but with several key differences. Firstly it's members only, but rather than pay for membership, you're asked to bring along a suitable gift - either a bottle of spirits, some hydrangeas or a china dog (these last two are specific requests btw), perhaps. Bringing the gift is the easy part - getting in a little more difficult. The outside of the venue looks as derelict as ever, only the large white numbers 35 indicate it's the right address. The buzzer on the door is (permanently) broken so just push the door or knock.

Inside, you won't find a typical bar layout. There's a ground floor parlour bar, and another on the second floor dance floor, but you can pick and choose where you want to sit, even in the dining room with its cafeteria feel where tables jostle for space. Décor is spartan, with white walls and plain surfaces, while the music ranges from beach house to techno. The gem of the venue though has to be the roof terrace with a capacity for 50 and views overlooking the square. A new chef pops up each week, having first been tried-and-tested at Dead Dolls Club.

Drinks are focused on craft beer and wine, tending to shy away from direct competition with local cocktail lounges. However there is a cocktail menu, all priced at £8, with lashings of gin and some truly delectable concoctions, namely the 'porter-tail' - cocktail made with a beery porter base - which is incredibly balanced.