A stylish bar which serves top nosh and booze and plays excellent music at the weekends.
Poppy Red is a pretty classy joint stuck in the rather tacky surroundings of the Orwellian ‘entertainment zone’ known as The Arcadian. The bar has seats outside alongside designer plant boxes where the crowds sun themselves in the summer.
Inside it has a dark floor and a bright red ceiling dotted with spotlights. Cylindrical red lamps hang over the bar and there’s plenty of mingling and standing space for when it’s busy which is most weekends. You’ve got four-to-six-seater booths hugging the far wall and a mirrored strip around the wall as well as potted plants dotted about. In the middle are sections of dark grey sofas covered with fabric patterned with red and pink spots. The DJ decks are on the bar the music is always pretty cool with new jazz and broken beats on a Sunday night.
You get a regular, working, well-dressed crowd in here celebrating the end of the week with a few choice bevies. When the DJ music is pumped up it becomes a bit of a nightclub, and is just as packed, so it’s a good place to flirt with the opposite sex.
The Food and Drink
You’ve got Carling, Coors and Leffe Blonde on tap and in bottles, among others, there’s Leffe and Früli (£3.30 and £3.50 a bottle respectively). The wine list is impressive for a regular bar and bottles range from £10.95 to £14.95. That includes a Vipra Bianca which is a mixture of the Grechetto and Chardonnay grapes and is gentle, soft and peachy — a better bet than the Voignier which is a bit too oaky.
The food is also excellent for a bar. There’s cornfed chicken with root vegetables for £10.95 or a halloumi and roasted pepper melt for £6.25 alongside gourmet burgers and desserts. The flaky cod loin goes well with vinegary cabbage and the rich lentils (although they were a bit mulchy) and there’s even a flourish of rocket on the side.
The Last Word
A bar which delivers more than it promises — what a refreshing change.