Upbeat tunes, lively staff and an overwhelming choice of tantalising cocktails, Be At One Clapham makes you want to party until the sun comes up.
What this little bar lacks in size, it makes up for in personality. Located directly opposite Clapham Common Tube station on Clapham High Street, this is one of 11 (and counting) Be At One bars in London. With its classy interior and much-friendlier-than-normal staff, it is a great place to start or end a night out. The comfy leather seats are an ideal place to have a few drinks and kick things off, but later in the night, when the lights are turned down and the music gets louder, you’ll probably want to pull up a stool at the bar to be closer to the action.
Be warned: if it’s a low-key drink you’re after, this is not the spot for you. The party vibe here is positively contagious. So unless you’ve got the discipline of a nun, you’ll no doubt want to stay well past your bed time. The bartenders draw you in with their welcoming, friendly attitude, win you over with their divine cocktail creations and then seal the deal with classic party beats. While there’s not an actual dance floor, the staff still manage to get the crowd singing and dancing along with them to crowd-pleasing tracks from the likes of Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin.
The extensive menu of more than 190 cocktails and shots is what sets Be At One apart from other Clapham watering holes. To get an idea of how serious the company is about great-tasting drink combinations, the staff have to spend around eight weeks memorising the menu and learning how to create the perfect mix before they can step up to the bar. And it shows. The Irish disco biscuit (£7.50) is to die for. It’s a heavenly mint-choc frappe, but with a dose of alcohol to make it even more enjoyable. Served with an Oreo cookie on top, this icy delight is a creamy, minty, chocolatey blend of cookies, ice cream, Baileys and crème de menthe. The Johnny Cash (£7.50) is also a good-un, with Havana Club Especial rum, mint, lime juice and a homemade chilli syrup for an extra zing. Served in a martini glass, there’s not much to it but the tangy, chilli flavour forces you to take your time. Of course, they also offer all the usual suspects, including black and white Russians, French martinis and Long Island iced teas. Prices are reasonable, ranging from £5.50 to £8.50, but during happy hour (5pm-8pm, Sunday to Thursday; 6pm-8pm, Friday and Saturday) you can get two of the same drink for the price of one.
The Last Word
Wear your party hat, prime your tastebuds and let the friendly staff do the rest. You won’t be disappointed.