An innovative upstart of a venue, The Shop is a cool and quirky local where you can drink cocktails from jam jars and milk bottles, sample locally-sourced bar food and take home your favourite print from the wall.
Located near Kensal Rise station, The Shop has a glossy black exterior with a hand-stencilled sign. Inside it has rough wooden floors and expands into a long room, framed by worn benches, padded footstalls and canteen chairs. Fresh wild flowers are stuffed into jam jars on the tables and tea lights twinkle in the evening gloom. Behind the bar, bottles of amber rum, glistening vodka and all manner of intoxicating delights are stored in old drawers. The menu is chalked onto a blackboard, though there’s a separate food counter, garnished with a pile of pork pies to the left of the bar.
Airy, light, clean and classy, The Shop brings an element of east London hipster cool to NW10, recalling such venues as Jaguar Shoes and Dalston Superstore, but with a more refined finish. A couple of locals lean at the bar, while staff chat with clients and service is friendly, informative, chirpy and full of recommendations. There’s a buzz around the venue, aided by the upbeat music selection, and a sense of fun that encourages you to stay and hang out, whoever you are.
The Shop goes that extra mile to offer deluxe, locally-sourced bar food. Nibble on ‘Fist Food’ such as ‘proper’ pork scratchings, mixed olives or Kent crisps for around £2.50. Fancy something more? Then indulge in their own brand of ‘British Tapas’, which ranges from £3.50 for a Mrs King’s pork pie and Peckham Pickler pickles to a half-pint of prawns with thousand island dressing for £6.50. The menu is a little limited and meat-focused, but offers a nice early evening accompaniment to one of the delectable drinks on the menu.
Although there is a comprehensive and well-annotated wine menu, ranging from £15 to £39, and a decent selection of beers (Sol, Amstel and a delicious unfiltered German lager), you’d be a fool not to opt for one of the cocktails, which range from £3.50 to £9. Served in milk bottles, sealed with golden foil tops and punctured with straws, names are themed around The Shop concept with such highlights as Cash Back, Shop Assistant and Shop Credit. Make sure you try the Haberdashery - Beefeater gin, sloe gin, fresh lemon juice, sparkling wine and crème de mure float – and Little Black Dress – Aperol, fresh lemon juice and passion fruit topped with prosecco, which are house favourites, although those wanting a smaller serving should choose the Size Zero – a simple blend of peach puree and prosecco.
The Last Word
A charming venue offering a superb range of cocktails and delicious snacks, The Shop is an essential destination for the discerning London socialite, local resident and casual passer by alike.