A little rough around the edges, this Shoreditch bar is nonetheless stylish, spacious and ideal for post-work drinks.
Translate is a café and bar situated underneath the trendy Dictionary Hostel on Shoreditch High Street, near the intersection with Old Street and easily accessible by overground and bus. An all-glass façade and snazzy, stencilled logo give way to a single, rugged-looking room, made up of brick walls lined with antique radiators, concrete flooring and a dozen metal spotlights hanging from the high, white ceiling. Rows of wooden tables and long benches are complemented by tight-knit circles of armchairs, and high stools make for temporary perches around the venue's central iron pillars. The small, wooden-topped bar is situated towards the back of the room, complete with shelves displaying wine and spirit bottles, while to its right-hand side another glass wall leads into a small garden and smoking area crammed in between neighbouring buildings and decorated with pot plants and flower arrangements.
Small but charming, and ideally located for a relaxing after-work drink, Translate regularly attracts a significant number of Hoxtonites, as well as youthful hostel-goers from the floors above. Tables are usually filled with headphone-wearing customers hunched over laptops, although the atmosphere becomes considerably more lively towards the end of the week, and the music playlist remains excellent throughout. Although Translate is currently only open in the evening, it hopes to expand its opening hours from early morning onwards, as a joint café-bar enterprise.
The limited but plucky Translate bar menu offers Carlsberg and Staropramen on draught, as well as London Pride ale, Aspalls cider and Guinness (£3.60-4). Bottles include Shoreditch Blonde lager (appropriately enough) as well as Peroni and Kopparberg cider (£4-4.50). An extremely brief wine list sees glasses of house red, white and rosé start at around £5-6 (or £13-17 a bottle) while a variety of spirit & mixers cost roughly £4-5.
The Last Word
This fledgling Shoreditch bar shows great promise, with comfortable surroundings and an aesthetic that comes across as chic without trying too hard.