East Poultry Avenue, Smithfield Market, London EC1A 9LH
Oriole surely has the best entrance in the bar business. As you enter and descend from London’s Smithfield Market, live music fills the stairwell until the room opens up to reveal a stunning expanse. To your left, a stage of musicians affront a snaking tropical mural, faced by low-lying seating. To your right, a gleaming bar of liquid industry. You are now in Oriole, a tropical, explorer-themed bar, with just as exotic food and cocktails.
This bar is of the same parish as Nightjar, so the vessels are flamboyant showstoppers but far from all-show – head bartender Luca Cinalli creates drinks that taste just as good as they look. The menu is split into Old World, New World and The Orient, where the adroitly balanced Lambanog Mule (gin, coconut wine, slow-cooked chai palm, curried pineapple juice, ginger beer, lemon juice) can be found. If you haven’t drunk out of a leather pouch, Oriole – among many other rich pleasures – offers the opportunity.