Drinking Blood shots on a coffin.
This is my absolutely top favorite place ever!
Established in 1989 by Swedes, the Olson brothers. We come here for the famous Blood shots (£2.50 each) which consist of vodka, garlic, tomato, spices, and chili. Some say it tastes like vodka with tabasco, but if you have a closer look at the container when the bartender starts pouring it, you can see that its consistency is much more complicated. They keep the recipe a secret, obviously.
Altogether they have 101 shots on the menu, but we always go for the same one. Perfect for healing the flu! Every time we feel on the edge of being sick, we come here. Just 3 Blood Shots and you are sorted! We come here before partying, only to end up staying instead of going partying.
They have garlic beer as well, but I wouldn’t recommended it. Tried it once, but couldn’t even finish – disgusting. Same with garlic wine. Might work only if you are really afraid of vampires. As for food, it used to be great. Everything with lots of garlic on the side, of course (stirred, fried, boiled, marinated, etc). But last time we ate here, we were really disappointed. So just stick to the shots. There are fresh parsley pots on the table – nice touch, I think.
Food is upstairs, drinks are downstairs. Beware of the very loud metal music! It is a Swedish Metal Bar after all (I didn’t know that, until I asked the barman). That explains the guys in long leather coats with long hair. Anyway, the music is also a part of the overall experience here. If it is getting too much for your ears, there is a small beer garden upstairs, with just a few tables but miraculously of huge capacity. People befriend each other very quickly, so sharing tables and chairs is a common thing.
But my favorite thing to do is drinking on the coffin. There is a small room with very low ceilings and a table cover fixed on the top of the coffin. Table fills the whole room. It is very dark in there, making it a surreal experience. I love taking my posh friends here from abroad, or my elder friends.
Absolutely a must-visit on Halloween night! People with hammers in their heads, bloody brides, and monsters of all kinds – mmm, where is my Lomo camera?
After Garlic & Shots, we usually head to an excellent whiskey shop called Vintage House on 42 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4LR, to buy a small bottle of Cragganmore Whiskey (my top choice). You know the great library of Alexandria? Vintage House is similar to that, but for whiskey.
14 Frith Street,
London, W1V 5TS