Discount Suit Company in Spitalfields
Discount Suit Company occupies the basement of an old suiting warehouse in a slightly dingy street of fabric shops just south of Spitalfields Market. It’s not the most obvious location for a bar, but what good speakeasy was ever easy to find? Negotiate your way past a forbidding bouncer, down a rickety set of narrow stairs, and you’ll find yourself in one of the more accomplished cocktail establishments that East London has to offer.
The atmosphere harks back to its warehouse history, with bare brick walls, distressed rafters and a gorgeous reclaimed wood bar inspired by old cloth-cutting tables. The compact space packs in a pretty varied crowd, from City workers looking for something slightly different, to the hipsters whose natural habitat is an East London cocktail bar. It’s a popular place, and with good reason – there’s a buzzy, friendly vibe and a creative selection of drinks.
The menu features a frequently changing list of signature drinks, and for each one there are a list of recommendations of classic cocktails you might like on the same theme. The intensely pineapple-y daiquiri variation Teddy Bear, for example, is followed by suggestions for other daiquiri-style drinks you may not have heard of. It’s this kind of helpfulness and attention to detail that puts DSC a cut above many similar bars. On our visit, it was particularly strong on rum cocktails, with plenty of flaming tiki gun runners going around the bar in dinky pewter tankards. DSC takes pride in using a wealth of vintage and esoteric spirits, a roster which changes on the regular, so you never know quite what you’re going to come across. The Manuka Fizz includes trendy fatwashed gin which has been infused with olive oil for a silky mouthfeel, along with equally trendy British aperitifs Kamm & Sons and Escubac. It’s an unusual flavour – clean and delicately herbal, with a touch of spice in the background.
Dill Will Do goes for a similarly unusual Nordic theme, combining aquavit with vodka, dry vermouth, lime, coconut and bitters. Aquavit is still relatively uncommon in the UK, and if any cocktail can convince us of its medicinal virtues, this may well be it. We follow this up with one of its related classic cocktail recommendations, the Silver Bullet, with vodka, caraway-heavy Kummel liqueur and lemon.
There’s a small selection of snacks to accompany these excellent drinks – a Neal’s Yard cheese board, hummus, olives, and nuts, and a lively soul soundtrack in the background. The bartenders are smiley, highly knowledgeable about the menu and impressively efficient. If you’re looking for somewhere a little off the beaten track, this should suit you just fine.★★★★★Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Krisztian Pinter
To book a table at Discount Suit Company, 29 Wentworth Street, London E1 7TB, call 020 7247 8755 or visit their website here.