Most people would consider bars to be much the same all around the world. Beer on tap, greasy bar food, packed with people and generally a welcoming festive atmosphere. But even if you’re convinced that you’ve seen it all, you might reconsider after checking out our suggestions for the following rather unusual bars.
Amsterdam: Door 74
Door 74, the first speakeasy style cocktail bar in the Netherlands, has got it all: the requisite hidden door, antique barware, tin ceiling and a sophisticated atmosphere. Timo Janse and his team shake things up by changing the cocktail menu every three to four months, with themes as divergent as a Tarzan style jungle or 1920s horror films. The perfect place to experience the full-on feel of the cocktail world back in the Roaring Twenties! Hidden just off renowned nightlife square Rembrandtplein, you have to know where to look for the unmarked door. To gain entry you have to leave a voice message or send a text.
WHY: speakeasy style, hidden location, cocktail menu
WHERE: For you to find out … Amsterdam, Netherlands
WHEN: Sunday to Thursday 8pm – 3am, Friday to Saturday 8pm – 4am
Berlin: Madame Claude
Getting up and down mixed up might be a familiar feeling if you’ve had a drop too many, but in this bar even sober people get confused by the out-of-the-ordinary interior: carpets, chairs, sofas, lamps, flower pots, tables with stacked newspapers, small cupboards and big wardrobes – all attached to the ceiling. Located in a former brothel in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district and named after the most famous French procuress, this upside down bar is a cosy place for music lovers and foosball/ping pong enthusiasts. Madame Claude regularly hosts concerts, DJs and other events. The music quiz on Wednesdays is a must!
WHY: interior, live music/DJs, foosball/ping pong table
WHERE: Lübbener Straße 19, 10997 Berlin, Germany
WHEN: Daily 7pm – late
London: Alcoholic Architecture
At Alcoholic Architecture you don’t simply drink a cocktail. The new project of British food artists Sam Bompass and Harry Parr offers something a bit more unusual. The installation, described as an “alcoholic weather system” by its creators, features a walk-in cloud of cocktail. The alcoholic mist is composed of fine spirits and mixer at a ratio of 1:3 and made using powerful humidifiers to super-saturate the air – alcohol enters the bloodstream primarily through the lungs but also the eyeballs. Its location next to the UK’s earliest gothic cathedral and on the site of an ancient monastery is reflected in the drinks menu, which is entirely comprised of spirits and beers created by monks. Breathe responsibly!
WHY: breathe your drink
WHERE: 1 Cathedral Street, London SE1, UK
WHEN: visits are based on timed entries, get your ticket at www.bompasandparr.com
Munich: Master’s Home
With the unique combination of colonial design and gourmet Italian cuisine, Master’s Home offers an extraordinary concept in an exceptional atmosphere. The stylish bar with adjacent restaurant is modelled on a nineteenth century colonial style manor: from the sophisticated charm of a cosy library, full of books, crystal chandeliers and dark wood tables, to the master bedroom fitted out with a vintage bed and delicate paintings, to a bathroom with antique basin, bathtub and toilet. Walls decked with African hunting weapons, shields and the respective hunting trophies add to the overall theme. Dining in the main restaurant offers a special feature – there is no menu. You’ll simply be asked about food allergies and then be surprised with a freshly prepared 8 course meal.
WHY: interior, sophisticated whiskey and cocktail menu, 8 course menu of gourmet Italian cuisine
WHERE: Frauenstrasse 11, 80469 München, Germany
WHEN: Monday to Sunday 6pm – open end