I do like quirky bars in London! So when I heard about a cocktail bar based on Breaking Bad and liquid nitrogen cocktails I was in. I wasn’t the biggest Breaking Bad fan but I had watched enough episodes that I got the gist of the storyline. So I headed to east London to visit ABQ London. ABQ also have another fantastic bar that I have visited – read all about their WW2 bar The Bletchley Here.
Embarrassingly we did have a challenging time finding ABQ London – due to the fact we totally missed that it was in a bus/Winnebago as per the meth lab in the show! We walked past it and had to ask – and then realised we were right in front of it and so much less hip than we might have thought! I have put where we had dinner beforehand below but in the area, with the bus, there is a food truck doing Italian so you can grab something there. No food on the bus!
Our ABQ London host came out to greet us in character – lots of high fives, drug references etc. We got into the bus and had yellow boiler suits waiting for all of us. They are not the easiest things to get on and the fabric is far from breathable but it is essential to put them on for the total experience! You can also then get shots taken with various masks etc.
There is a glowing mural of Walter at the end of the bus which is well worth a photo.
Once inside things kicked off with a welcoming drink. This is a mojito type concoction which is served in a beaker – such a good idea! It also comes with a plastic syringe with some blue liquid inside – up to you how much you put into your beaker. I injected the whole thing and was still standing so feel free to do the same thing!
We were then asked to choose 2 cocktails from 12 on the ABQ London spring/summer cocktail menu. All had fabulous names such as the Walter JR Breakfast, La Tortuga etc. You get involved in the making of the cocktails that you order. The waiter brings you several ingredients and you then use a type of nitrogen cavitation or dry ice to finish the cocktail off.
My first choice was La Tortuga which was mezcal, agave, lime and pineapple. I then infused the drink with sage and jalapeno chilli. This was done using the type of container that you normally see whipped cream in. I put the ingredients in and did some shaking and out came my infusion which I put on the top of my drink.
Next up I wanted something with dry ice as this had been demonstrated earlier and was the most dramatic option! I ordered the CRT Fix which was Gin, elderflower, lime, cucumber and mint. In a beaker, I mixed up the thyme and rosemary with the dry ice and then used a liquid tube to put the outputs of the dry ice on the top of the drink. This was definitely the most photogenic option!
And I should add at this point that the drinks also tasted fantastic!
The staff give excellent instructions when they bring you the ingredients for each drink and your host stays in character through the evening.
Once you have had your three drinks (these are covered in your 30-pound entry fee) you can then move on to a more “normal” cocktail menu or try some of the others on the list.
This was a great fun experience and would be fantastic for groups and also for a second or third date.
Before you go to ABQ London:
We did dinner beforehand at Brawn on Colombia Road and it was excellent! The restaurant is very cute and has a very impressive wall of wine! The wine list is also excellent with some unusual choices even by the glass. It is a tight menu but more than enough good options. We started off with the Beetroot, Bottarga, Soft Egg and Dandelion (yes indeed!) and the Burrata and Caponata – both were fabulous but the Burrata was the big winner. For my main, I had the Pork Collar with chick peas, chard and mojo Verde which was a sensation! Especially the mojo verde! I guessed this was some type of green pesto like sauce and it was – it made the meal.
They have a great selection of interesting wines as well. Try their orange wine for which they are known. We didn’t like it but you never know!
If you’re coming to London why not read some books to get you in a London mood?
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Boutique Hotels in London
Booking.com is my favourite website for booking hotels. There is a great range with fab prices. Once you have made 5 bookings over 2 years you will gain genius status which opens up more deals. And perhaps best of all you can cancel most bookings up to 24 hours out which is super handy. Here are my picks for boutique hotels in London:
–Artist Residence is located in Pimlico which is fabulously central. IT is in a gorgeous 5 store regency building and has a cute bar. Prices start at £150 a night. Click here for latest prices and deals
-The Portobello Hotel is located in one of London’s best known and cutest neighborhoods Notting Hill. This is also the hotel where Kate Moss and Johnny Depp filled up the bath with champagne! The hotel is located on a quite street but is a great location. Don’t miss Portobello Road not just for the traditional Saturday market but for loads of great restaurants and bars like The Distillery – and one of my favourite London experiences The Electric Cinema. Prices start at £150 a night. Click here for deals and availability.
-The Great Northern Hotel is ridiculously close to Kings Cross and St Pancras stations which is incredibly convenient. This area has also nearly finished its amazing rejuvenation project and there are loads of fabulous restaurants and bars and interesting things to do on your doorstep. The hotel dates back to 1854 but has had a major refurb so it feels fresh and modern. Prices start at £229 a night. Click here for deals and availability.
-the Hoxton hotel is in the heart of east London in Shoreditch and a perfect base for exploration. The rooms aren’t huge but the location makes up for it – as does the great value for London with rooms starting at £99 a night. Click here for deals and availability.
Quirky Bars in London ABQ Useful Links:
Heading to London? Check out some of my other posts here:
Getting to London and Getting Around:
For cheap flights to Click here for prices and deals. Or check out my favorite Middle Eastern airlines – particularly if you’re flying Business Class – I am a big fan of Click here for prices and details on Qatar Airways and Click here for prices and details on Etihad Airways business class to London.
When in London the tube and buses are absolutely the best way to get around town quickly and cheaply. The best way to pay for this is to get a London Oyster visitor card – which you can order before you leave home. However, once you leave london trains are a great option – Train prices and availabilities – or the roads are less scary outside london so hiring a car can work well – for great deals on car hire click here.
Tours Around London:
Central London and the key tourist sights are so much closer than you might think! Grab your visitor oyster card and it is quite easy to get around. In addition to doing that I personally love taking a couple of tours when I visit cities – especially to find interesting food places or more recent history or hidden gems. Two tour companies I like alot for general interesting tours in London are Local Guddy and Get Your Guide. I also highly recommend London Tailored Tours and the fab Charlie – especially for her brilliant Borough Market Tour.
If you are traveling solo and interesting in travelling beyond London check out Just You Holidays the United Kingdom, Exodus Holidays the United Kingdom, Explore Holidays United Kingdom and /or G Adventures the United Kingdom
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My Pinterest board for London has not just my posts but mostly other posts on London that I like.
If you clicking through on the links that appear on my blog posts around flights, accommodation, tours, travel insurance etc. I get a small commission if you end up buying on these sites. Just wanted to make sure that you knew!
Thanks to ABQ London for sponsoring my visit to their fabulous bar
Also published on Medium.