What’s the vibe?
It’s laid back while also trying just hard enough. You’ll likely feel a little cooler for having been. The venue is multi-use, and has several different spaces to check out. Entry to the main bar is free, and there’s plenty of seating and standing space now that the bar has been moved to the back of the venue.
There’s the SuperCulture Hub which is a 40-person capacity room hosting a plethora of fun and inclusive activities (LGBTQ+ mixers, drawing classes, sober parties and workshops to name a few). There’s the Live Room which functions as an intimate gig-space and The Green Room, a gorgeous half-U-shaped space available for private or corporate hire.
What’s the story?
Formerly the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, the space has been revamped, stripped back and thoroughly coloured in. It’s a venue that seeks to celebrate and champion queer art and culture, hosting various recurring and one-off art and music events. But it’s also a great spot for a date or a low-key drink after work.
There’s plenty of incredible stuff coming up at Colours, too. A Sex Positive Christmas Market, infamous queer party Daddy Issues and a New Years Eve Deaf Rave to name but a few.
What to order?
For posterity and journalistic integrity, I tried almost every cocktail on the menu, and from what I remember they were all solidly tasty. The signature drinks are themed around colour and all very reasonably priced, so why not take some friends and taste the bloody rainbow?
My personal highlights were the Chocolate Orange Esspressotini (the mouthful is well worth the mouthful), and the Gold Negroni (a sharp and interesting take on a classic). Much of the menu can also be made sans-booze, so nobody need feel left out. Special mention to the Blue Margarita for being extremely blue and extremely tasty. I believe I had two, but who can be sure.
How's the food?
Really great (though heed their warnings about the spiciness of the wings). Their signature ‘Woof Woof’ wings were so tasty that it physically hurt me to share them. Luckily they come in servings of 8 and are so reasonably priced you won’t resent letting someone else get involved (or the inevitable sauce splatter on your new white t-shirt).
The service is unfussy – order at the bar and collect from the hatch when your food is ready. They also offer properly good vegan wings and a delicious vegetarian burger (the so called ‘Nawty Burger’ combines a plant based patty with pink onions, pickled cucumber and blue cheese dressing). The kitchen is run by The Orange Buffalo, so you know they have it under control.
Will it bankrupt me?
Not unless you decide to buy a few rounds for the bar (which we’ve talked about, you overfamiliar weirdo). Before 7pm you can enjoy £5 cocktails, though at full price they’re still very good value. Whether you’re there to watch a show and make a night of it, or just popping in after work, you can leave fed, watered and artistically satisfied without your Monzo taking much of a battering.
Anything else to note?
Check out the lighting. There’s a huge (and frankly very sexy) LED installation in the Live Room, designed by celebrated lighting sculptor (a real job) Christopher Schardt. There’s also a holographic light installation by Fred Butler’s in the Main Bar which is extremely pleasing to stare at both before and after a small cart load of cocktails. Oh, and the toilets are unisex, so if you’re a prude or a bigot please take your business elsewhere.
For more info, see Colours Hoxton