Coupette is a London bar inspired by France with a vibe that feels very Manhattan – and that's the deepest of compliments. Many London bars aren't actually bars but pubs with aspirations, restaurants trying to act cool, or nightclubs that haven't got going yet.
Coupette is a bar: nothing more, nothing less. The lighting is low, the music relaxed, and the literal bar itself is a hefty L along which drinkers consider their cocktails. There's also copious art, exposed brickwork and rows of liquor bottles, just in case you were in any doubt as to Coupette's bar credentials.
(Need further convincing? It made the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars. So if you don’t like it – and you will like it – you’re wrong.)
What's the story?
Coupette opened in 2017, and has already established quite a reputation for itself – like, one of the top 50 bars in the world kind of reputation. Hardly surprising, considering founder Chris Moore was formerly head bartender at the Savoy's Beaufort Bar. It bills itself as “a creative outlet serving cocktails and Calvados”, and long may the creativity continue.
What to drink?
A Coupette cocktail is a labour of love, to be enjoyed reverently and responsibly. The White Truffle White Negroni (Bombay Sapphire, white truffle, lillet blanc, suze) comes in the daintiest of goblets yet packs a potent punch, the truffle a delightfully decadent addition.
If you feel like getting yo’ man on, opt for the Board Room (Hennessy Cognac, Dubonnet, walnut, cherry, coffee, smoke): you can literally smell the smoke as it’s being poured into the glass. It tastes warm and woody, like gently smouldering timber. Don Draper would live off it.
For simple pleasures, you can’t go amiss with the Apples (Calvados, apple, carbonated), which my friend deemed, “like the best Appletini ever.”
Some of the drinks...
How's the food?
There are an assortment of bar snacks available but the don’t-you-dare-not-order dish is the Croque Monsieur. My word, is it good! Hot and gooey with bechamel oozing out of the perfectly crisped toast: every mouthful a step further into nirvana. It’s almost worth the winter months in order to enjoy the Coupette Croque Monsieur in its natural habitat – I mean, I’d happily eat it at the height of July, but for the full experience you really need a cold December evening.
Will it bankrupt me?
Absolutely not. The cocktails are tightly ranged between £9-£10.50, the £11.50 Champagne Pina Colada being the sole outlier, and it’s hardly much of one. The Croque Monsieur is a mere £7, a total steal for one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. (Turn it into a Croque Madame for an extra £1.50.) Spend several hours enjoying fantastic drinks in a gorgeous venue, with vittles to boot, and leave no more than £50 poorer.
Anything else to note?
A great bar is more than just the drinks and venue. When my friend went out for a cigarette (I was polishing off the Croque) the bartender popped her cocktail in the freezer to keep it cool. Now that is quality service.
423 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 0AN; coupette.co.uk/