I'm a London-dwelling northern lass who swapped the East End for Far East on the trip of a lifetime. I blog about food, travel, yoga and spirituality. www.sophiesnotinkansas.com
Published February 24th 2013
A trip to the toilet never tasted so good
Head down the staircase into the subterranean gloom and close the bathroom door behind you. Entering the cubicle, you perform your ablutions. As you go to wash your hands, your eye is suddenly caught by a sign painted onto the toilet. "Flush to Enter" - it dares you enigmatically. And as you do, the toilet wall suddenly falls away and opens into a brave new world...
A smiling lady in red lipstick sits you down in an upholstered, sumptuous velveteen chair. As your eyes adjust to the candlelight, your ears pick up the sounds of rock and roll.
No - you have not fallen down a rabbit hole - you have chanced upon Portside Parlour Rum bar. Sponsored by Appleton Estate and billing itself as East London's "first rum cocktail bar", it features over 50 of the best rums available on the UK market. Portside evens showcases as fortnightly rum club to evangelise the wonders of the stuff.
Following in the footsteps of other site-specific temporary shops and bars, pop ups are emerging all over the East as the latest on-trend way to shop, dine and drink.
We tried a long and refreshing 'Dark and Stormy' and an 'Old Favourite' with a special treat on the side (a beautiful hand made chocolate truffle served on a porcelain dish) - definitely the ladies choice! The bar staff were very obliging, recommending specialist rums and even lagers for the anti-rum philistine amongst us.