East London pop-up to close but return with bigger site

dolls house

The team behind pop-up restaurant, bar and members’ club The Dolls House in east London are to open a new site after their original home closes.

Adam Towner and Katy Gray Rosewarne are to open the Dolls House in Upper Street, Islington, in north London next month, revamping former bar House of Wolf.

They are building on the success of the Dolls House that opened in Hoxton Square 18 months ago, which includes the Dead Dolls Clubs – a members’ club with “a refreshingly different, friendly approach”. This is due to close on January 24.

The Islington site will be bigger, with a warren of rooms over three floors, including the ground-floor Parlour, the Drawing Room and the Library, with an Espresso Martini Bar, on the first floor and the Ballroom members area on the second floor.

These spaces are designed to be suitable for hire for private and corporate events, such as the Drawing Room which will have space for 30 dining or 50 drinking.

It promises to have Adam and Katy’s same “fresh and irreverent” approach to interior design, including inventive decoration drawn by Katy with a marker pen.

This brings to life opulent-looking brushed-gold table tops and bar and soft furnishings featuring dogtooth and herringbone patterns and a splash of turquoise.

Katy said: “I love Quentin Blake, trompe l’oeil wallpapers, illustrative picture frames and all of that lovely ornate antique furniture you get in National Trust stately homes – and since we can’t afford that, I just draw it instead!

“We’re particularly chuffed with the ginormous 1.5-metre-diameter glitter ball we’ve just got our hands on for The Parlour!”

The cocktails are promised to have the same “coolly classic” approach as in Hoxton Square, with “subtle tongue-tingling” twists on traditional recipes such as Amaretto, Whisky and Pisco Sours, the Negroni and the Old Fashioned.

Membership requires just an online application and a gift when you turn up for the first time – a bottle of top-shelf spirit or liqueur from their approved gift list.

Members never have to pay entry and can bring up to four guests along for a small charge. Although they access the club through the front door like everyone else until 11.30pm, they have their own private door from then on. The members’ lounge is open and licensed until 4am.

The food menu is being created by Daryl Wilson, who has worked at The Salt House in St John’s Wood, Ampersand and pop-up dining experience the Poachers Pocket Supper Club. It will feature classic dishes with locally sourced ingredients “of superb quality” such as the 45-day-aged Dexter Sirloin and duck-fat chips. Daryl will be creating a lighter bar menu as well as a roast dinner with all the trimmings on Sundays.

There will be a generally laid-back and funky choice of music including live jazz and resident DJs Bex, Alex (Bear Grooves) and Jack in the ground-floor Parlour.

It is due to open at 181 Upper Street on February 20.

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