Hidden hotspots are some of the best finds. You know, the ones that require taking 10 flights of stairs, 6 lifts, a plane, and 80 percent of your battery life because you’ve used Google maps to find the damn place. Grand Union is one of those concealed gems that you may not spot unless looking for it. With chains of bars in various locations across London, Grand Union is essential for those who crave a lively, sociable atmosphere, generous happy hour and unlimited prosecco. Bring on the bubbly.
Tucked away down Acre Lane, away from the craziness of central Brixton, Grand Union (Brixton) may seem like your standard cocktail bar from the outside. But once inside, the dimly lit bar has a hint of Moulin Rouge to the décor. You will eventually make your way to the secreted ‘Pleasure Garden’; an outside Thai-themed haven complete with tiki huts and fire pits. With all the hammocks and palm trees around, it’s easy to forget you’re in South London and not Hawaii. A Saturday evening is busy but not overcrowded, with enough room for you and your mates to do the single-pringle-mingle, but if you’d like a private hut for the posse, it’s advised to make a booking online beforehand. It’s also open every day from 12pm until late, so saying no to this beachy bad boy at all is exceptionally hard.
Music: House, Commercial, Chart
Dress Code: None
Train Station: Clapham North
Address: Grand Union Brixton, 123 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5UA
Entry is £5 - which is a pretty good deal considering some of the awesome deals they have to offer. Happy hour runs through from 12pm to 8pm every day except Saturdays, when it instead finishes at 5. During happy hour cocktails are only a fiver, and it’s best to drink up while it lasts as they double up to £10 each thereafter. If you’re feeling hungry and don’t mind indulging in burgers washed down with white wine then Grand Union’s Burger and Bubbles deal is the way to go. A scrumptious burger meal and unlimited prosecco for £25, it’s a match made in heaven. The food menu is mouth wateringly good, from spicy sausage meat pizza to tender crab in a butter brioche, it’s exceptionally hard to resist any of their tasty meals. After you have digested all this goodness, have a boogie to some of the House and Dance DJs that Grand Union have spinning the decks.
The bar attracts a fun crowd aged between 20 to 35, which makes Grand Union an appealing get together for those desiring a chilled space without the rowdiness or overly loud music. You know, when you have to shout every word, which always leads to miscommunication: “IT’S SUCH NICE WEATHER TODAY!” “DID YOU JUST SAY I THREW SOME RICE AT HEATHER TODAY?” ...Or the much worse social faux pas of shouting over the music, only to find that it’s been paused between tracks and you’ve just confidently told the room about your wedgie. They’ll be none of that here. There’s no strict dress code or policy either, but it’s definitely a smart casual type of place. Sure you can wear jeans and a nice shirt but we’d probably steer clear of the trackies for this one. Grand Union is no stranger to hosting special occasions either, being the perfect place to celebrate birthdays, hen dos, work promotions, finally getting divorced, you know- that kind of thing! Whatever it is; you will surely be looked after.
Brixton is home to some of the coolest bars in town, but sometimes being in the midst of it all can be overwhelming, that’s where Grand Union comes in. Away from the commotion that can occasionally be South London, you can enjoy summer-chilled vibes at a venue reminiscent of a Thai beach bar. If you’re finding it too difficult to save up for that £600 flight to Phuket, it may be worth considering a trip to Grand Union instead.