The Box is a place that we had been planning to visit for over two months but for some reason we kept getting the idea to go on the one day a week it is closed (Monday*) and then promptly forgetting until the next Monday. Anyway, after completing this weird cycle for weeks we finally made it to The Box for a few farewell drinks as Colin is sadly leaving us to return to the States. The Box turned out to be a great choice for this kind of affair as the bar is very small – hence the name – and has a very friendly, cost environment that makes it great for catching up with friends. You’ll have to get there at a semi-reasonable time at the weekend I expect to get a seat as we were there on a Thursday and by 10pm there were no seats left.
The Box’s speciality is its infused rums in just about any flavour you can imagine including wasabi and the mysterious Smurf flavoured rum that reminded me of the drink we fondly called “the blue shit” at University that was the kind of cocktail that makes you drunk from the mere smell, proven by the fact I can’t actually remember its proper name. I opted for a rose flavoured rum cocktail that was exceedingly refreshing and the same was said for the rosemary. I also sampled a margarita as it’s my favourite cocktail and that also did not disappoint, it was probably the strongest I’ve had that I haven’t made myself and I like to be able to taste the alcohol in a cocktail. So we sat for a couple of hours, nursing our drinks and enjoying the decor, which included shelves upon shelves of rum in large jars with all sorts of ingredients visible like a 1920s speakeasy. There was also projection of Soul Train on the wall but instead of the original music Spanish pop blared from the speakers, which definitely made the dancing a bit funnier.
At one point, a tour group seemed to walk in and look around, take a few photos and head back out. I know The Box is a well-known spot but I hardly believed it was tour worthy material, it’s certainly quirky but not worth a visit if you aren’t going to try the rum! The staff are very attentive without beingpushy and add to the relaxed atmosphere, something that I think is key when you’re in a bar that small. The reason I will be going back, however, is for the food. Unfortunately, I had eaten before we set off but I was watching people getting hot dogs and nachos that smelt amazing and I don’t even eat hot dogs but if something is spicy and covered in guacamole/sour cream and a hell of a lot of cheese – I am there. Plus, I really enjoyed the neon sign they had hanging behind the bar as well as the tip jar that was a full fishbowl with a rubber duck bobbing about in it. It’s a little more exciting than your standard exposed brickwork and no ceiling hipster bar and I’d say a lot more reasonably priced and when you’re in such close proximity to the other customers there is a nice feeling of camaraderie.
*ironically, The Box apparently is open on Mondays according to their Facebook page (thanks, TripAdvisor)