The latest offering to Islington’s Upper Street is the Dolls House, a stylish restaurant and inconspicuous private members’ club, which is now the permanent home of the glamorous Hoxton pop-up.
Situated by Islington Town Hall in a rustic three-storey Victorian townhouse, this whimsical restaurant boasts debauchery on another level. Screams of laughter from the “members only” room can be heard as you enter and dancers swinging to jazz beats in flickering candlelight give it that extra bit of mystery.
Armed only with black marker pens, Dead Dolls Club owners Adam Towner and Katy Gray Rosewarne transform old buildings into monochrome hand-illustrated stately homes. The Dolls House Islington is the third offering from the couple, who have already established the Dead Doll’s Club in Bethnal Green and Doll’s House in Peckham.
With a public bar in the downstairs parlour, Espresso Martini Bar and Library open to the public on the first floor and members’ ballroom in the upstairs attic, there is plenty of space. Previously known as the House of Wolf, the Dolls House plays host to live jazz and swing on Thursdays and Sundays, with resident DJs playing on Fridays and Saturdays until 4am.
A tasty food menu is created by Daryl Wilson of Salt House and reflects the charming interiors of the venue. Some favourites of the evening were the creamy leek and potato soup with avocado oil and artisan bread. For mains, the unusual combination of a fillet of sea bass with provencale mussels, though dry, worked well and the delicious duck fat chips made up for it.
Favourite cocktails of the evening included the ‘Pisco Sours’ and ‘Old Fashioned’, while dessert was a selection of six chocolate coffee cups and rhubarb and vanilla crumble canapés.
To become part of the Dead Dolls House elite all you have to do is sign up and bring a bottle of liquor from their selected menu. From then on, you can come and go as you please through the secret members only entrance.
Here is how a night at the Dolls House looks like: