Rake’s Café Bar
Cocktail bar in Liverpool Street
Rake’s cocktail bar in Liverpool Street opened to the public on 1 June 2018 offering a day to night bar and restaurant. The back story and concept of Rake’s is really rather interesting. A Rake’s Progress is a series of eight paintings by William Hogarth which shows the decline and fall of Tom Rakewell. Who is Mr Rakewell I hear you ask? Well, he was the son and heir of a rich merchant who came to London, wasted all of his money on luxurious living and gambling, was imprisoned and ultimately ended up in a mental institution.
The walls of Rake’s are covered with contemporary art paintings illustrating the new “Rake’s Progress”. They are meant to depict an individualistic outlook to life, which I am a big fan of.
The cocktails take inspiration from, and are named after, the world famous series of 8 paintings. Much like the modern day Rake, these cocktails are crafted with fine ingredients and expertly mixed.
We had cocktails in The Front Room, which is the main café bar area with a gorgeous pergola space. The separate Parlour Room has a soft pink decor and is a gorgeous lounge area to relax.
As it was lunch time we sampled a couple of the non-alcoholic cocktails. We loved the ‘DID’ with seed lip spice, peach, lime, sugar, chives, ginger ale which was so refreshing. The Amuse Goose (loved the name!) is another good choice with gooseberry syrup, rose cordial, mint, elderflower tonic.
We obviously had to try one of the alcoholic cocktails, particularly with names including ‘The Orgy’ and ‘The Arrest’ and opted for The Mad House: Fennel, orange & red pepper vodka, kummel, verjuice, agave, chilli, egg white. The name was certainly depicted in the cocktail which has vibrant colours swarmed over the top. We were a little concerned that the cocktail might be a little spicy but it was spot on.
With great cocktail bars, you do not always get great food. Luckily for us, Rake’s is an exception. There is a great variety of smaller and larger plates with influences from around the world.
From the smaller plates, we sampled a number of dishes. The Broccoli & Chickpea fritters, achari yoghurt and Sriracha sesame cauliflower wings were both impressive vegetarian dishes. However, our favourite veggie small plate was the Muhammara, beetroot hummus and baba ghanoush, artesian crackers. The dips were amazing and we loved the Muhammara spice (red pepper).
We also LOVED the Corn Fed Chicken & Chorizo Croquettes, saffron aioli. They were literally melt in your mouth good and made you want more. The only smaller dish that slightly disappointed was the Burrata, smashed peas, mint and lemon. It was not creamy enough for me and lacked flavour.
From the larger plates we tried the Loaded Potato Skins filled with red lentil dhal, tahini sauce, and pomegranate and mint slaw. It was an impressive and inventive dish.
Rake’s Café Bar in Liverpool Street is a welcoming and classy venue offering great cocktails and food. We loved the story behind Rake’s and the inspiration for the cocktail menu.
East London Girl: Rake’s Cafe Bar
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