If there’s one thing guaranteed to get us sitting still in the dark for 90 minutes or more, it’s the growing trend for cocktails at the cinema. There’s nothing about bog-standard tip-up seats, cardboard-like popcorn and super-sized cartons of watery soda that could possibly tempt us to part with our hard-earned cash. But plush leather seats, gourmet snacks and a Martini perched by our side? Well, that’s a different matter entirely.
Order your drinks, settle back and enjoy the film at our favourite cinemas with cocktail lovers in mind…
Best for a special occasion:
One Aldwych have been doing glamour at the movies for years. This season it’s got even better by partnering with Grey Goose vodka to offer Martini Movies – what’s not to like about that? Screenings start with, yup, you guessed it, a Martini, followed by a three-course meal in Axis restaurant. Then it’s down to the sumptuous 30-seater cinema to enjoy a cool selection of retro and classic films. Make the most of the pop-out drinks holder and order another cocktail in the Lobby Bar to enjoy with your film.
£42.50 inc a glass of champagne, three-course meal, movie and popcorn. Cocktails from £11.50. One Aldwych hotel, One Aldwych, WC2B 4BZ. T: 020 7300 1000. onealdwych.com.
Best for a pimped up cinema experience:
The Lounge at The Odeon
Nuff respect to The Odeon for this fabulous cinema offering. Close your eyes as you walk past the entrance for the ‘regular’ cinema and only open again once your concierge has guided you to the specially appointed bar. This is where the magic starts happening: your coat and baggage are spirited away, leaving you to chillax and fully enjoy the experience. Pitch up half-an-hour or so before your film to enjoy a drink and a bite at the bar, or arrive at the starting time and order fab food (from renowned chef Rowley Leigh) and excellent cocktails from the comfort of your cinema seat
A word on those seats: there’s room for you and one more in the opulent leather chairs. We absolutely loved the fact we could tip back our heads, outstretch our feet and summon our food and cocktails – all via a handy button nestled on the armrest. Great fun and very luxurious. Highly recommended.
Seats from £15; food from £6.50; cocktails from £7.
Whiteley’s, 144-151 Queensway, W2 4YN. Filmline: 0871 22 44 007 (10p per min). odeon.co.uk/thelounge.
Best for an upgrade:
Ambar at The Odeon
This Odeon doesn’t have the same swagger of The Lounge but it does have a separate bar/restaurant where you can enjoy a selection of sharing platters and mezze. Cocktails are a work in progress; instead, choose from 25 wines available by the glass. As for the cinema: all standard seats have been fitted with Pro Bax seat to reduce backache, while two cinema screens feature club chairs and side tables.
Club seats from £12.50; food from £4.95, cocktails from £5.95.
96 Finchely Road, NW3 5EL. Filmline: 0871 22 44 007 (10p per min). odeon.co.uk.
Best for al fresco:
Rooftop Film Club at Queen of Hoxton
We love the urban feel of this open-air set-up. Grab a cocktail from the rooftop bar, settle back into your director’s chair, pop your wireless headphones on and enjoy the packed programme of classic films. It does get chilly up here as the sun goes down so do pack a blanket or layer up wisely.
Seats £10. Cocktails from £7.50.
Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JA. T:020 7422 0958 . queenofhoxton.com.
Best for City Slickers:
Monday Night Film Club: Heroes and Heroines
Set in the rather grand former Bank of New York building in the heart of the City, this is a cinema club in name only – everyone is invited to attend. Held twice a month (usually the second and fourth Mondays but always check for details), it’s a delightfully decadent way to start the week, particularly with the fab choice of retro retro movies, well made cocktails and delightful nibbles.
£15 includes entry, cocktail on arrival and bar bites.
Prism, 147 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4QT. T: 020 7256 3888. harveynichols.com.
Taken from issue three of The Cocktail Lovers Magazine.