Drink Here: Bar Topolski’s Got SpiritBy Angelica Malin
We know what you’re thinking: drinking in Waterloo, really? For years Waterloo has had a reputation for being the place you only go to if you are catching a train or waiting for someone who’s catching a train. Not a place you’d actively want to spend time in, but I’m here to tell you that all of that is changing and there’s depth there, if you give it a chance.
No more is this true that at Bar Topolski, a new bar that combines film, art and pickled things in jars with a unique aesthetic. The place is simply amazing; here’s what you need to know:
Bar Topolski: The Lowdown
Think a DJ, ping pong tables and Polish art all in one very cool space. Bar Topolski is a gallery of celebrated artist Feliks Topolski; hidden away under the railway arches of Waterloo, when the owners discovered the abandoned space all his original art work was still hanging and they decided to make it into a bar.
The spirit of the Southbank lives on in the place; Topolski painted Topolski’s Chronicles here in 1953-1979 – a hand illustrated ‘tour’ of the world, its momentous events and it’s iconic figures including Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill and Elvis Presley.
Bar Topolski: The Drinks
There’s a real focus on handmade, bespoke cocktails and local beers on tap. The bar infuses its own spirits in cute jars, which makes for an excellent G&T. Try the cucumber gin – it’s a total game changer.
If you’re budgeting, then join the Kanapki Klub at the bar – where 6-7pm daily there’s free open sandwiches, 2-4-1 on selected drinks and fun pads for sketching.
Bar Topolski: The Food
The menu has a Polish focus and is designed to share amongst friends. The sharing boards come in 4 varieties; the traditional Polish meat one with dry pork sausage, Kabanos and pickled red cabbage is really, really good. The beetroot-cured Smoked Salmon on the fish board is also fantastic; and at £7 a board, an affordable and satisfying pre-theatre dinner. They also do more substantial hot food, such as baked mackerel with fennel and radish, at a reasonable £6.50.
Bar Topolski: The Verdict
One of the coolest places for a date we’ve been in a long time; buzzy enough to feel atmospheric, not too loud that you have to do your best Jeremy Kyle impression to be heard. If you run out of conversation matter, there’s a ping pong table to distract you. We say: come for a cucumber G&T and a plate of smoked salmon and lose yourself amongst the arches.
For more information and to menu perve, see here: http://www.bartopolski.co.uk/