I have a fear of heights.
I also have a fear of being over open water. So, when I found out that the quickest route to the O2, from my hotel, was via the Emirates Cable car, well, let’s just say that it was a hard few moments deciding on whether to make that trip or go right around the houses on the DLR.
I thought heartily on the matter and settled on the notion that as I’m not in the capital city all that often, I should go for it. After all, for me to miss out on something so far out of my comfort zone, like a cable car trip across the width of the Thames, would be simply ridiculous.
So I did it. I took the Cable car over the Thames, at dusk, and faced two of my greatest fears at once. I dodged a bullet in a manner of speaking as being inside the sealed cable car somewhat negated my fear of falling into the water (it does sound odd but I felt perfectly safe at all times). However, the fear of heights was a little harder to conquer and led to a plethora of nervous and adrenaline fuelled movements including a bit of a heart pounding moment when a gust of wind gently rocked my car.
13 minutes later and I was shaken but in one piece, getting off the car and stepping onto ‘dry’ land once again (it was raining so the term ‘dry’ is used loosely).
After that confidence wobbling trip, the short walk to the O2 Arena was a relative breeze by comparison. Still, seeing the inside of the building once known as the ‘Millenium Dome’ up close for the first time was certainly a sight to behold. A sight that was the perfect end to my lovely week away.
The NY-LON, created as part of a joint venture by Virgin and Delta airlines, is a stylish bar similar to that which you’d find on one of their higher end planes. Under the escalators, about 200m to the right of the entrance, is a wall high sign clad in a purple and red gradient, encrusted with a host of bright LED’s highlighting the name NY-LON.
As you walk up the somewhat lacklustre stairway, you are immediatey greeted with their VIP lounge, a truly luxurious bar with rounded sofas and tables. Turning right, you enter into a corridor lined with large white columns, each with the airport code of two US airports on them.
In the main bar area, you’re met with a wall to ceiling curtain of metal beads, behind which are some rounded seats and tables. Around the outside walls of the room are a collection of booth like round seating areas which carry on up to the bar. The bar itself sweeps across from one end of the room to the other and has a large bulge in its centre. This bulge allows for plenty f behind bar room, perfect for bartenders to entertain some flair as well as some rather exuberant mixing techniques.
This is certainly one of the most luxurious and exciting looking bars in London and the NY-LON is certainly the cocktail venue of choice when at the O2.
Whilst at the NY-LON I sampled 2 very different cocktails. One was on their house list, and the second was suggested by one of the bartenders. Below are the two drinks, and my thoughts on them.
A refreshing yet spicy, alternative to the classic Mojito. Inspired by Delta’s agricultural heritage. Bacardi 8-year-old rum, cinnamon, fresh mint, lime, chocolate bitters, ginger ale, and brown sugar. – this is the recipe as it appears on the NY-LON cocktail menu…
This cocktail was the one I ear marked before heading to the NY-LON, especially seeing as it contains 3 of my favourite ingredients: Rum, lime and ginger ale. It is also significantly different from the rest of the house cocktails; it’s a long cocktail created purely for refreshment. It combines all of the ingredients one would use in a classic mojito and spruces things up with the addition of cinnamon and ginger ale. Two ingredients I certainly do not hate to see in a cocktail.
Whilst I do not have the specific ingredient measurements for this drink, this sort of cocktail wouldn’t be too difficult to experiment with and then replicate at home. It is for those reasons that I certainly recommend trying it. Should you ever find yourself at the NY-LON of course.
Cocktails you enjoy out and about should always be available for you to replicate at your own home. So a cocktail like this on the NY-LON’s bar menu is a welcome sight.
Beachbum Berry’s Don Special Daiquiri
This cocktail was chosen after a lengthy conversation with Mario, the bartender whom served me the first drink. Between me, Mario, and his fellow bartender we discussed their favorite spirits to experiment with, as well as their menu (and its cocktails) in great detail. This drink was a direct result of a suggestion made by Mario. A super-sweet but fragrant tropical take on a classic Daiquiri: Beachbum Berry’s Don special daiquiri…
A passionfruit based drink with rum and lime, the Don Special Daiquiri was garnished with a star anise, the recipe itself was taken from the Beachbum Berry Total Tiki iPhone app. There was a tweak made by Mario himself, and this replaced the honey syrup with agave syrup. The recipe, and picture, below is the drink consumed without reserve…
¾ measure Jamaican Rum
¾ measure Aged White Rum
½ measure Lime Juice
½ measure Passion Fruit Syrup
½ measure Agave Syrup
Garnish: Star Anise float.
- Combine all ingredients and shake well.
- Double strain into a coupe cocktail glass, garnishing with a star anise float.
This bar radiates luxurious class, and the cocktails maintain that amazing feat. From classics like the Negroni and Manhattan to contemporary cocktails like their very own Cropduster, the NY-LON at the O2 is a bar that is far enough off the beaten track that, some nights, you can have a friendly chat with your bartender as you ingest the liquid masterpieces they place in front of you.
It was the quietest of the 3 bars I visited, but also one of the most luxurious bars I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing! I whole-heartedly recommend it for anyone who finds themselves within travelling distance as well as in need of enthusiastic libation.