I grew up (as i’m sure many of you did too) watching American movies set in High Schools & Colleges, constantly jealous of the dynamics weaved into the educational system across the pond: the lack of school uniform, the good looking teachers, the incredible out of hand house parties with those red cups, the cliques (we all secretly hoped that we’d have been in that cool “you can’t sit with us” group) and the competitive fraternitys & sororities that define an individuals standing in college society!
Well, wonderful news! We finally actually have an opportunity to get a taste of the American College Dream, in the four month old Earlham Street Clubhouse in Seven Dials. This basement bar brings the preppy American feel of an East Coast beach club to the heart of a somewhat chilly Covent Garden, with their great use of old school American decor including a traditional style jukebox, a gas-pump beer hose & Juno style Burger Phones which have proven so popular that they’ve been repeatedly stolen from the bar! – some people are just terrible, aren’t they?!
The offering in this bar consists of themed cocktails & pizzas inspired by your favourite American highschool movies & past-times, including Clueless, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, American Pie & Grease!
When it comes to the cocktails, the Beauty School Drop Out made with Pampo Blanco, fresh mint, lime and sugar, topped with Sauvignon Blanc and served “very long” is an absolute winner and reasonably priced at only £7.50. It’s sweet, and the perfect girly drink! Rolling With The Homies is also a fantastic choice for those who dreamt of Cher’s lifestyle from Clueless (“As if!”) – another sweet offering including vodka, peach & strawberry purees, fresh lemon and sugar, topped with fizz and again served long. And if this becomes one of your favourites, then you can’t miss out on Clueless Tuesdays where this drink is 2-4-1 all night long!
Heather’s Revenge was also a popular choice within our group (and not just because our group included my friend Heather!), as was the Clubhouse Lagerita, but if you’re not a fan of bitter drinks, you should definitely avoid the Axel Foley which I found incredibly hard to drink and not enjoyable at all. But really, this is the only drink on the menu that I wouldn’t recommend. It is actually a superb selection of cocktails!
And if you’re a large group and you fancy something a bit fun, the sharing cocktails are an absolute must! We opted for the Operation sharer (usually £60, but we were kindly given ours for free!) – a mixture of rums, fruit juices & syrups served within the Operation board game! The challenge is to use the metal straws to suck up your drink without setting off the infamous buzzer & red nose (and try to avoid any obvious jokes about sucking through the hole near the crotch – we failed at that, obviously!) After a few drinks, it’s impossible to not light up that big red nose, but you’ll definitely have fun trying!
When it comes to pizza, the choice is decent, and once again the names continue on with the theme. Choose either a 12″ for a tenner, or go big with an £18 20″. Can’t choose what flavour to go for? Opt for the Ross & Rachel – a half and half pizza of whichever two you fancy. I would recommend the Ferris Bueller; tomato, mozarella, chilli chicken, spicy salami, scotch bonnet chillies & red onion. Not nearly as spicy as you think it’s going to be with those scotch bonnets – if anything, it has a sweet undertone and the chilli chicken is tender and flavoursome. Or maybe you might want to try the Happy Gilmore topped with San Daniele prosciutto, parmigiano reggiano, rocket & olive oil; well received and made with good quality prosciutto.
If you’re looking for a cheap lunch, it’s definitely worth noting that they do an incredible deal whereby diners can enjoy any of the available pizzas in a 9″ portion with a soft drink for just £4.95! And as you’ll have got yourself such a good deal, you can then treat yourself to one of their new CroDoughs! – you must have heard of these?
These are ‘Doughnut Croissants’ which come in a selection of flavours, including chocolate, raspberry & toffee apple crumble. They definitely taste more like a doughnut than a croissant. In fact, I wouldn’t say they’re anything like a croissant at all to be honest. More like a rounded Yum Yum. Still tasty, none the less, but I still think you need to go to a specialist bakery in East London (where they’re known as CroNuts) to get the real deal!
As I already mentioned, Tuesday nights are when to go for a good drinks deal (Clueless Tuesday’s, if you’ve already forgotten) but you can also take a roll of the dice on a ‘7/11 Monday’ and try to grab yourself a free pizza! Alternatively, head down for some drinks on Pledge Night Fridays where you pledge allegiance to the Clubhouse… I’m not too sure what this actually means, but it’s definitely a night that is guaranteed to be buzzing!