It must be hard running a night in London, because we are an almost impossible crowd to please. We want top of the range food and drink, but for affordable prices. We want the best DJ’s but without having to pay through the nose for entry. We want somewhere that will be busy enough to have an atmosphere but not crowded enough to feel too packed. On top of all that, us punters want a place that feels exclusive, that seems a bit different from the rest of the many carbon copy nights going on inside the m25. With the almost infinite level of choice every Saturday night that most of us have, really we can afford to have more exacting standards.
So it’s a good thing for Night Tales, a yearly pop up club, bar and dining experience all rolled into one. Having spent the last two years near Old Street roundabout, the Night Tales crew have decided to relocate to the more spacious Hackney Wick for this season, and have now situated their complex only on Hepscott Road, only a stones throw from Hackney Wick overground station.
With qeues snaking round the side of the entrance when I arrived, it certainly looked like a popular place to be and upon entering you could certainly see why at least from an aesthetic point of view. Green astroturf covered the floors, with nicely decorated wooden seating strewn throughout. The food stalls like Wingmans, Nanny Bill’s and Slice Guys all looked suitably dishevelled yet charming as is per requisite for London street food, and they served up amazingly extravagant looking dishes to a constant stream of people all night.
The Lazy Flamingo and Cocoface cocktail bars served some delicious stuff all night. I had a watermelon cocktail that really hit the spot, and my date had something a bit more fiery with ginger beer and rum that tasted delicious as well. The Singha beer area was a really nice place to come and have a sit down as well, with Thai inspired decorations and lots of those comfy Thai traingle cushions to have a rest on, as well as obviously having lots of great Singha beer to drink.
The only complaints I could make was the price of food and drink but then again these days I’ve almost learnt to blank out the pain of handing close to £10 for a cocktail and the same for a plate of gourmet fast food.
The music was mainly of the bog standard thumping deep house that is becoming more and more accepted in the mainstream these days, with Theo Kottis playing a night of rumbling grooves under the pink neon of the Night Tales logo that is so typical of the Moda Black label he come from. The system was definitely loud enough, although most of the punters were too busy posturing and preening to have a boogie along to it.
The crowd definitely was an indicative look at where London is headed in the near future, especially when the night tube opens. Most of the crowd looked like extra’s off ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ and it did seem to be at odds with what I have experienced in Hackney Wick in the past but then again that is nothing to do with Night Tales itself and more to do with London’s nightlife becoming ever more sanitary.
Overall Night Tales was an enjoyable event, slick, well run and polished to a glowing sheen. You won’t find anything rough and ready here like you would at most pop up events in Hackney, but if you’re looking for an event that is a bit more upmarket whilst still at least pretending to be spit and sawdust then you could do a lot worse than Night Tales.