Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Platform

On their website a quote boasts: ‘Platform Bar and Terrace at Netil House has the intimate atmosphere of drinks round a friend’s living room’. How many people, not including the writers at The Hackney Citizen, can honestly say that their friend’s living room is hidden away in a gutted council block, replete with an array of salvaged and luxuriant furniture. Not only that, but with ‘kooky artwork’ and graffiti on the walls and large windows offering a sepia tinted sunset view over the rooftops of East London towards The City. They do say ‘atmosphere’ rather than ‘replica’ or ‘scaled model’ but I’m not one for semantics so will swiftly move on. Also, I have very few friends, let alone any who would have something resembling a living room, so don’t have many scenarios to compare this to...

The important thing is that Platform is a great place to demonstrate that you still have that detailed knowledge of London’s drinking venues.

It is situated just a short walk from Broadway Market, one of the best (if most expensive) food markets in London during the weekend and a pleasingly independent shopping street during the week, and London Fields where some of this city’s rich and trendy show off their new found wealth from gorgeous terraced houses or shiny new build blocks which seem to laugh in the face of Hackney’s urban poor.

Not only is the location enough to catch anyone’s attention, but the building and setting itself will also be sure to impress your guests. Platform forms a focal point of the creative collective that is Netil House. This includes a warren of studios containing a wealth of different artistic endeavours, regular artistic events and rooftop parties, and Netil Market which takes inspiration from Broadway Market round the corner with a well selected group of in-vogue food carts (they also form part of a group which manages the interesting Hackney Downs Studios and The Russet Cafe).

The entrance lies between Netil House and the arches supporting the North Eastern railway between London Fields and Cambridge Heath. Hold your nerve and purpose as you saunter down the shingled path - you are now practiced in the art of persuading people to follow you into dark alleys.

Two bouncers wait by a door at the end. ‘Platform?’ they ask; half implying that you’re only here for part of the show, half that you are part of an exclusive group who know about such special venues as this. Reply with a confident yes, indicating to your guest that you form an integral part of that group, hiding who you truly are, while also leaving them tantalising evidence of the fact that you know Platform may not be the only thing on offer within and around Netil House.

You will be directed up a few empty flights of concrete stairs. Eventually you will reach the bar itself; you are greeted by this ‘living room’ atmosphere. And it is surprisingly warm despite the fact the most people there are aggressively trendy. We’re not only talking the limb-crushing jeans but styles which with a bit more extravagance and irony wouldn’t fall far short of Dan Ashcroft’s ‘Geek Pie’. At least they’ll provide a talking point when you inevitably run out of conversation and are beginning to lapse into half-overhearing Indigo pontificate about the pros and cons of her new healing crystals.

The smells from the open plan kitchen tempt drinkers toward to delicious looking Persian inspired menu. However due to a mixture of only having 85p left in my account (I spend it on trawling bars so you don’t have to – see how selfless I am) and the fact that I’m a genuine heathen and only wanted lager, I didn’t eat on this occasion.

The drinks are good: well selected but mostly unremarkable. Finally, now you are armed with your poison of choice, comes the coupe de gras. It is supplies the logic for the name, vindicates its place on this site and provides a purpose for the sun.

It would take a writer with more descriptive abilities than myself to explain how they managed to make a bit of open concrete attached to an old council building next to a railway seem attractive, but trust me it works.

Platform Bar and Terrace at Netil House is the place to be, whether that’s relaxing in the calming cafe atmosphere during the day, soaking up the rays on the terrace, or flailing about like an eel (that is how to dance, right?) later on in the evening. Jokes aside, I know I’d certainly get a return ticket.

O.C

Platform Cafe,Bar,Terrace.
2ndFloor,
Netil House,
1-7Westgate Street,
London
E8 3RL

0203 0959713

www.platformlondonfields.com

1 comment:

  1. Thank You For Your Great Article!!
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