Drink, Shop & Do, Kings Cross

April 2, 2014

Drink, Shop & Do, 9 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London, N1 9DX

Do books and beverages really add up to an intellectual night out on the town? Mandy Townsend investigates at the Drink, Shop & Do near King’s Cross…

Once I saw a man who stood at the bar, reading a book whilst maintaining a fast-paced drinking ethic until the words on his page blurred into one giant ink stain. He eventually ended up using the book as a pillow and proceeded to be chucked out of said bar. I thought mixing books and beverages must be a crazy unique way of intellectual drinking and I wondered if this man had any recollection of the novel he was reading.

Your typical carouser, I would imagine, would be a sociable, rebellious and loveable rogue. I wondered, do nerds do debauchery?

Geeky Guzzler

The booky boozer is not the only type of geek guzzler in the muggle world, as I first assumed. Drink, Shop & Do, Kings Cross, hosts a speakeasy on the first Monday night of every month which entices many bookworms and specky bitches to attend.

The title “speakeasy” and the fact the building used to be a sex shop may fool you at first in to thinking it might be cool, but this is a highly sensible literary night full of readings, notable guests and writing games. Yay!

On first arrival I noticed an impressive ratio of three spectacles per egghead, with a tardis full of kindles scattered before them. These Harry Potter-type characters, whose closest sexual encounter was between a tissue and 50 Shades of Grey, were all involved in deep conversation about politics and the latest novels.

These were the types of discussions that would make the average intoxicated brain implode.

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Hunger Games Part II…?

Ian Ellard and Nicci Cloke, hosts of the speakeasy, proudly told me that this was the tenth event they’ve done in over a year. They love the game they’ve conjured up, where everyone is split in two groups to come up with a theme each, and has to write a story between them. It seemed odd that these intellects would engage in a game so similar to a writing exercise for primary school children.

Nicci told The Carouser enthusiastically, “It’s an intense challenge. It’s like The Hunger Games a little bit.”

Nicci and Ian started the night as a fun way to interact with writers and like-minded people, which so far has been very successful, with fully booked tables most nights. They now do more events, including different genres, like Fantasy Night and Sci-fi Night.

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Geeky Guest Speaker

Tom Pollock, author of The City’s Son, the first in the Skyscraper Throne series, was guest speaker at the event. “I’m sure there are some people in there who haven’t heard of me and haven’t heard of my books and now have,” he said. “It was a good laugh and we had Tom Cruise jokes.”

If you don’t find Tom Cruise highly amusing then there’s always the safe haven of the bar. I indulged in a chocolaty remedy called a Dirty Cow, which consists of Black Cow vodka, Chocolate and White Whiskey. It worked as the perfect blend to keep me quiet as I listened to some extracts of short stories.

Drink, Shop & Do prove that nerds and narcotics work, though you’ll find no one using their book as a pillow here.

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