I went here for a friend's birthday and can honestly say I have mixed feelings towards the place. The bar upstairs is very stylish and has a really nice ambient atmosphere. The bar staff are very friendly and time flies as you relax and enjoy the experience. This is where the downside comes in.....
After a few drinks you venture downstairs to have a dance and find yourself dancing in what can only be described as a cramped psychedelic pre-war fallout bunker. Hardly anyone dances and most of the time there's too many people to move. Don't get me wrong, the music was good and if the dance floor thins out and you forget you're surrounded by hipsters then you can have a good time, but that's a lot of ifs and requires plenty of additional alcohol.
It has the reputation of being one of 'THE' places to go for a night out in East London but I didn't meet anyone else there who seemed to agree with this either.
I might go back again but it won't be one of my first choices given the variety of similar bars in the area.
Living in south London, I'm not familiar with the hipster scene north of the river. I was first introduced to this place at an Elite event and was immediately impressed.
At first sight, it appeared to be a smart wine bar but further exploration reveals that there's also a dance floor downstairs.
The bar staff have always been friendly and produce some nice non alcoholic cocktails. Prices reflect the trendy local area
The crowd are perhaps not my type but never any trouble
Good drinks, shame the crowd here doesn't realise a dance floor is for dancing not loitering...although with the very strange 'music' that was being played perhaps they were not sure what to do.
I'd give this place a wide birth.
I'm going to bloody well do it.
I try to avoid 1-starring anywhere. But they annoyed me so, so, so much this last Saturday that this rating is well and truly deserved.
Approaching the door, wearing a waterproof jacket (it'd been raining all day) we got in line to go inside - we were meeting friends who'd been there for some time.
On my way in, I was halted by what I can only describe as a 'door-bitch' - you know the ones with the clipboard and trowel-applied make up and a face like a slapped arse - who then stopped me from going inside based solely on what I was wearing. Apparently it was the jacket that she didn't like. Despite offering to take it off and put it in my bag, she wasn't happy. Far from it.
And then I was word-punched by the most ridiculous, smug and, frankly, stupid comment I've ever heard from any door staff, ever;
"Sorry, we've got a lot of glam people downstairs".
"Sorry, there is nothing I can do, it's very glam tonight".
My pride was stinging a little now, especially as I've been here enough times before to know the Pony to be nothing special, and so I promptly decamped elsewhere.
And the funny thing is this; the friends who I was supposed to meet confessed that they didn't think much of the Pony at all and were waiting for me to arrive so we could head elsewhere. The irony.
Went here the other night for a birthday party and I was quite looking forward to it. Hadn't been to the Pony before but it always looked like it was trying to do something a bit different. However, what I quickly realised is yeah, it is something different for Shoreditch but nothing new for London.
Essentially this is a cocktail bar/lounge with a club area downstairs. The décor is polished and dark with a few nods to well thought out design and some diverse influences from Burges to strip clubs. The problem is though, the atmosphere doesn't really seem to enhance this. It doesn't take this cue from the designers and run. On Saturday night it just felt like an average club in the west end playing quite bad music, not quite loud enough so that people felt comfortable dancing. The result was lots of people drinking really great cocktails all looking at each other trying to work out who might have the best house for a proper party.
When I first saw this place, I couldn't wait to try it. At first glance I though it was an art gallery due to its installation of a massive illuminated picture of a Marie-Antoinette-like lady on a swing that's visible from the street. But once I realized that, no, this is a new club, I peered inside and was delighted by their electric pastel colour palette and hanging vines of greenery - it was all so eccentric 18th-century Romantic meets Shoredich that I knew it had to be good.
A couple months after it opened, I finally made it here on a Friday night with a couple of friends - and despite my expectations, I wasn't disappointed. The place was pretty packed, but we managed to find a perch at the bar upstairs. The barman was helpful, and pointed us toward some great drinks. The cocktails were a little more expensive that what you typically pay in Shoreditch, but I'd certainly venture to say that they were also better.
The look of the downstairs dance floor is a little incongruent with the décor of the upstairs - very starkly black save for some low tables surrounded with squat red square seats. You get the sense that their plot in doing this was to encourage people down here to dance. Upstairs is for conversing in an atmospheric environment, downstairs is for letting loose - and people certainly were. The dance floor was packed.
We staked out a table as our home base and flagged down a cocktail waitress, who was very nice and prompt with our drink orders. The crowd was a total mixed bag - Hoxton folk, West End transplants, and older businessmen (couldn't figure that one out).
Most of the other reviewers have cited the music as the one downfall of this place, but on the night I went, I enjoyed it. Now, I should qualify myself as somebody who likes all music, but when it comes to *dancing* my taste leans toward the more poppy with a great beat. I'm not much of a "The End" or a "Ministry of Sound" girl... so calibrate accordingly.
The place is too small to stay all night, but as someone else said, a really good place to start. It's a certainly a nice alternative to the other more polished Shoreditch venues like BBB and Loungelover. I'll come here when I still want great drinks and cool décor, but also want a vibe that has more spontaneity and liveliness, as well as a more diverse crowd, than I feel you get at either of those two.
I can't quite "get" Hoxton Pony. I think its one of the few places that actually is a mix between the city suit crowd and the hipster shoreditch crowd. Its good for an afterwork drink if you want to just chill upstairs, or if you want to go late night, the downstairs dance floor is where you need to be. it always has some strobe light/blacklight thing doing on.
I always have fun here, but i think it helps if you are really drunk. the crowd is a weird mix but that can be fun. and i've never really been a fan of the music (but dance anyways because of the aforementioned drinking). its too techno electro for me i guess.
if i lived or worked around here, then yes i would go here occasionally. but i wouldn't make this my place of destination for the night.
The Hoxton Pony has brought a touch of sparkle to one of Hoxton's more sombre areas, and, in a sea of so many mediocre bars it stands out like a beacon. This is a seriously good bar but not necessarily a particularly good club for the principle reason that the music is pretty wank lot of the time and there isn't much space to dance - rather vital components in a good club.
As a bar, however, it's difficult to top. The interior certainly packs a punch with lots of modern features intertwined with bizarre and interesting installations , like a crushed car sprayed in white. The bar serves a magnificent range of drinks from standard lagers through to exquisite cocktails though be warned, it won't be too easy on the wallet. The staff are friendly, fun and very helpful.
I haven't been here for food yet but they seem to focus on traditional pub grub and on Sundays you can come for a roast.
I wouldn't stay here all night but it's certainly one to get the party started.
I didn't have a good time here but that's partly because I really like to be able to talk to my friends on a night out, which is impossible here because it is so loud and I am rapidly becoming a grumpy old woman. Also, I didn't like the music, probably that's just my taste (I don't like dance/house) rather than it being inherently bad.
I actually found the door, coatroom and bar staff quite pleasant. I was drinking mocktails (mojitos) which were delicious but I think my friend said they were charging full price for them - really?!
Overall I definitely wouldn't come back here. It doesn't have much atmosphere.
Yuk! This is one of my most loathed night spots in London. Drinks here are extortionate but that doesn't stop the suited and sleazy clientele from knocking them back. The bar is always desperately understaffed which is incredibly frustrating during the busier hours. I've known friends to go missing for 40 minutes trying to get to the front of the queue and when they've come back been bitterly annoyed at how much the experience cost them. Most unfortunate of all is the 'nightclub' section downstairs which consists of a small square dance floor and a DJ playing a mix of cheesey and oh so cool beats. This has the effect of drawing wave after wave of office nights out on to the dance floor who shuffle on and off after every second song. One minute the floor is empty, the next it's full of old women screaming 'Young at Heart'...
I'm always surprised at the Hoxton Pony's popularity, especially given how many great bars there are around. Maybe there is something about this place that I've missed but needless to say, I won't be back.
This place, is almost too cool for school, with the coldness over riding.
When I went here last, it was very quiet - it was about 5pm on a friday evening and i was the only customer. However I have heard it does get very lively, The design of the place is awe strucking, it has the be the most visually striking bars in Shoreditch. crazy sculptures from re used car parts, stuffed birds, blue lighting, and more much more.
I shared one of their 'Tea Parties' with a friend. which was £75, but was meant for four people, this is comes with a one litre canister of 70% alcohol Infused cocktail and a cute tea little tea stand of scrumptuos sandwichs and cakes. Expensive - but my god we have never got so drunk like that! I liked the place, but I think it would be better if more people would have been there
Curtain Road very rarely has its curtains drawn back, when the freaks come out and Shoreditch triangulates the waves of luminous afro's and painfully skinny jeans. Yes good sir, I can see which side of the seam you hang and no it ain't 'Long and Flexy'!
So here we have another addition to the bar brat pack of Ditchside drinking establishments with the usual array of kitsch furnishings and toilet doors that don't quite close properly. A door a little like the swinging saloon doors in your local kebab shop, just cleaner but no less likely to butt you in the head whilst making a swift getaway. Plus, rainbow neon lighting. One simple question: why? I'm all about softer lighting in the bogs to make my mascara appear marginally less scuppered, but if I wanted to shoot heroin surely I'd try Hoxton Square instead, guaranteed attention from limp legged boys.
Anyways, I digress. Is the Hoxton Pony, really a lot of old Pony? Well when I popped down as part of the network of venues participating at the Shoreditch Shuffle festival, there was enough space to breathe and a mischievous clock dial strobe above the stage had me enthralled for hours. My friends were very embarrassed as I followed the beams, nodding nonchalantly at regular intervals. However, with the crush to the bar happily absent, I grabbed a scrumptious cocktail. The Deep Thinker £7.50(rocks) A powerful cocktail, with a citrus punch has great depth of spices with strong notes of vanilla. Fresh lime, Demerara sugar, coriander and Sailor Jerry's spiced rum - straight from their menu but I couldn't really do a better job than this, highly original and fizzed the tongue nicely.
Apparently 'flavour profile is given prominence, with every one of the 200 plus spirits'. This presumably means that the management chooses the booze and adjudicates what's yummy. As for the food selection, they don't have food in the East End, they only have 'Grub'. In summary, not the most innovative bar design in the area, but good for an 'Ice Rink' for that true 'flavour prominence'. And Girls Aloud seem pretty hot on Hoxton too!
Video link: youtube.com/watch?v=MBXY…
We've been to The Hoxton Pony a couple of times now. First time was for a private party on a Sunday night - the bar was (as you'd imagine on a Sunday night!) quiet, but it meant we basically had the place to ourselves and could enjoy the DJ set our friends were playing that evening.
As previous reviewers quite rightly point out, the decor is very much a mix of trendy Shoreditch/Hoxton bar with lots of black and red padded stools and polished tables, but for me this place is a little bit different to the tryin' to hard bars which have come and gone in the area in recent years. The Hoxton Pony is friendly, welcoming and warm - YES, that's right - a trendy bar in Curtain Road which actually doesn't charge the earth if you get there at a reasonable time and with door staff who will go out of there way to tell you who the DJ is that evening and what parties they have booked.
The Hoxton Pony may look like all the other trying to hard bars, but trust me, go along with an open mind, enjoy the eclectic mix of tunes played on a Sat (or indeed Sun night) and enjoy the bottled beers and absolutely gorgeous alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. Priced between £3-7 is pretty much the price you'd pay anywhere in London now for decent cocktails, so if you're off out for a night to party, accept it, enjoy them and dance until the wee hours (oh and don't forget to take lots of pics of your friends dancing under the strip lights on the dance floor - the effects you can get are cool man! ;) )
This is not my scene ... but(!) with the right company - which I'm pleased to say I had during my recent Friday night visit - it proved to be a fun place to start a Friday night, gawk at people and get my semi-groove on.
Whomever the DJ was when I was there seemed to just be playing whatever the hell s/he felt like. Such flippant jockeying could go either way, but I was in general approval of the music.
I don't think I could handle more than an hour or so at the Pony and would really start getting cranky if there when super packed. But I wouldn't be against popping in again for some people watching and maybe a little bit of dancing.
Has a cool vibe. Great place for a party, especially downstairs has a DJ deck and can be hired out. Friendly manager Veton, bar staff and reservations manager Elodie are a good team which makes this a relaxing place to chill out. They have 15mins of fame sessions every other week on a Wednesday evening. A place that serves double measures of Gin in their G&T's as standard is definitely a place not to miss.
Will definitely be going back.
A place that seemed to have been placed in Shoreditch by West End alien UFO operators.
Lots of money spilled into designing the place with taxidermy and all to try and get into the Shoreditch art vibe maybe?
You will need to remortgage your studio flat in Hackney to afford their very amazing cocktails but they they are really frikkin' out of this world just like the venue. There are more mild mannered £7 options but why bother? Go downstairs and you feel like you are in a 1980's alien spaceship with blue lighting and mirrors.
A perfect place for Mayfair. A good place for Shoreditch 7 years from now.
My favorite place to drink amazing cocktails!
They are quite expensive for London, but they are worth it!
You have some free parties, mostly the thursdays with electronic music. Not that good but the ambiance is nice and bouncy.
What a let down this place was, I was on the guessed list and was still charged a tenner. And that wasn't the worst part £25 for 3 drinks! Where was I Mayfair. Apart from that my mate was the DJ and he had a good set so 2stars.
Not sure what I feel about this place. It's got an interestingly designed interior, well-stocked bar, and drinks average about £7-8 (shots, cocktails). The dancefloor is downstairs, and gets incredibly stuffy, although the music, from the time I've been, is pretty decent. Didn't have much of a problem getting in, although there was a line, but I do hear that the entry policy could be a bit annoying. Not somewhere I'd go out of my way to go to, but just to pop in to check it out, then check out to go somewhere else.
I am in love love love with Hoxton Pony. My first bar/club in London. Had a fantastic time. The bar upstairs is chill and the dance floor downstairs is amazing. The in-house live DJ was the best female DJ I've ever seen. Total girl crush!! The drinks were great, the atmosphere was amazing. I love the Hoxton area purely because of my experience here. The staff were so kind and helpful, really looking out for the customers. My friend was groped by a gross man, and the bouncers kicked him out! I also saw a male bouncer holding some poor girls hair as she was sick in the toilets. Gross, but nice!!
This place is the epitomy of everything that is wrong with Hoxton nowadays. Much to my reluctance I went to the venue last weekend for an old friend's birthday do. It was horrific.
I live in East London around the Brick Lane area and in recent months the area has grown increasingly flooded with the 'lads on tour' variety of visitors. Swaggering down the street, drinking and snarling, pissing up against walls, they're not the politest bunch when drunk. I found out at the weekend where they're all heading to/coming back from- it must be the Hoxton Pony.
The venue is flooded with neon blue and purple lights, a shame for the girls who have spent hours caking themselves in make-up. Everyone ends up wandering the venue looking equally mostrous, all glowing the same shade of green. I spent the night dodging killer stilletoe heels after one girl jabbed me in the toe with hers, before falling flat on her face, spilling my drink then rolling around on the floor laughing while her boyfriend took photos.
The Hoxton Pony is a poor attempt at recreating the 'glamour' of the west end nightclubs. I used to work in them, when I go out in East London I don't want to be back there! The tables are likened to those in Chinawhites or Whisky Mist. Why not just go out West? Why bring £300 bottles of Vodka to East London? Maybe that's what it's about now, but it saddened me.
The music consisted of a lame mix of Tao Cruz, The Pussycat Dolls and David Guetta. I left bemused and exhausted from all the groping, courtesy of numerous sweaty blonde boys wearing Hackett t-shirts. Not nice.
If it's your cup of tea, you'd probably have fun. If you're anything like me, you'd want to run the hell away.
I wouldn't go back if you paid me.
Nice, cool laid back vibe. On alternate wednesdays they have 15 minutes slots where people can perform and the last band on were really good. Very extensive cocktail list(£7-9),mine was great, they even made it with a little pot of marmalade they keep behind the bar. Paddington would be happy here!
Creative and extensive cocktail menu - which is exactly what you'd expect bearing in mind its owner and the music is spot on with a good roster of DJs and different sounds depending on the day. However this place is way too poncey on a weekend, drawing a shirt and shoe crowd that jars with the quirky side of Shoreditch. Probably more chilled out - and interesting - on a week night.
Know what to expect in Shoreditch and it doesn't disappoint, busy but friendly, bar staff that know what they are doing and pour a mean mojito. Not too big, dance floor packed and decent DJs.
The Hoxton Pony is very popular on weekends. It is spread out over 2 floors. The top area is mainly the bar area and there are a few tables. This area gets rather rammed as people stand around chatting. Downstairs is the dance floor. The music is pretty cheesy, fun classics to dance to with your mates, but after a few hours here you may want to move somewhere else in search of some better beats.
Cocktails are so expensive that I could only afford one drink and for sure not going back. This is Shoreditch not Essex, thought I was in charlie chans!!
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