I hate Petticoat Lane Market during the day. A mishmash of pointless market stalls (who is in need of a 10-pack of ginormous knickers?! The mind boggles) with little space to walk, I avoid it wherever possible, instead taking the long route round to Spitalfields from Commercial Street.
At night, however, it’s quiet and deserted, all signs of the market gone. So when I took this empty road the other night, I didn’t expect to hear the burble of conversation and clink of glasses emanating from a dark stairwell below a dark garment shop. Intrigued (and no stranger to a speakeasy) I brazenly headed down the pitch black stairs, pushed aside the heavy black curtain – and found myself in Discount Suit Company, the latest addition to London’s vibrant underground drinking scene.
As the name suggests, this clandestine space was previously an old tailor’s stockroom, and the recent makeover still evokes this 1980s suit shop heritage, with stripped back interiors revealing the original brickwork and low hanging ceiling rafters, and mismatched, plush-yet-shabby furniture pieces, perfect for intimate gatherings. The bar itself is made from an old cutting table complete with stock drawers, and decorative details in the form of cotton reels, measuring tapes and mannequins make reference to the site’s previous incarnation.
We curled up on a particularly squishy sofa in a low-lit corner, and perused the menu of ‘Forgotten Classics’ and ‘Signature Cocktails’, listed on an old pattern sheet. All cocktails at Discount Suit Co are £7.50, which is incredibly reasonable – and wine is just £4.50 a glass, sourced from Borough Wines. The menus are concise, but carefully considered, and the staff are incredibly helpful if you have any queries. My Gold Fish Bathtub (Earl Grey rum, apricot brandy, lemon), was served in a crystal low-ball, and was fruity with notes of marmalade, and the slightest bitterness. Sophie’s Pina Fumada (mezcal, velvet falernum, acacia honey, fresh pineapple) was much longer and super fruity. We can recommend both.
Alternatively, guests are encouraged to challenge the bartenders and request bespoke cocktails, as the staff will be happy to tailor drinks to your personal taste.
If more than fluids are required, Discount Suit Company also serves cheese boards, courtesy of Neal’s Yard Dairy and complemented by Sheridan’s handmade Irish buttermilk crackers and damson preserve, served on repurposed scaffolding planks. Priced at £8-£10, they also include a glass of port or wine.
Discount Suit Company is the first venture of The Umbrella Project, a newly-formed team of drinks industry insiders (with the likes of All Star Lanes and Mixology Events to their name) who have a shared commitment to immaculately crafted cocktails and a desire to create an effortlessly stylish venue in an exciting and eclectic part of town.
With such keen pricing, such drinkable beverages, and such a fabulous location, I don’t expect Discount Suit Company to remain a secret for long – so I suggest you visit ASAP. I know I’ll be going back sharpish, to descend below the city slickers and hipsters to this effortlessly stylish new drinking den.
Discount Suit Company
29A Wentworth Street, Near Spitalfields & Petticoat Lane Markets, E1 7TB