Sharon Reid


As a confirmed West Londoner I can no longer declare that ‘West is best,’ simply because when it comes to eccentric drinking dens, East London appears to have the edge. New bar, The Natural Philosopher is the latest quirky addition to East London’s bustling bar scene, located in a Mac Museum and repair shop known as MacSmiths on Hackney Road, the eccentricity quota is off the scale: Victorian curiosities – check; antiquated Apple Macs dating as far back as 1976 –check; sunken bar – triple check!

James Manero and Amechi Ihenacho, owners of Manero’s Private Member’s Club in Haggerston, have collaborated with Paul Davis, owner of MacSmiths to create a curious juxtaposition of Victoriana and modernity – during the day the space is transformed into a Mac Surgery with people balancing their Mac Airs on the small tables working by oil lamp!00409_2015 TNP_MacBar_098

By the evening The Natural Philosopher comes into its own, choose from seven signature cocktails: the Getafix, made with Cognac, Yellow Charteuse – a French Liqueur made by Charteusian Monks, since 1737, the secret recipe is said to contain 130 herbs, plants and flowers along with other unknown ingredients; The Gargamel, made with Gin, Blue Curacao, Chamomile, Oelo Saccharum, ’sugared oil’, which was commonly used in 19th-century punch;  The JP Sour, with Bison Grass Vodka, Calvodos, Lemon, Sugar, Egg White and Cassia Bark, taste like cinnamon in flavour and is often used as a botanical gin.

Alban Hajdini, Bar Manager and creator of the aforementioned, discusses his choices:00409_2015 TNP_MacBar_018

“I have created a menu that contains seven signature cocktails using hand selected, naturally sourced ingredients – where possible, focusing on innovation and more importantly, quality!”

In addition to cocktails, you will find a selection of globally sourced wine and locally brewed beer.

Co –owner James Manero, explains the bars’ ethos:

“At The Natural Philosopher we’re not only interested in delivering great cocktails but also aim to create an atmosphere that can be enjoyed by all, whether you’re on a date, drinking with friends or treating your mum to a night out. The Natural Philosopher’s philosophy is to expect a good time and you won’t be disappointed.”

The innovative cocktails, quirky décor and friendly atmosphere should guarantee an arresting night.

The Natural Philosopher is closed on Monday. 6pm – 12am Tuesday – Sunday. 6pm – 1am Friday & Saturday.

For further information please visit: