Every so often a new and exciting bar opens and it’s all everyone is talking about for a little while. That’s how I’ve felt about Tonight Josephine. Photos keep popping up on my social feeds of people posing with pink neon quotes and confetti walls.
I needed to finally find this bar and see what all the fuss was about. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The bar is located not far from Waterloo station, but it’s quite easily missed. I tried to find the bar a few weeks ago as a part of London Cocktail Week (which you can read about HERE) but we admitted defeat due to the time, although looking back I realise that we were standing opposite Tonight Josephine, on the other side of the road without even noticing!
I spoke to the security man and he said that even he missed the entrance on his first shift. So it wasn’t just me!
Tonight Josephine opened earlier this year and is a tribute to Josephine De Beauharnais who is considered to be one of the sassiest ladies and lovers of the 19th century, the wife of Napoleon and the Empress of the French. The sass can be seen throughout the bar, right from the moment you walk in and past the animated neon peace sign and through the pink (there’s a lot of pink. I love it) stairway. At the bottom of the stairs you’re confronted by the sign that must have made it into thousands of instagram photos (mine included), but I suppose it’s popular because it’s true… Well behaved women don’t make history.
The bar area itself is also a work of art, it’s a millennial’s dream. So many photographic opportunities and modern pop culture links, from Kate moss’ quote ‘why the fuck can’t I have fun all the time?’ To the mug shots of Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber on the female and male Loos.
It wasn’t overly busy when we arrived, and strangely there were more men than women in the bar, which I wasn’t expecting. We picked a table in the corner and then had a read of the cocktail menu which featured lots of classic and quirky concoctions. We decided we were going to be good as it was a school night and just have 2 cocktails each… And had both decided on the same 2 cocktails which I don’t think has ever happened.
First of all we went for the ‘Violet Femme’ which was described as: ‘Parma Violets. Balanced. Sweet. Smiley.’ And consisted of Bombay Sapphire Gin, Violet liqueur, fresh lemon juice, sugar, egg white and Parma violets. What a mixture! It was a great cocktail and tasted exactly like the Parma violets that we all grew up with and seem to be a little bit like marmite in that people either love them or they hate them. The egg white made it slightly sour and I loved the froth on the top. It felt like a classy, grown up version of the sweets. Would definitely recommend.
Next up we both went for the ‘Love Potion’ in the hope that it would make everyone we met fall head over heels in love with us… Didn’t work. It was described as ‘Sexy. Fun. Tangy. Balanced.’ And was made up of a mixture of Bombay sapphire gin, fresh strawberry, fresh lemon juice, pineapple syrup and prosecco. I didn’t enjoy this as much as the previous cocktail, which is weird because I usually prefer fruity cocktails but it was still good. I particularly enjoyed the pink sugar on the top which gave it a little extra crunch!
I will definitely be returning to Tonight Josephine at some point as there are so many cocktails that I wanted to try but didn’t get the chance to. Plus I want to take all the photos I can to show off the multitudes of pink.
It really is the perfect night for a girly night out, or clearly a lads night out, if that’s what you guys are into. They also have a happy hour 5-7 which we just missed but next time I’ll definitely make sure I make it there in time!
Here’s their website where you can find out more