5 TO 9 : FARR’s


In the spirit of our 5 to 9 series, all about filling the hours outside of the office with wondrous fun, brilliant friends, and new experiences, we paid a trip to Farr’s School of Dancing in Dalston to work out why it’s just so great.

The last time we visited Farr’s (just the other week), we had a lot of fun. Popping in for a quick post-studio decompression pint, we were initially dismayed and then unexpectedly excited about stumbling onto a drag queen-helmed pub quiz. As we ordered some of the excellent skin-on chips and a few more pints of Californian IPA, we got more and more competitive, and despite coming, um, 5th in the final results, a thoroughly brilliant evening was had.

Farr’s is just that kind of place – you never know quite where your evening is going to take you after you step inside, but you do know it’s going to be fun. The place is named for the dance school which occupied the building in the ‘30s, and inside it’s like going back in time: a 1950s-style leatherette-padded bar, floral wallpapers and vintage telephones contrast neatly with exposed steel beams and brickwork. It’s difficult to describe in words, but this combination actually feels much more homely than you’d expect, and without the overdone, pretentious set-dressing that marks out so many East London venues.

It’s also staffed by lovely people, and has great events programming – they had a Farrs and Stripes 4th of July feast last week, for example. We also like Farr’s because even though it closes at midnight every day, it’s the place where you can always hatch a plan to go on from. The spirit of the place will take you on late-night adventures that you couldn’t even imagine before you walk through the door and order a pint. That’s what 5 to 9 is all about: embracing the unexpected.

Farr’s School of Dancing, 17-19 Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF