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The latest addition to Hong Kong’s nightlife is The Iron Fairies, the brainchild of design extraordinaire Ashley Sutton (behind Ophelia and J Boroski). Originating from Bangkok, the bar brings something surreal with a hint of Middle Earth to a city already choking with watering holes.
Find the alley off Wyndham Street at 1 Hollywood Road and you’ll stumble through inconspicuous curtains to the home of the iron-cast fairies. The little creatures are not immediately noticeable at first but take a seat at your table and you’ll find them displayed as the centrepieces. Strung up around you and above the bar are bountiful nets of ‘fairy dust’. This gives the atmosphere a strange, Pan’s Labyrinth kind of feeling. However, The Iron Fairies carefully dodges the label of ‘novelty’ with its beautiful ceiling, an art installation in its own right. Thousands of real suspended butterflies flutter overhead as you sip on your drinks and chat in a surprisingly peaceful environment. Private booths appear as ovens and the waitresses are clad in get-ups that would not go amiss in a remake of Oliver Twist, complete with flat caps and aprons.
And the cocktails? On a night out in Central Hong Kong you can expect to pay a healthy $100+ for a drink and The Iron Fairies is no different, except with the quality served, the beverages are considered suitably priced. Who would expect anything less from mixologist Joseph Boroski? Try Smoke In A Bottle No.1 ($120HKD/£12) if you’re into molecular cocktails with that special oomph. Presented in a bottle (duh), the smoke from the cacao nibs is infused in the vodka based drink, adding a masculine finish to the otherwise floral and citrus notes. Watermelon Daiquiri with Fairy Dust Burnt Marshmallow ($115HKD/£11) may sound like the typical Magaluf drink with a side of cocaine, but this is far from Banged Up Abroad. Sweetened with rum and honey and mixed with egg, the pink concoction ticks the boxes for being refreshing, unique and totally ‘grammable. That is if you can get past the need for a camera flash. Gin lovers can opt for the Underground Martini ($120HKD/£12) and The Naughty Girl Bellini ($130HKD/£13) is filled with sweet peach jelly and crafted with Australian sparkling wine.
The crowd at The Iron Fairies is unpretentious but the service from the staff could be a lot stronger (they grossly overcharged us and when they ‘corrected’ our bill, they really undercharged). Despite that, here’s hoping that this concept bar lives on past its teething problems. It’s been marked as one of my absolute favourites in Hong Kong for the strength of its selective but memorable cocktails and of course, the magical ambience.
1-13 Hollywood Road, Hong Kong