Hen Night Pre Drinks at Cabana Islington!
I was organising my friend Katie’s Hen Do in Islington last year, which fell on Halloween. After looking at various places on Upper street, we decided on Cabana because of its fun atmosphere and funky interiors. It also happens to be one of Katie’s favourites!
After Halloween treats and typical hen games at my house around the corner (“Mummy Bride”, a competition to create wedding dresses out of tissues paper, was particularly apt), we headed over to Cabana for drinks and dinner.
When we arrived, the Cabana team had got into the full Halloween spirit, with staff in costume, and pumpkins spelling out CABANA on the front of the bar.
I had booked a long table in the back of the room, and popped in earlier in the day with some little table decorations to make it more festive. I’d also created some “themed” menus which we had out at every place setting
Cabana had created a Halloween cocktail jug special, the “Swam Thing,” a lurid green concoction which we had on arrival. It was fresh and fruity, with a citrus tang, and unsurprisingly was finished pretty quickly!
Cabana is great for sharing, so the team helped me put together a menu which showcased all the best dishes, and allowed us to try a bit of everything. This also meant the food arrived quickly, which I know can be a problem with a large party. To start, we had lots of street food bits, including Cheesy Dough Balls, one of the most famous Brazilian dishes. These were light and fluffy with a mild cheesy taste, and they’re also gluten free – great for any coeliacs looking for a bread option! We enjoyed these with Caipirinha cocktails (the National Cocktail of Brazil) in fruity flavours – passion fruit and strawberry were the clear winners.
Our main courses arrived with a bit of theatre as an array of chicken and prawns on long metal skewers were brought to the table and plated onto wooden boards set down in the centre. The clear favourite was Cabana’s best-selling Spicy Malagueta Chicken: sticky barbecued chicken with blistered red peppers, marinated in their killer Malagueta chilli sauce. We enjoyed these with a load of sides to share, including crunchy sweet potato fries which went perfectly with the chicken.
After a round of Espresso Martinis, we set off to The Book Club in nearby Shoreditch for a “The Craft” themed club night – the cult 90’s movie was one of sleepover favourites. It was super easy for us to reach the club from Cabana – we jumped in an uber and were there in less than 15 minutes, and after a relatively short queue we were in! Unfortunately, as we arrived fairly late we missed the Craft themed activities earlier in the night including jewellery making and a screening of the film, but the venue had been lightly decorated to fit the Halloween theme, and was playing 90’s music – perfect for dancing to – and we made sure our Hen enjoyed herself by giving her “dare” cards throughout the evening which she gamely took to!
Cabana was the perfect start to our Hen celebrations – a fun and friendly atmosphere, perfect for groups, which got us in the mood for our onward adventures.
By Becky Sharpe