It’s January 12. Any takers for Drinker’s Paradise?


We’ve got artisan breads, Lebanese baklava, locally brewed beer, organic fish, and Portuguese cheeses, hell, we’ve even got two tattoo …



We’ve got artisan breads, Lebanese baklava, locally brewed beer, organic fish, and Portuguese cheeses, hell, we’ve even got two tattoo parlours, and yet for a long time I was under the illusion that Kentish Town lacked a really good off license. Especially when on the hunt for ingredients to make a Negroni.

‘What do want Campari for?’ snorted the man in Oddbin’s (and yes, we know his wine selection is spot on.) If you can’t answer that question, I was about to retort, you shouldn’t be running a booze shop.

But I smiled sweetly and continued scouring the high street. Thankfully a last-minute tip-off led me to Drinker’s Paradise, the slightly crummy looking shop next to the vet on Prince of Wales Road, which enjoyed a moment of fame in Imelda May’s video for her classic ‘Kentish Town Waltz.


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And don’t let the exterior fool you – Drinker’s Paradise is in fact a veritable Aladdin’s cave of booze, some of it seriously specialist. Highlights include the range of aperitifs and vermouths including Antica Formula, a sought-after Milanese vermouth (great in a Negroni) and the French aperitif Lillet (essential to James Bond’s favourite, a Martini Vesper), a wide range of liqueurs, American whiskies and rums, and a humungous selection of more than 200 bottled beers, ciders and perrys from Wales, Germany, China and beyond (and shortly the neighbouring Camden Brewery too) – oh, and also bitters. And they are lovely chaps to boot with a real passion for the subject.

So forget all those silly new year’s resolutions and get down there tout de suite to acquire a bottle of Campari. Once safely indoors, mix 25ml with equal parts sweet vermouth and gin, stir over ice, chuck in a slice of orange, and raise a Negroni to our ever-surprising manor.

Does anyone else have a great local off license we should know about?

Drinker’s Paradise, 129 Castlehaven Road, NW1 8SJ

Words & pics by Alice Lascelles


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  • pascal

    Its not quite kentish town but kris wines on york way is excellent and stocks every beer on the planet. Their wines are pretty good too. If you ever do an article on butchers then cramers next door is fantastic.

    • youngdonkey

      agree with pascal, this is quite a good shop in the locality.

  • Grant

    The lovely fellows that work in Drinkers Paradise are worthy of praise too. My alcohol requirements are fairly mainstream, but their warm welcome makes them my super strength cider seller of choice!