I accidentally found a cosy retro bar with unique cocktails

Tucked away on Wolstenholme Square is a chic little venue that arrived with very little noise.

Sister Ray sits inoffensively at the bottom of an accommodation block. You'd easily miss it if not specifically on the lookout. A lack of eye-catching signage doesn't help and it's hindered even further by the street's towering centrepiece.

If you're strolling along and do so happen to gaze inside the floor-to-ceiling windows, you'll see a glossy peach venue decked out in a minimalistic retro aesthetic. I've heard of the venue Sister Ray but never thought much of it. Seeing it in person was a different story altogether.

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From the moment you swing open the door you're met with a peach palette. There's no escaping it. From the walls and floor to the lights and panelling, the venue is colour-drenched. Sister Ray has a distinct NYC art deco feel from the simplistic features and back bar that sets it aside from visually noisy competitors. There's a lot to be said when you strip a venue right down to the basics and Sister Ray manages to do a lot with very little.

The venue was quiet when I called in with friends but became progressively busier as the night went by. There are plenty of seats to choose from, including at the bar or outside, but we opted for a corner booth table.

The menu is interesting and different, featuring a range of ingredients I've never even heard of. Timeless classics have been reimagined while a range of unique serves account for the majority of options. I opted for a Bankers Punch: Powers Whiskey, Takamaka Rum, port, lime, and raspberry. It was presented in a small round glass and just as stylish as the rest of the venue. It disappeared just as quick as it arrived.

As we sat and knocked back a few drinks, the air was filled with laid-back jazz music that grew progressively more energetic as time went by, matching your pacing. More and more customers popped into the venue and if I didn't have somewhere to be I think I would've stayed there until close.

"Hidden gem" is tossed around ad nauseum nowadays but this genuinely meets the criteria. It's a difficult location to even accidentally stumble into. But now that it's on my radar, I think it'll be my new go-to for laid-back drinks at the weekend or after work. The atmosphere was laid back but with life, the drinks were fairly cheap given their bespoke nature, but most appealingly of all there's not really anywhere else in the city with the same vibe.

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