by Rachel Matthews, The Telegraph, July 19, 2017
As the creatives spread out from their Shoreditch homeland, Bethnal Green is starting to boast its fair share of hipster bars, and the addition of the newly opened Coupette is no exception. Not that its edgy decor lacks in sophistication.
Located in a 160-year-old building with exposed bricks behind the bar and utilitarian metal pendant lighting, you could call the decor industrial chic, although the interior is subtly brushed with the Gallic theme that enhances the cocktail list, with the handcrafted bar top being coated in vintage 10-Franc coins.
The cocktail menu encapsulates French traditions. Illustrated by Joe Wilson, it features six French artists and icons, including artist Pierre Soulages and Edwige Belmore (Paris' "queen of punk"), with each muse accompanied by six cocktails. Designed around the "French hexagon", the drinks are curated by Chris Moore, previously head bartender of Beaufort Bar at the Savoy Hotel. His passion for the art of cocktail making has resulted in an innovative creation of cocktails using lesser known French ingredients such as calvados, cidre and poiré.
The poire is where I started my Coupette journey, and for the sweet fiends out there this is the cider to make your tipple of choice. The Poire Granit carefully toes the line between dry and sweet, a pear cider that tastes more like champagne, and is perfectly refreshing in warmer weather.
Next up, the Champagne Pina Colada: such an extravagant drink that it has earned itself the position of best-seller on Coupette’s menu. The formality of champagne is starkly juxtaposed with the holiday vibes of a pina colada, and if it were possible, the combination has improved the nostalgic drink.
My third drink, the Rosé, is one of the most underrated on the menu, Moore believes. Instead of wine, Coupette uses vermouth, and the combination is a light, sweet and easy to drink cocktail, perfectly presented in a delicate glass.
The bar snacks are also not to be missed. An obvious choice, the ham hock and gruyere croque monsieurs were quickly devoured and nicely complemented by my final drink, The Vine. In contrast to the others, this one offers more acidity to make it the perfect food accompaniment.
Coupette, which translates in French to "cheeky one", really does offer just that: plus 35 other cheeky ones. First enjoy a croque monsieur, and then get cheeky.
Coupette, 423 Bethnal Green Road, E2; coupette.co.uk