All posts tagged: london

An evening at Nightjar, London

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to visit Nightjar in Hoxton, which I’d heard a great deal about, and, spoiler alert, it was fantastic. Totally bizarre drinks, utterly bonkers presentation, but a great atmosphere and tons of fun. Nightjar is a 2 minute walk from Old Street tube station, behind an unassuming door marked only by a picture of a nightjar bird. In contrast to our Cahoots experience, getting in with our reservation was a smooth experience, and we were waved down into a small, dark, elegant space with a lovely Art Deco-with-a-hint-of-Victoriana look. No standing is allowed at Nightjar, which makes for a very relaxed experience. From what I knew about Nightjar, and from the slightly annoying online-only booking process, I was worried it would be pretentious, but nothing could be further from the truth once you get in. The waiters who brought our drinks were hilarious, very happy to explain everything at length, and gently pointed out with the arrival of each new (increasingly weird) drink what was edible in the …

To the trains! Cahoots, London

I’m pretty fortunate to live in London at the moment, a city positively dripping with cocktail bars. Nine of the world’s 50 best bars are here in the city, and there’s an abundance of classic and new-style cocktail bars to choose from besides. Recently I’ve been making a concerted effort to get round as many as possible, as I might move away from London later in the year. Cahoots is a relatively new bar, which opened in early 2015 with a 1940s disused tube station theme. The idea is ‘the Blitz may be going on outside but we’re having an underground party down here,’ which is slightly questionable in theory but really fun once you get down there. It’s from the team who run Bunga Bunga, a (highly) tongue-in-cheek Italian restaurant and bar in Battersea, Maggie’s, the 1980s themed club in Chelsea, and the Mr Fogg’s Victoriana themed cocktail bars. If there’s a thread running through all of this, it’s dedication to a theme. These are high-concept venues, and that was definitely the case with Cahoots. You …

Cocktail Matching: Impressionists and a Water Lily Cocktail

Increasingly I find myself wanting to make cocktails to go with the things I enjoy doing. Currently I’m longing for spring, squinting up at trees to see if there are any leaves sprouting and peering at crocuses in the grass. In lieu of spring itself (it’s still COLD in London), I went to see the Royal Academy’s gorgeous ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ exhibition. It’s such a beautiful collection of paintings, from Monet’s huge, mournful late waterlily works, to some bright, vivid Expressionist ‘Avant-Gardens.’ There was no photography allowed inside, but here are some images of some of my favourite paintings to try and sum the experience up. If I could live inside any exhibition, I think it would be this one – it was such a riot of colour, bursting with flowers and sunshine, yet it was serene and gentle at the same time. I enjoyed this exhibition so much, and I wanted to make a cocktail that was colourful, fresh, and floral to go with it. Enter the very conveniently named Water Lily (thank you Saveur apparently an …