Premium Bonds

Bonds bar

Bonds bar

As a drinks blogger I rarely get invited to visit restaurants, so when Bonds asked me along to a bloggers dinner last month, I accepted with alacrity. As if the promise of fine dining wasn’t enough, the invite also offered inventive cocktails…sold.

I mentioned in my acceptance that I’m interested in food and cocktail pairing and that’s when things got even more exciting. Inspired by this casual comment, Bonds new bar manager, Brian Calleja (formerly of L’Atelier de Joel Rebouchon), constructed a cocktail menu just for little ol’ me.  That’s quite a challenge when you think about it, as the drinks needed to work with each course regardless of what I ordered but Brian definitely rose to the occasion. Continue reading

Advertisements

Inamo St James

The bar at Inamo

The bar at Inamo

So far, I’ve spent most of my year lurking happily in London’s proliferation of Prohibition-style bars, so it was nigh upon surreal to step into the glowing, neon landscape that is Inamo St James. I use the word landscape advisedly, as with brightly lit clumps of bamboo and a garden growing up the back wall there is a pronounced outdoorsy feel to the design.

This is the second branch of the oriental fusion restaurant and although the menu is more or less the same as the original in Wardour Street, it differs considerably in decor. The main change is that the bar area seems very much part of the restaurant and unless you can bagsy a bar stool, its seating hardly encourages a prolonged stay (see photo above). Continue reading

Five good bars to drink Martinis

A Martini at the Seven Stars pub

A Martini at the Seven Stars pub

Initially I was going to write a post on London’s  five best Martinis  but realised that was somewhat superfluous. It’s been common knowledge for decades that London’s best Martini’s are to be found at old school hotels and bars (such as Rules, Dukes, the Connaught, the Dorchester et al) originally catering for thirsty Americans – as any listings site will tell you. There’s not  much change from a twenty pound note at such joints, but you will get impeccable service and a fine drink made exactly to your taste.

However, if you fancy a night out that doesn’t need a second mortgage, you might like to check out the list below. These bars may not serve the absolute best Martinis in London but they all have something to offer besides leaving change for your bus fare home. Continue reading

Viva Viajante

Viajante's bar

Viajante's bar

As  Julie Andrews memorably once said, ‘ When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window’.   I discovered the truth of this during the last Tube strike. Forced to stay within walking distance of home, I had to fall back on local resources to liven up an otherwise dull Monday night.  And that’s when I remembered the close proximity of Viajante to LCG’s humble abode. Continue reading

Aces and Eights

The bar at Aces and Eights

The bar at Aces and Eights

I’ve yet to visit America, so any impressions I have of it are mostly taken from TV and the movies. One thing that’s always fascinated me in this on-screen world, is how different American bars appear from their British counterparts. I’m not talking glamorous ‘Sex in the City’ style bars here, but the type that ‘cops’ go to after a hard days work – rough, rambunctious places where men drink beer of a very low abv and women play pool suggestively. Continue reading

London Cocktail Society at 69 Colebrooke Row

Interior 69 Colebrooke Row

Interior of 69 Colebrooke Row

Ok, this is a post of two halves. The first deals with a new venture I’m involved in. The second with that near legendary gem of a bar, 69 Colebrooke Row.

And we kick off  with the first half. The new venture is the London Cocktail Society which had its inaugural meeting on 8 September.  The society, (well, it’s more of a club really but we couldn’t call it the London Cocktail Club as some darn fools had already nabbed that moniker) is a friendly little group that meets monthly in bars across the capital. Continue reading

Giant Robot

Bar area at Giant Robot

Bar area at Giant Robot

For a long time I gave Giant Robot the go by as the exterior suggested it was more of a restaurant than a bar. Then I was reliably informed that it was a good place for a drink too, so a few months ago I popped in for my first visit.

Seating myself at the bar, I ordered a Brooklyn (Rye Whisky, Amer Picon, Martini Dry, Maraschino) and settled in to make friends with the bar staff. I swung round to admire the tin ceiling and g-plan sofas only to catch the eye of a slightly drunk, slightly crazy chap standing at the bar: Continue reading