Down Mexico way

Mexico's #1 selling Mezcal

As a freelancer I don’t get to go on holiday as much as I’d like, so I love it when generous friends and relatives bring me back souvenirs from  abroad – it’s a breath of exotic climes in a gift bag. On the down side, it was always a toss-up whether I’d be given an objet d’art or an objet dire. Continue reading

A higher Plateau

Plateau's bar area

Plateau's bar area

It’s not often I find myself in Canary Wharf but when I do, I relish its relentless modernity. With glittering glass towers and well-dressed denizens, it’s an entire other city to the begrimed and altogether more historic patch of London I call home – a visit always makes me feel as if I’d gone on holiday. Continue reading

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

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

(Un)Happy Valentine’s Day

Cupid in his true guise

Cupid in his true guise

I’d like to make it clear that my dislike of Valentine’s Day does not stem  from my  single status. Absolutely not. No way….Well ok, maybe just a tiny bit. However, I do find the massive volume of  roseate-hued trash in the shops  genuinely offensive. I’ve only just recovered from Christmas and here  I am, plunged into another vortex of consumerism.

To make matters worse, my inbox is stuffed to bursting with bar and restaurant press releases of V-Day themed drinks and menus. I warn you, if I see one more elderflower, passion fruit or rose based champagne cocktail suggestion,  I’ll hurl something. Possibly the contents of my stomach. Continue reading

A week in cocktails

La clandestine being offered at the Candlelight Club

La clandestine being offered at the Candlelight Club

As you might imagine,  the world of the London-based cocktail aficionado includes much lounging around and  leisurely sipping of intoxicating libations. But it also offers many opportunities to find out about the history and future trends of mixed drinks, to taste new brands and generally expand your knowledge on the art of  civilised inebriation.

Last week was rammed with such opportunities from Prohibition-influenced gatherings to seminars on the history of punch. As it was such a good example of what’s on offer, I hereby present my diary from the week: Continue reading