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

Five winter warmers

Jerry Thomas fixing a Blue Blazer

Jerry Thomas fixing a Blue Blazer

‘Tis the season to be merry, fa la la and all that. Just why any one season deserves that accolade over another I couldn’t say but winter certainly is the one to be warm and merry. That’s why I’m sharing my top five hot drinks recipes, to help keep you insulated over the bank holiday. Continue reading

A drop of Christmas spirit

Paolo makes a Blue Blazer at the Hide

Paolo makes a Blue Blazer at the Hide

The week leading to Christmas has finally arrived which naturally means a lot of going out and, umm, ‘socialising’. Unfortunately the blizzard threatened by the Met office has also arrived, meaning most of us would rather stay home with a vat of mulled wine. Lucky then, that many bars in London have created warming Christmas drinks to help the more hardy reveller beat the chill – here’s my pick of the best: 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

Champagne: a drink for all seasons

Elderflower champagne cocktail

Elder flower champagne cocktail

As the festive season careers towards us, I thought it a good time to post some recipes for champagne cocktails. The Classic Champagne cocktail (brandy,  sugar cube, Angostura bitters, champagne) is a great favourite of mine as its easy to make with a rich aromatic flavour – great in the winter. Apparently we Brits drink so many of these at this time of year, that we were a major factor in the Great Angostura Drought last January – basically we snaffled the last of the supplies just in time for Christmas…. Continue reading

Come to the LCS Christmas Party!

Would you look at this now?  Here I am,  hijacking my own website….  But there’s a good reason as the party below (which I’m helping to organise) promises to be pretty awesome.  RSVP is essential so go to the society website to register interest:  

Christmas party invite

Christmas party invite

Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of (plum)rum

The apothecary shelf

The apothecary shelf

Each Autumn,  I dust down my kilner jars, get foraging  and lay down a range of liqueurs that will be ready in time to swell the yuletide entertainments. This year my timing was a little off and it was only in the last couple of weeks I got round to this.

However,  it seems luck is with me as  a number of these are still going to be ready for Christmas – hurrah.  Even the sloe gin – it appears forgetting the sloes you put in the freezer ‘overnight’ for a month turns them a bit mushy, thus accelerating the infusion process.  Error, as well as necessity, is the mother of invention. Continue reading