Newsletter 23 May 2012

Cocktail Masterclass, Tequila Special, Music Fest Ticket Comp plus the latest foodie news and openings!

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News & Events…


Diageo World Class Cocktail Masterclass @ Waitrose Canary Wharf, 25th May 7-9pm

The World Class UK 2011 cocktail competition winner – Jamie MacDonald – will be hosting an exhilarating two-hour cocktail masterclass in Waitrose, Canary Wharf this Friday.  Jamie will be showcasing a series of luxury cocktails inspired by the Diageo’s World Class Collection and demonstrating how easy it is to create incredible cocktails at home.  Tickets cost just £7.50, which is great value considering Jamie will be mixing with some truly premium brands including Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray No. Ten gin, Zacapa Rum and Johnny Walker Blue Label whisky.  Tickets can be purchased at the event itself.

Damian Alsop Tea and Masterclasses @ Wyndham Grand London, SW10

1396 Newsletter 23 May 2012Master chocolatier Damian Allsop has teamed up with the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Chelsea Harbour to put together a series of chocolate experiences to coincide with the launch of his new EAT LONDON chocolate range.  Inspired by the new collection of chocolate bars, which take flavours from the city’s different culture hubs (coffee and banana crunch for Brixton, ginger with peanut and soy for China Town), the hotel will offer an afternoon tea featuring exclusive recipes by Allsop including Cockney scones – crumble-topped mini scones with fresh apple jam – and a Brick Lane Mango Lassie Chocolate Pop.  There will also be a special two hour master-class on Saturday 9th June where Damien will demonstrate his unique method of removing the cream and butter and using English spring water in his chocolate.   Afternoon tea is £28/person and masterclass is £40.

The Cube by Electrolux, SE1. 1 June-30 September

1397 Newsletter 23 May 2012Following successful visits to Brussels and Milan, The Cube by Electrolux is coming to the Royal Festival Hall to showcase some of the UK’s finest culinary talent.  The chefs, including Sat Bains, Claude Bosi and Tom Kitchen, will present a unique menu using locally sourced ingredients to complement the incredible setting, as well as giving guests the chance to interact and watch their food being prepared; with space for just 18 people on a single long-table, it’s certainly going to be intimate.  Serving a minimum of five courses, dishes will be accompanied by specially matched wines and unique sound and light concepts, to make the experience one to remember. Priced at £175 per person for lunch and £215 for dinner Monday to Sunday. To book a table and find out more visit

New Openings…


Kona Kai, SW6

1402 Newsletter 23 May 2012Never somewhere to let a trend pass it by, Chelsea has gone all Tiki with the launch of Kona Kai, a new bar where guests are transported to a Polynesian paradise with exotic cocktails and cuisine, summer soundtrack and live entertainment in a vibrant space.  With an oasis style interior, decked out in bamboo and palm trees and staff attired in Hawaiian shirts and dresses, guests will be given the summer holiday feel as soon as they arrive.  In keeping with the theme, Kona Kai’s bar team has created a range of rum based, South Pacific themed cocktails which embrace both the classic and contemporary.  For those who want a taste of the Tropics, the simple food menu includes Hawaiian Grilled Pineapple and New Zealand Green Shell Mussels in Lime Red Curry. With a weekend late license, capacity for 350 guests, and regular live performances and DJ’s, Kona Kai sounds like the ideal place to while away the summer months.

Central & Co Brasserie & Bar, W1

Urban Leisure Group, the team behind London favourites such as Graphic Bar, has been inspired by the growing trend for more informal dining experiences to launch Central & Co. With proud Yorhshireman Mark Beardshall in charge of the kitchen, the ground-floor brasserie will champion great British seasonal produce, so expect some delicious meat and traditional British classics.  Conversely, the wine takes a far more international approach, with bottles available from France to Japan.  Head downstairs to the bar and the focus is on cocktails, although unlike many bars, the use of big brands will be kept to a minimum as they look to use spirits based on flavour rather than reputation.  22 Great Marlborough Street, W1.

Vinoteca Soho, W1

1401 Newsletter 23 May 2012Having created something of a local institution with their original restaurant in Farringdon, the team hope to have the same effect on the Soho-set with the launch of their latest Vinoteca outpost.  Set over two floors in a unique and characterful space, Vinoteca offers a unique wine list alongside a frequently changing menu of modern British and European dishes.  The ground floor opens from noon to 11pm and offers relaxed all day dining, whilst those on the run can even pop in for some wine to takeaway.  Those after a slightly more traditional dining style can head upstairs, where they are open for lunch and dinner, with dishes including Suckling kid terrine with green tomato chutney and Barnsley chop with spring vegetable broth & mint sauce.

Try This Week… Tequila Special!


Some call it the devils juice, others see it more as a party in a bottle.  To be honest, tequila has unfairly been given a bad reputation, pretty much because the only recollection most of us have of the stuff is during a hangover the next morning.  However, grab a decent bottle and just sip it on the rocks with a lime garnish, and one quickly realises that there is more to this traditional Mexican spirit than getting smashed.

1398 Newsletter 23 May 2012

el Jimador Tequila

el Jimador, the number one selling tequila in Mexico, has recently launched in the UK with the hope of transforming our opinions of tequila.  As you’d expect, el Jimador is a ‘real’ tequila, meaning it’s made from 100% agave, with no other sugars added to it, giving a taste that’s far smoother, tastier and balanced than the cheap and nasty ‘mixto’ tequila that most of us are used to.  Available in Blanco (unaged), Reposado (aged 2 months) and Anejo (aged 12 months), it’s the Reposado that represents the pick of the bunch; priced at around £17 from Waitrose, it’s an extremely approachable and delicate drink with a golden hue and balanced cooked agave flavour that gains notes of vanilla and caramel from two months of ageing in white oak casks.

1399 Newsletter 23 May 2012
Ocho Curado Tequila

Following a Eureka! moment by world renowned tequila expert Tom Estes, renowned Tequila producer Ocho has collaborated with him to launch a new style of tequila that has completely revolutionised the traditional Mexican spirit.  Essentially, Ocho takes its unaged and already highly regarded Blanco tequila and infuses it with pieces of the pure cooked agave that the tequila is made from in the first place.  The agave pieces are then filtered out,  resulting in a lightly golden spirit with a deliciously rich, smoky and sweet nose; this also extends into the incredibly smooth taste that manages to provide far more character and body than a traditional tequila, even when compared to aged ‘reposados’ styles.   We can’t imagine any drinks enthusiast not enjoying it, so it represents excellent value at around £20 from drinks specialists such as


1400 Newsletter 23 May 2012Jose Cuervo Platino Tequila

Common perception points to aged darker spirits as being of a better quality than their fairer brethren, and it’s no different in Tequila.  However, Jose Cuervo Platino bucks the trend by creating a truly special unaged ‘silver’ tequila.  Made from 100% 10-12 year old agave, Platino is handcrafted using a unique process reserved for Jose Cuervo’s best spirits called ‘Esencia de Agave’, during which the steam from the agave cooking process is recaptured and, with it, the flavour essences of the plant.  With its rich herbaceous agave notes, slight sweetness and dry finish, Platino is super-smooth yet maintains enough character to stands up against the finest whiskies and cognacs. Each bottle is individually numbered, wax-sealed and presented in a luxury box and is available from drink specialists for around £55.00.


Win Tickets to Festifeel Music Festival and cases of award-winning cocktails with Coppa Cocktails!


1404 Newsletter 23 May 2012Curated by Radio 1 DJ and CoppaFeel! patron Fearne Cotton, Festifeel is Britain’s only music festival created with boobs in mind!  The music festival helps raise vital funds and awareness for Breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! and features a cool line-up of DJ’s, bands and acoustic musicians, including Norman Jay, The View, Newton Faulkner, Kyla  la Grange and Lazy Habits.  The event takes place on 4 June at The Queen of Hoxton, kicking-off at 12pm and finishing in the early hours.  For more information, visit

Tickets are normally £20, but Coppa Cocktails – the award winning range of ready-made cocktails – has teamed up with the charity to giveaway 2 pairs of tickets.  Additionally, 2 runners-up will win a case of Coppa Cocktails each, so they can at least have a party of their own! For your chance to win, simply click through to the following link and enter your details: