Newsletter 10 April 2013

Heatwave foodie ideas, Argentinian festivals, Cake shows, plus the latest foodie news!

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News & Events…


1598 Newsletter 10 April 2013 ‘Cambalache – One Night In Argentina’ @ MC Motors, E8. 18 April

Wines of Argentina will be taking over MC Motors in Dalston to create Cambalache – a totally immersive experience that not only celebrates the wine but also the culture of Argentina.  Not your typical stuffy wine event, visitors can expect tango dancers, music, live graffiti painting and even a ‘music and wine matching’ feature.  Beyond wine, Bar Galante will be on hand to shake up some inspired cocktails, whilst food will include plenty of steaks and other meaty options as well as an ice cream parlour.  Tickets cost £35, which includes all food and drink on the evening.

‘Jambalaya’ @ The Jam Tree Clapham. 16-28 April

Jambalaya is a pop-up concept taking over The Jam Tree that will bring the sights and sounds of New Orleans to the heart of Clapham.  Having travelled throughout New Orleans for inspiration, Chef James Browne’s menu will feature dishes such as Blackened Creole Hanger Steak, Battered Deep dried Catfish tails with slaw & hot sauce, and three versions of the famous Jambalaya rice dish.  With live Dixieland jazz and New Orleans funk DJs, the entertainment at the Jam Tree will provide the perfect soundtrack for the whole fortnight.

‘Brunch Beats’ @ The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, E1. Every Sunday from 12pm

East London isn’t short of parties that start at dusk and end long after dawn has arrived.  So it’s no surprise that The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town – the secret bar at Breakfast Club in Spitalfields – has created a place for those looking after somewhere to wind down after a heavy night.  Alongside their famous all-day menu, clubbers can expect Bloody Marys, cocktail specials, and a DJ spinning a perfectly laid-back soundtrack.


Berwick Street ‘Record Store Day’, W1. 20 April

Berwick Street has been a destination for vinyl record collectors since the 1980s when it became known as ‘The Golden Mile of Vinyl’.  The street’s independent vinyl and record stores are joining forces with local shops and Berwick Street market to create a proper festival feel.  Music lovers can expect exclusive vinyl and CD releases as well as being treated to live bands and DJs performing from 12-7pm.  The pubs and restaurants will also be getting into the spirit, with music quizzes, in-store parties and traders on the market selling delicious fresh food and produce.

1604 Newsletter 10 April 2013  

Aged Mai-Tai’s to Celebrate 50 Years of Trader Vics, W1

Trader Vics, London’s original Tiki rum bar, has clocked-up an impressive 50 years this April.  To celebrate, the bar has launched an aged version of a Mai-Tai cocktail as a tribute to being the original creator of the famous cocktail. The Aged Mai Tai is based on oak barrel-aged rum, combined with Trader Vic’s 60-year old signature Mai Tai syrup.  Garnished with wood fire roasted pineapple, fresh lemon juice and lime, £13.50 is a small price for a genuine taste of history!


Cake International @ ExCel, E16. 12-14 April

If your secret passion for pastry or craze for cake decorating has taken over your life then you can join other Londoners with your affliction at Cake International.  Returning for a second year, the event will have cake lovers drooling with the variety of features on offer, including the latest sugarcraft, cake decorating and baking supplies from over 100 exhibitors.  Visitors can also brush up on their skills with various demonstrations, whilst the ‘icing on the cake’ (pun intended!) will be the attendance of baking legends Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, who will be on hand for question and answer sessions.


New Openings…


Lazybones, EC1

1601 Newsletter 10 April 2013With a menu that includes gourmet dogs, slow meats and spicy wings, and a bar offering hard drinks, cold beers and cocktails, Lazybones brings much of current street food culture under one roof in Farringdon.  Taking visual inspiration from the creatives that fill the nearby offices, the walls run riot with crazy graphics, fly-posted images, stencils and hand-painted pop-culture references, matched with reincarnated furnishings and old silent movie screenings.   Guests at Lazybones can also become virtual DJs from the comfort of their booth or bar-stool, with a jukebox facility controlled from their phone.  Open for lazy lunches, take-away or post-work drinks, guest simply order from the menu at the bar and pick up their food at the open kitchen hatch, for fast service.


214 Bermondsey, SE1

Five hundred years after King Henry VIII introduced a charge to cross London Bridge causing the gin houses to desert the City in favour of the West End, 214 has opened to re-establish the dominance of gin in South London.  Gin connoisseurs will discover a range of around 50 established and boutique gins and those wanting to experiment can even enjoy a mystery flight of three gins to test their tastebuds.  In the quest for the ultimate G&T, the venue has even gone to the trouble of creating its own tonic, whilst cocktails also play a big role, with the classics influencing the list.  Completing the offering is a menu of light bites from renowned Italian restaurant Antico on the ground floor.


Claude’s Kitchen, SW6

1599 Newsletter 10 April 2013 With an impressive CV to his name, including roles at Petersham Nurseries and Club Gascon as well as setting up the award-winning street food company, Green Goat Food, Claude Compton has probably earned the right to name his first restaurant after himself!  Claude’s Kitchen is tucked away upstairs above the well-known champagne bar Amuse Bouche and has opened to provide a quality neighbourhood restaurant for Parson’s Green locals.  The concise and regularly changing menu aims to provide unpretentious dishes using the best of local and seasonal produce, including Megrim sole, shaved sprouts, lambs lettuce, vanilla & mint butter; and for dessert, bitter choc parfait with boozy figs.


Libertine/Reason & Mankind, W1

1602 Newsletter 10 April 2013 Designed to be the ultimate playground for London’s beautiful people, Libertine has opened to provide a modern twist on the traditional West End nightclub.  First stop is Reason & Mankind, Libertine’s molecular cocktail lounge. Open from 5pm, the speakeasy-style den serves up cutting-edge drinks for those seeking a decadent post-work cocktail.  Those who want to make more of a night of it can make their way into the nightclub where glamour is the order of the day.  Custom-made solid oak tables are finished with dripped gold and framed by metallic colour changing upholstery whilst hi-tech lighting and large illuminated discs suspended from the ceiling provide a 21st century twist on the 1970′s mirror ball.


11 Pimlico Road, SW1  1603 Newsletter 10 April 2013

Those familiar with Pimlico stalwart The Ebury will find that the tired gastro-pub concept has been replaced by a brand new all day bar and restaurant venue.  11 Pimlico Road provides locals with a venue to enjoy a menu of freshly cooked and great value food and drinks from morning coffee and breakfast to dinner and a nightcap.  The interior has been given a tastefully modern makeover too, with zinc topped tables, extensive use of wood and marble and comfortable furnishings designed for relaxed eating and drinking.


Street Kitchen, E2

Following the success of their other locations at Broadgate Circle and Battersea, Jun Tanaka and Mark Jankel have come to Shoreditch to serve  restaurant quality, seasonal food from their trademark vintage Airstream for lunch and dinner throughout the week.  Daytime dishes take a lighter approach, including hearty salads of Hot smoked salmon and their best-selling Crispy chicken version.  Visit from 5-8pm and the menu turns decidedly more indulgent, with burgers and wings tempting hungry visitors.

Try This Week…

1606 Newsletter 10 April 2013 Wyfold Vineyard Sparkling Wine, 2009

There are some pretty big stories in the press this week, but without a doubt the most important of all is that we are expecting a heat wave this weekend (19 degrees on Sunday apparently)!   There’s no better way to enjoy a spot of fun in the sun than with a glass of fizz and to keep things quintessentially British, grab a bottle of Wyfold Vineyard Sparkling Wine, 2009.  The wine of a South Oxfordshire-based female winegrower, a judging panel of 14 top wine experts recently placed it in first place in the annual English Wine tasting, beating off 78 other top English Sparkling Wines and three Champagnes along the way.  Made from grapes traditionally used in Champagne (including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), the result is a dry and infinitely quaffable wine with a good balance of sweetness and acidity.  £24.99 from

Gran Luchito

1600 Newsletter 10 April 2013 Those of you planning to get the BBQ out this weekend will probably need a refresh of your condiment and marinade collection.  If that’s the case, a jar of Gran Luchito will provide all the flavour you need.  Created to satisfy a craving for the ultimate in authentic Mexican chilli pastes, Gran Luchito is a smoked chilli ‘salsita’ made in Mexico from rare Oaxacan chillies.  The flavours of the wonderfully crimson, treacly-like paste sauce roll around the mouth – there’s a depth of flavour, an unmistakable smokiness, a hint of agave sweetness, and a note or two of nutty garlic.  And there is of course, the heat from those fabulous smoked chillies.  Ideal as a marinade for meat or fish, it’s also great as dip or to add a big punch of flavour to a bowl of chilli.  £4.99 from

1605 Newsletter 10 April 2013‘Let Me Tell You About Whisky’ by Neil Ridley & Gavin D Smith

If you’ve ever read the CaskStrength blog ( or attended one of their events then you’ll know that these guys are all about bringing a more youthful and accessible approach to the world of whisky.  Well written and easy to follow, it’s no surprise then that this new book is co-authored by Neil Ridley from CaskStrength.  For those who are keen to learn more about whisky without getting bogged down in the old-school snobbery, ‘Let Me Tell You About Whisky’ gives the reader the knowledge and confidence to walk into any decent whisky shop and pick out a bottle or two of something fantastic without selling their life away.  Moreover, it also covers the ‘new world’ of whiskies, with information on brands from America, India and Japan amongst others.  Around £11 from