Newsletter 24 April 2013

Bank Holiday Events, Cheese & Wine Fest plus the latest openings and foodie news!

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News & Events…


Chowzter World’s Seven Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards, EC2. 28 April

The Chowzter World’s Seven Tastiest Fast Feasts Awards is coming to London to announce the world’s tastiest food items as selected by top food bloggers from over 30 countries.  Hosted by comedian Alexander Armstrong and supported by Coca Cola, the Awards take entries from the Chowzter app, which shares the best fast feasts in over 100 categories from around the world.  The party will also feature some of London’s best street food stalls to feed guests, including Pizza Pilgrims, Big Apple Hot Dog and The Rib Man.  Once the winners have been announced, guests will be able to stay on for complementary drinks and enjoy music from live DJs.  Tickets are £25 from

1614 Newsletter 24 April 2013

Street Feast @ Merchant Yard, E8. 5pm-Midnight every Friday  

In true East London fashion, another unassuming building has been transformed into a food lover’s paradise with the launch of Street Feast at the old Travis Perkins builder’s merchants.  Hungry visitors will have their taste buds catered for on a weekly basis by not only some of London’s best loved traders, but also a special refined street food experience dubbed ‘Stripped Back’ by rising superstar chef, Ben Spalding.  Drinks are served up at an indoor cocktail bar known as The Gin Store, whilst foodie temptations include everything from mac n’ cheese and gyoza to hotdogs and fried chicken.

Cheese & Wine Festival, Southbank. 26-28 April

For the eighth year running Southbank Centre Square will again be filled with the unmistakable pong of cheese and the irresistible smell of fine wines.  Over 30 stalls will be present to show off their dairy delights, including Paxton & Whitfield, The French Comte and La Fromagerie. Wine merchants will include Dvine Wine Ltd, Griffinwell Wines and Vintage Roots.  Visitors will also be able to indulge in cheesy street food and take part in hands-on cookery demonstrations.

1611 Newsletter 24 April 2013
‘A Fete Worse Than Death’ @ The Book Club, EC2. 5 May

Come celebrate spring time in all its glory as The Book Club brings the British village fete to the Shoreditch triangle, complete with bundles of bunting, live bands, Morris dancers and a maypole adorned with brightly coloured ribbons.  There will be plenty of drinks to keep spirits up, including a cider festival.  Food will be taken care of by The Foragers with their menu of home grown and freshly foraged grub, including Venison burgers with hedge garlic mayonnaise and Pastys with freshly foraged pigeon. Tickets are free.

Campo Viejo ‘Streets of Spain’ Festival, Southbank. 3-6 May

1615 Newsletter 24 April 2013

Spanish wine brand Campo Viejo is bringing the life and colours of Spain to London’s Southbank Centre with a four day celebration of modern Spanish food, wine, art and culture.  No expense has been spared as they bring over market stall owners from Barcelona’s world-famous La Boqueria food market to the UK for the first time ever.  The festival will also offer a myriad of authentic Spanish experiences, including wine tastings; street-art demonstrations; Spanish films; and authentic Spanish tapas prepared by La Boqueria chefs.  If you’re still hungry for more, come the evening, the festival will host a restaurant by Michelin starred chef Spanish chef, Angel Pascual.

London’s Brewing @ The Brewhouse, E8. 3-5 May

London’s Brewing is a brand new festival from the London Brewers Alliance (LBA) to celebrate London’s thriving and vibrant brewing scene. The festival will bring together over 40 of the capital’s oldest breweries alongside London’s freshest microbreweries to showcase over 100 beers.  Beyond beer, the event will also include a selection of the best local food producers, whilst a lively atmosphere will be created courtesy of live music by day and DJ’s into the evening.  Tickets start at £5 in advance from


New Openings…


1609 Newsletter 24 April 20135cc @ Exmouth Arms, EC1 and The Well & Bucket, E2

Tucked away within two traditional pubs in London’s East End, the Capital’s newest ‘old bar’ concept has launched with a unique menu of ‘forgotten’ cocktails. Based on custom bespoke mixes that have matured over time, The Forgotten Range consists of individual self-pour vintage perfume bottles that are housed in an original apothecary cabinet. Furthermore, moving away from common bar snacks, 5cc’s unique menu consists solely of a carefully selected range of oysters that come served with unexpected and unusual accompaniments.

The Pearson Room, E14

1613 Newsletter 24 April 2013As if Canary Wharf’s money men didn’t already have it all, we’re even starting to envy their dining options with the recent spate of high profile openings on their doorstep. The latest to vie for their appetites is The Pearson Room on Canada Square, a restaurant and bar named after the former Noble Prize winning Canadian prime minister. Open from breakfast through to dinner, Argentinean Head Chef Vagner Matos has created an eclectic all-day menu with a few nods to his South American roots as well as well as the zeitgeist of street food. Drinks should be some of the best in the area too, with a wine list compiled by sommelier Sunaina Sethi, winner of a Zagat’s ’30 under 30′ award, and a seasonal cocktail menu that has been created in collaboration with Fluid Movement.

The Goat, SW10

Formerly known as a traditional boozer, The Goat in Boots has had more than just a name change to bring it into the modern era. Now simply called The Goat, the team behind Eclipse and Bumpkin has given the three-storey building an extensive refurb to transform it into an informal restaurant, stylish cocktail bar and all day lounge. The menu has also taken a fresh new approach with the focus on New York-Italian dishes, including wood fired pizzas, steaks and lobsters.

1610 Newsletter 24 April 2013
Beagle, E2

Set within three beautifully renovated railway arches next to Hoxton Station, Beagle houses a restaurant, bar, coffee shop and extensive outdoor terrace. One of London’s most exciting young chefs, James Ferguson, delivers seasonal British cooking, with menus changing on a daily basis. Using a traditional wood grill for much of his cooking, dishes include Pig’s head croquette with gribiche and Wild sea bass with samphire. The adjoining bar also follows the same ethos, with a focus on British spirits and seasonal cocktails courtesy of mixologist Myles Davies.

Simmons Bar, N1

In keeping with the trend amongst London’s bars, popular watering hole, Simmons has taken a retro approach to its redesign and relaunch. The mismatched décor now includes disco balls, old school tables complete with pupil’s engravings and bookshelves laden with old English books. There is also entertainment aplenty to be had, with board games, 90′s games consoles (Sega Megadrive anyone?) and iPods docks for customers to play their own tunes. For more of a party experience, head down on the weekend and the bar also hosts a roster of DJ’s till the early hours.

Try This Week…

1607 Newsletter 24 April 2013 The Bitter Truth Thomas Henry ‘Tonic’ Bitters

For any self-respecting gin fans, there are only really two drinks that truly whet the appetite – an ice cold G&T and a bone dry Martini – and choosing between them is akin to choosing between your favourite (former) JLS member.  Now, with the launch of these Tonic Bitters, gin fans can have the best of both worlds.   Containing Sicilian lemon, orange and grapefruit, they combine zesty flavours against a background of juniper, coriander and maze to create a fresh citrusy spiced aromatic nose. Add a few drops to your classic martini and you’ve instantly got an exciting yet familiar new drink.  Moreover, the fresh grassy tones also work beautifully as an extra aromatic component when added to a classic G&T.  An absolute essential for gin fans!  £14.84 from

Element 29 Vodka

1608 Newsletter 24 April 2013 The origins of Vodka are undeniably linked to Eastern Europe and countries like Poland and Russia still lead the way in terms of volume sold.  However, it’s arguably the burgeoning English craft vodka distillery movement that has made the biggest impression on an industry that has increasingly lost its way as a serious spirit for connoisseurs.  The latest to join home-grown movement is Element 29, whose biggest claim is to being the world’s most environmentally friendly spirit.   Essentially, you buy a bottle and take it to Selfridges every time it’s finished for a refill, thus reducing on packaging used.  A bit gimmicky, we agree (beside the fact that you’re journey will probably make up on the carbon footprint saved), but at least it is produced in England from English winter wheat.  More importantly, the liquid itself is top drawer.  Distilled seven times until the grain spirit reaches purity, the vodka goes through a final distillation in a copper pot still (with copper being the 29th element in the periodic table).  The result is smooth spirit with delicate peppery notes and a distinctively strong sugary sweet finish.   £31.99 for the first bottle, then £22.99 for refills from Selfridges.

Onuga Caviar

1612 Newsletter 24 April 2013 I doubt Caviar makes the weekly shop for many of you and it’s probably even a bit of a stretch for special occasions.  Of course, part of the reason the pricey fish roe is sooo expensive is the extremely endangered nature of sturgeon.  However, we can all play Russian billionaire with this new posh caviar alternative from Onuga.  Not only is it good for your bank balance but Onuga also comes with some very green credentials as it is made from a combination of herring flesh and a special variety of seaweed.  We’re no caviar connoissuers, but we’re pretty sure that it tastes as good as the real thing, and with a number of top chefs using it in their culinary creations, even the professionals agree.  Widely available for around £4 and with warmer weather around the corner, Onuga is ideal for adding an indulgent touch to your summer canapés.