Newsletter 10 July 2013

Whisky Afternoon Tea, Cinematic Dining, Disco Clubbing plus the latest foodie news!

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News & Events…


11 course ceviche dinner @ Gaucho Piccadilly, W1. 11 July

Foodies may point to the recent Peruvian restaurant invasion as the reason for the popularisation of ‘ceviche’, but it was actually Gaucho that brought the South American raw fish dish to the masses way back in 2002.  To celebrate 11 years since they first introduced ceviche on their menu, Gaucho is hosting a special 11 course menu featuring a menu of classic dishes as well as what is apparently the UK’s first ever sweet dessert ceviche.  Tickets are £80. To book, email or click here from more details

Whisky Afternoon Tea with Miss Whisky @ Opium, W1. 21 July

Who needs Earl Grey and English Breakfast, when you can have a bespoke whisky cocktail served in tea cups?  Hosted by the charming Miss Whisky and Glengoyne Whisky at one of our fave bars – Opium in Chinatown – the afternoon of boozy delights is being held to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.  If that doesn’t sound exciting enough, Brazilian jazz songstress Aline Stoffel will be performing her sultry tunes as you sip on weird and wonderful concoctions.  Tickets are just £13 from

Summer Screen @ Cinnamon Kitchen, EC2. 26-27 July

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Indian cinema, Cinnamon Kitchen is rolling out the red carpet this summer and welcoming guests to a weekend of fabulous film screenings and fantastic food. The renowned modern-Indian restaurant has teamed up with Picturehouse Cinemas to convert its terrace into an outdoor screen.  The films being showcased are The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Life of Pi and the experience includes a cocktail reception, canapes and dinner before the movie kicks off.  Tickets are £35.  Booking details at

1668 Newsletter 10 July 2013 Streatham Festival, 11-14 July

Streatham Festival returns for its 12th year with a theme of ‘The Glamour Days’, celebrating the borough’s rich heritage of people, architecture, arts and culture.  Expect a jam packed programme of talent hosted at venues across Streatham by local organisations including live music, Swing dance sessions, theatre, comedy, exhibitions and installations across Streatham. The flagship event of the festival is ‘Streatham UnCommon’, an event takes its audience on a whirlwind journey from the Roaring Twenties to the Thrifty Fifties and even includes daring performances by Wired Aerial Theatre.

Alcoholic Gelato Bar @ Floradita Rum Shack, W1

Perfectly timed for our recent heat wave, Floridita Rum Shack has launched the UK’s first Alcoholic Gelato Bar in an exciting collaboration with award-winning London gelateria Gelupo.   With rum infused in every scoop, the menu is available for those after an evening treat, with flavours including Rum & Raisin, Rum Butterscotch, Cuban Spiced Chocolate Rum, Banana Daiquiri Sorbet, Blood Orange Sorbet and Mojito Sorbet.  Each flavour is further drizzled with a matching rum making this Gelato the ultimate summer indulgence! 


New Openings…


1667 Newsletter 10 July 2013 VOC Grill, N1

Inspired by 17th Century culture, VOC has made a name for itself since opening in 2012 as a serious drinks haven with a clever menu punches and cocktails.  The venue has now added a restaurant to its already impressive offering.  Heading up the kitchen is Damian Wawrzyniak, a little known chef with impressive credentials, including a stint at Noma.  Diners at VOC Grill can expect an innovative menu of dishes with unusual flavour combinations using foraged herbs and plants, including Umami chicken, Halibut grilled over pine and Sous Vide lamb with black garlic mousse.


Disco, W1

Soho will be dancing to a retro beat this summer with the launch of Disco, a new venue inspired by the disco movement from 1970s Manhattan.  Owned by Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling of Bunga Bunga and Bart’s fame, the bar and club provides a celebration of the decades of disco with regular routines from singers and dancers, as well as nightly live performances.  The quirky interior features entire walls of retro televisions beaming out music videos and a nostalgic collection of iconic images of revellers from the disco era.  The drinks menu is similarly bonkers, including sharing drinks served in oversized glitter balls, a bespoke mug modelled on Michael Jackson and a cocktail inspired by Donna Summer!


1666 Newsletter 10 July 2013

The Happenstance, EC4

Drake & Morgan, the group behind City favourites such as The Drift and The Anthologist, has launched its latest supersized restaurant and bar concept with The Happenstance.  Like its stable mates, The Happenstance encompasses a striking bar and an open-plan dining area that makes it ideal for everything from breakfast meetings and leisurely lunches to after-work cocktails and late-night suppers.    The versatile food menu includes imaginatively topped flatbreads, substantial sandwiches, steaks and salads.  The cocktail list is similarly all-encompassing, with an expertly mixed selection of cocktails, including low-calorie versions for those looking after their waistlines!


1662 Newsletter 10 July 2013

Aqua Shard, SE1

It seems like a case of ‘another week, another new restaurant at The Shard’ at the moment, as Europe’s tallest building attempts to create a culinary haven in the sky.  The latest to open is the second London restaurant by the Aqua Restaurant Group.  Open from breakfast through to dinner, Head Chef Anthony Garlando has devised a menu that uses quality British ingredients to create innovative flavour combinations.  Dishes include Golden Beetroot Broth Infused with Orange and Grilled Octopus & Scottish Mackerel with tomato sorbet, pickled shallots & aubergine dressing.  The venue also houses a stunning atrium bar with three-storey high panoramic windows and two distinct cocktail lists – one inspired by gin and another list of tea based concoctions.


Joe’s Southern Kitchen & Bar, WC2

The site that has long been known as Navajo Joe’s has been given a thorough update to bring a taste of the Deep South to Covent Garden. The menu features hearty dishes from areas like Louisiana, North Carolina and Alabama, including ‘Beer Can’ Chicken, Slow Cooked Ribs and Devilled eggs with collard greens, mac ‘n’ cheese & cornbread.  The cocktail list also has a Southern twist, including its own version of the Sazerac and the Julep as well as a generous list of Bourbons, Tequilas and Mezcal.


Try This Week…

1664 Newsletter 10 July 2013 Dodd’s Gin

Developed at a new distillery in Battersea, the latest small batch gin to join London’s burgeoning gin industry is made using organic botanicals including juniper, angelica, fresh lime peel, bay laurel, cardamom, red raspberry leaf and London honey.   Unlike London Dry Gin – which requires all ingredients to be distilled in one go – Dodd’s distils the heartier botanicals in a copper still and the more delicate botanicals in a cold vacuum still.  The two spirits are then married for several weeks before being hand-bottled and labelled.  The result is a definitely worth checking out; expect a sharp lime kick, followed by a touch of spiciness and juniper and a mellow sweet finish.  At 49.9% Abv, there’s great fun to be had in cocktails too.  £36 from spirits specialists and

1663 Newsletter 10 July 2013

Bottlegreen Pink Tonic

Pimp your G&T with a touch of pink this summer with this new tonic from Bottlegreen.  Well known for their delicious range of cordials and sparkling presses, Bottlegreen Pink Tonic blends the contrasting flavours of sweet pomegranate with the bitterness of quinine and classic floral notes of elderflower to create a super-summery mixer for you gin or vodka (if anyone actually still drinks vodka!).  Around £3.00 for a 4-pack from Sainsbury’s.

1665 Newsletter 10 July 2013
Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic

Fever-Tree transformed the world of tonic water when they introduced their fastidiously sourced tonic a few years ago.  Their latest product joins the trend for floral G&T flavours by infusing their renowned tonic water with hand-picked elderflowers from a small Gloucestershire farm.  Offering a light and subtle character, the delicate flavour of the elderflower is perfectly balanced by the soft bitterness of the quinine to create a quintessentially British summertime tipple.  Available from Waitrose nationwide and selected Sainsbury’s at an RRP of £1.69/500ml bottle.