Category Archives: Grub
Restaurants, cafes, takeaways.
For a list of all MOAMG’s reviews, visit https://memoirsofametrogirl.com/london-restaurant-reviews-bars-listings/
When I first heard about Scottish game restaurant Mac & Wild, I initially dismissed the cuisine as not for me. As a pescatarian, the likes of haggis and venison are off-limits to me. However, after hearing good buzz about it and realising they have menu options for me, I decided to give it a try. A freezing night in February seemed the perfect time for some Scottish fare, with my carnivore boyfriend on hand to sample the meatier options.
Mac & Wild initially started out as a street food stall, bringing Scottish culinary exports to Londoners, before opening a pop-up, and today has two permanent restaurants in the West End and City. The menu prides itself on offering seasonal Scottish produce sourced from hand-picked suppliers in the Highlands. If you’re expecting a Scottish theme restaurant, you’ll be disappointed as there are no ginger wigs or tartan costumes in sight. The Fitzrovia branch has gone for a modern, rustic-inspired look with handmade tables made from old trees, brown leather cushions and black and white landscape photographs of the Highlands. As we sat down to our table, my immediate thought was how cosy and warm it was. A posey of Scottish thistles in an Iru Bru can masquerading as a vase was a quirky touch which made us chuckle.
Having noticed the iconic orange can on our table, I knew I had to try to the Irn Bru Daiquiri as my apéritif when I saw the cocktail menu. Admittedly I had forgotten what Irn Bru tasted like as it had been decades since I last drank it. While I approached the drink with scepticism, I was pleasantly surprised and it went down a treat. Served in a martini glass, it consisted of Ron Matuselum Platino Rum, Irn Bru reduction, Angostora Bitters and Lime – a sweet concoction. Meanwhile, my companion opted for The Forager, billed as a Wild Old Fashioned, made with Glenkinchie 12yo, foraged pine needle tincture, double infused heather honey and finished with barrel-aged bitters, which he said was an interesting twist on his favourite cocktail.
When it came to starters, we both chose fishy ones. As I was anticipating a three-course meal, I decided on a lighter starter – Inverawe Smoked Salmon served with sourdough, whipped butter and lemon. The salmon was so fresh and rich in flavour and served with the bread, it didn’t linger long on my plate. Meanwhile, my boyfriend had my second choice, the brilliantly named Cullen Skink. To the uninitiated, it’s a classic Scottish soup made with smoked haddock, potato, onion, chives and dill. He praised the flavour and it’s suitability for a cold winter night. I tried a sip and thought it was delicious – definitely one to order on a return visit. Read the rest of this entry
If you’re gagging for festival season already, why not get warmed up for the summer at Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s 4th birthday party. The canalside venue in Hackney Wick is opening its doors for a four-day party. From 1-4 March, Number 90 will be hosting live music, DJs, interactive entertainment, and of course, its signature yummy food and drink offerings. Every day will have a different theme, offering a wide variety of activities and entertainment.
The festivities will commence on Thursday with an evening inspired by World Music Day. Guests will be entertained with a variety of different genres, from jazzy, funk and soul driven band, The Haggis Horns; to alt pop band, Toytown Hustle; to multinational gypsy folk group Dila V & The Oddbeats, among others. Meanwhile, fashion lovers will enjoy the vintage clothing stall, while budding artists can check out live painting sessions with Number Gallery artists, who will be creating murals throughout the weekend.
Friday evening will be celebrating womankind with Womb 2: Women Of Music Business led by Capital Xtra’s Coco Cole, festival mainstays My Bad Sister, local DJ duo Four Tit, rising star Loraine James, Aziza and SISU Crew. The event will celebrate women in music, art, fashion and business bringing together some of the most talented females from the dance and music industry. Expect female-focused film screenings, talks, DJ workshops and more.
The arrival of the weekend will see DJ legend Norman Jay headlining a block party, as Number 90 host a day bash on their canalside terrace on Saturday. Jay will be putting on two special performances, bringing his famous ‘Good Times’ to the party bus, before moving the revelry indoors until the early hours. As well as the dancing to the best tunes, revellers can win prizes in giant Piñatas, try to outwit a magician or sample the extensive cocktail menu. Joining Norman on the decks will be Backtobasics resident, Tristan da Cunha and Ron Basejam of Crazy P.
Finally, the four-day party will come to a chilled closing on Sunday with a range of live musical performances from The Pop-Up Choir, a live electronic set from This Is A Recording and an open jam session from neo soul band Re.Wind. Throughout the weekend, customers can also order delicious food and drink from the new summer menu.
- Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s 4th Birthday party takes place on 1 – 4 March 2018. Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, 90 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. Open Thu and Sun 12pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am. Free entry. For more information, visit Number 90’s website.
For the latest what’s on guide in London, click here.
On an average gloomy winter’s night in London, you’re a world away from the fresh air and atmosphere of bonnie Scotland. However, this month, Mac & Wild are offering Londoners the opportunity to take a trip to the Highlands without leaving the capital. Throughout February, the Scottish restaurant are giving customers the chance for a Free Taster Experience.
Taking place at their City outpost’s Hunting Lodge in Devonshire Square, diners can choose to take part in a range of interactive and immersive taster masterclasses, involving Haggis-making, venison butchery, gin and whisky. Mac & Wild’s founder Andy Waugh will be hosting Haggis Making Masterclasses and Butchery sessions so you can learn how to pluck and prepare a pheasant or haunch of venison. Or if you fancy a tipple, you can sign up to a gin or whisky taster masterclass, or even a virtual reality whisky experience to the remote Scottish village of Jura. Guests can sample three different names of gin or whisky, while the latter masterclass, drinkers will have the chance to don virtual reality headsets.
The experiences include;
- Haggis-Making Taster Masterclass – Tuesdays @ 6pm and 8pm
- Butchery Taster Experience – Wednesdays @ 6pm and 8pm
- Gin Taster Masterclass – Thursdays @ 6pm and 8pm, Saturdays @ 1pm
- Virtual Reality Jura Whisky Experience – Fridays @ 6pm and 8pm, Saturday @ 3pm
All of the Mac & Wild Taster Experiences are available to dining customers. You must book a table at the restaurant to reserve a free space on the experiences. Each experience lasts one hour.
- Mac & Wild City, 9A Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M 4YN. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For booking and more information, visit the Mac & Wild website.
For a guide to what else is on in February, click here.
You don’t have to be Scottish to celebrate Burns’ Night, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. January 25 is an annual festivity to mark the birthday of Scottish poet Robert ‘Robbie’ Burns, who died in 1796. Traditionally, a meal of soup, haggis, tatties, neeps and lots of whisky is served to celebrate his life and poetry. With a host of Scots living in the capital, there are tons of Burns’ Night celebrations on around town.
- Burns’ Dinner and Music @ Boisdale (22 – 27 January)
Scottish restaurant chain Boisdale will be hosting a series of Burns evenings, featuring special three or four-course meals, with live music in some venues (each branch’s menu choice and price differs). Menus from £35.
– Boisdale – Four branches in Canary Wharf, Belgravia, Bishopsgate and Mayfair. For more information, visit the Boisdale website.
- Burns events @ Barworks (various venues) (22 – 27 January)
Barworks will be running special Burns events at a selection of their bars and restaurants across the capital. Haggis and Neeps & Tatties will be on offer, as well as a dram of R&B Distillery’s Raasay While We Wait. Meanwhile, Harrild & Sons in Farringdon will be hosting a three-course traditional supper on actual Burns’ Night, coupled with Scottish cocktails which includes the Grain & Ginger a of R&B Distillers’ Borders Single Grain Scotch Whisky with fiery Ginger Ale. From 7.30pm. Dinner: £45 pp including whiskies.
– Venues taking part included the Slaughtered Lamb, Exmouth Arms, Well & Bucket, Harrild & Sons and Singer Tavern. For more information, visit the Barworks website.
- Week Of Burns @ Mac & Wild (22 – 28 January)
Scottish eaterie Mac & Wild will be celebrating with a whole week of Burns inspired menu and events. Including Whisky and Beer Pairing, Haggis Making Masterclass, Whisky Tour Tasting Experience, Whisky and Chocolate Pairing Masterclass and traditional Burns’ Night menu. Throughout the week, customers can order Mac & Wild Haggis, Neeps & Tatties Burgers and Rabbie’s Drams whisky flights.
– Mac & Wild Fitzrovia: 65 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PS (Nearest station: Oxford Circus) or Mac & Wild City: 9A Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M 4YN (Nearest station: Liverpool Street). For booking and more information, visit the Mac & Wild website.
- Whisky 101 @ The Gallery (25 January)
The Gallery bar has created a special Robbie Burns drinks menu featuring their favourite whiskies and beers, including Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve and beer and whisky pairings including Chivas 12 with 6° North Four Saisons. Open 12pm-12.30am. Free entry.
Christmas is that time of year to ditch the diet and indulge your sweet tooth. This festive season, chocolate lovers will be in for a treat with a new pop-up experience from Ferrero Rocher.
Following their successful dessert experience last Christmas, the Italian chocolatier is bringing a taste exploration to Westfield London. Launching on 1 December, the Ferrero Rocher: Behind the Layers will take guests on a multi-sensory tasting experience. Participants will sample delicious mini-desserts inspired by the five layers of Ferrero Rocher. The different flavours will be enriched by powerful light projections, music and motion.
Guests will start their journey in the golden bar and lounge, where they discover a drink menu created by the mixologists from Liquid Chefs. Next, they will take their seats to progress to the multi-sensory dessert experience. Visitors will watch their mini-desserts being hand-made in the spectacular setting. Chef Paul Hannagen has devised the special dessert menu, each creation inspired by the layers of a Ferrero Rocher – hazelnut, chocolate wafer and gold.
Following their experience, guests will be able to visit the on-site shop to buy Ferrero Rocher, which can be accompanied by personalised calligraphy labels for your loved ones. The bar will also be open to all those who haven’t been able to get tickets to the main event.
- Ferrero Rocher: Behind The Layers takes place on 1-17 December 2017. At Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7GF. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush, Shepherd’s Bush Market or Wood Lane. Open 1pm-10.30pm (last experience 9.30pm). Tickets: £25 (45 minute experience, includes a glass of Prosecco or non-alcoholic beverage). For more information and booking, visit BehindTheLayers.co.uk.
For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.
Snow bunnies living in London usually find themselves disappointed when it comes to the capital’s rare offering of the white stuff. However, if you’re looking for a bit of alpine-style fun but can’t be bothered getting an Easyjet flight to Tignes, there’s an alternative solution right here.
Following its successful launch last year, Vauxhall Winter Village is back in London for a six-week run over the festive period. Launching on 16 November, the seasonal pop-up offers après-ski style food, drink and entertainment. Expect twinkling lights, decorations, drinking and dining in an undercover, heated, cosy environment.
Located just moments from Vauxhall station, the pop-up alpine ski village features plenty to keep you amused, including the chance to get Instagramming in Retro Ski Wear at the Cable Car Photo Booth. You can host a Christmas social gathering for your friends by renting one of the bookable heated alpine cabin booths, themed after some of the world’s top ski resorts, such as St. Moritz, Klosters, Aspen, and Davos.
There’s plenty of foodie options to keep your hunger at bay at the street food stalls, including Jamakin Me Crazy Caribbean cuisine, Hola Guacamole Mexican treats, Country Kitchen’s British grub, City Burgers and Ye Olde Fish And Chips. Meanwhile, there will be plenty of opportunities to drink, with festive cocktails, mulled wine and your favourite tipples.
- Vauxhall Winter Village is open from 16 November – 22 December 2017 on Monday to Fridays only (and selected weekends) from 11.30am-10pm. Free entry. Vauxhall Winter Village, South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall, SW8 1SP. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Vauxhall Winter Village website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.
When it comes to Christmas, it can often feel like children get the most excitement out of the festive season. However, in the run-up to Yuletide, a festive pop-up is giving us grown-ups the chance for some seasonal fun.
Launching near Borough Market on 15 November for six weeks is Christmess, an opportunity to visit a naughty and anarchistic world featuring St Nicky and his pals. An old Victorian warehouse is being transformed for a new instalment from supper club supremos Slap Ya Papa and artistic collective Marbles & Ware. Guests can check out Mama Claus’ hidden parlour-come-blues room, and a Santa’s Whiskey Grotto. Expect plenty of entertainment with live music, Santa’s little helpers and plenty of Christmas sparkle. Be sure not to miss the Green Fairy granting wishes in the hidden absinthe bar.
Finally, revellers will head to the dining room for a 12 dish lunch or dinner, featuring the likes of Cajun roasted turkey and candied yams. Table etiquette will go out the window with diners encouraged to drink a lot and dance on the tables.
Meanwhile, during the day downstairs will be workshops so you can make your own Christmas presents or decoration, such as floral wreath weaving, beeswax candle making, writing workshops, yoga and life drawing.
- Christmess @ The Imaginarium, Hunter Penrose, 32 Southwark Street, London Bridge, SE1 1TU. Nearest station: London Bridge. Tickets from £55 (dinner). For more information and booking, visit the Christmess website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.
Arriving for Beauty and the Feast at The Vaults underneath Waterloo station, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. The show had been billed as a pantomime and dinner experience, which gave a hint of things to come. I’ve been to The Vaults quite a few times and love the venue for its versatility. We entered from the Leake Street tunnel entrance and the fairy tale vibe started immediately as we walked through the ‘magic mirror’ to the bar area. The bar was like a theatre set, with a melange of vintage furniture, old theatre seating, a disco ball, neon signs and drapes. We were one of the early arrivals so grabbed a suitably fantastically named cocktail to set the tone for the evening. As the bar got busier, a few characters mingled with the audience, breaking the ‘fourth wall’ as we enjoyed a chat with Fairy Liquid, the compere of the evening.
With everyone suitably loosened up with a couple of drinks, Fairy Liquid set up the evening’s agenda, with the panto itself loosely based on Beauty And The Beast. It isn’t long before the ‘Beauty’, aka Belle, arrives, in full Georgian drag splendour. Moving on to the dining room, the set design is amazing and really transports us to an 18th century French château with drapes and chandeliers. It’s a buffet, supper club setting so be prepared to make new acquaintances over your meal. The feast itself is very fairy tale like, featuring roast pumpkins, cauliflower cheese, plump sausages and blue cheesecake, followed by a ginger jelly and coconut ice cream dessert served in a tea cups [no chipped china ;-)] with mushroom-shaped meringues.
In between courses, we were treated to interludes of performance, with Belle and the Beast avoiding each other like the plague to the chagrin of Fairy Liquid, who is intent on getting them together with the encouragement of the audience. The climax of the feast gives us the happy ending we expect with the night getting suitably raucous with pop anthems, dancing on the table and some striptease. By this point, the audience were suitably tipsy and had really embraced the camp and spectacle of the event. With the cheesy soundtrack and constant flow of alcohol, it’s no surprise the evening ends on rather higher spirits than you would expect from a typical theatre experience. If you like immersive experiences with a high dose of booze, music and fabulousness, then check out Beauty and the Feast while it’s still on.
- Beauty And The Feast is on from 6 October 2017 – 4 January 2018 at The Vaults (entrance via Leake Street tunnel), Launcelot Street, Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. Shows run from Tues-Sun. Door open 6.30pm, Show starts 7.30pm. Age 16+. Tickets start from £35 (includes dinner, dessert and DJs). For booking, visit The Vaults website.
For the latest what’s on in London guide, click here.
If you didn’t get the chance to enjoy some Oktoberfest action, don’t despair! Coming to London this weekend (14-15 October), is the first beer festival from Heist Bank.
The Paddington bar will be hosting a celebration of some of the UK’s best breweries, including Fourpure, Beavertown, Thornbridge and Wild Beer Co. There will also be some international offerings, including Copenhagenn’s To Øl, Norwegian Lervig, and New Zealand’s Yeastie Boys and 8 Wired. Over 30 breweries will be serving special, seasonal and collaborative brews from the keg and the cask.
As well as plenty of drinking of opportunities, guests can take part in the beer workshops from the festival headliners. When you’re feeling peckish, you can order homemade sourdough pizzas from the wood-fired pizza oven, with inventive toppings such as smoked lardo, Birchden farm asparagus and burnt shallots. There will also be live music and DJs providing you with a drinking soundtrack throughout the day and evening.
- The Heist Bank Beer Festival is on 14-15 October 2017. Open 12pm-11pm (two sessions per day). Heist Bank, 5 North Wharf Road, Paddington, W2 1LA. Nearest station: Paddington or Edgware Road. Tickets: £15 (inc 5 hour session, 2 beer tokens and 1 food token). For more information, visit the Heist Bank website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in October, click here.
October marks the return of The Chocolate Show to London – a three-day extravaganza celebrating the mighty cocoa bean and all it creates. The festival at Kensington Olympia will feature plenty of opportunities for eating, buying and learning about one of our favourite sweet treats.
The Chocolate Show will feature workshops, stalls, celebrity chef demonstrations, tastings, sculptures, pop-up chocolate restaurant and a chocolate bar. Some of the UK and the world’s finest chocolatiers and pastry makers are taking part, including John Whaite, Nadiya Hussain, Donald Wressell, Paul A. Young, Cherish Finden and Erik Houlihan-Jong.
This year, Memoirs Of A Metro Girl has teamed up with The Chocolate Show for a competition to win a pair of tickets to the 2017 festival. Firstly, check out Metro Girl’s Twitter for the competition tweet. To enter, retweet the competition tweet and follow both @memoirsofametro and @chocolateshow. The competition closes at 11.59pm on Tuesday 10 October 2017 – (This competition is now closed – editor’s note 11 Oct). The winner should be available to use the tickets between 13 – 15 October in London. Only the winners will be contacted.
— MemoirsOfA MetroGirl (@MemoirsOfAMetro) October 8, 2017
- The Chocolate Show is on from 13 – 15 October 2017. Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £8, Students/OAPs £10. Olympia National Hall, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. To find out more, visit the Chocolate Show website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in October, click here.