Love wine? Fancy knowing more about it? Well one of London’s best independent wine merchants are creating exclusive evenings so you can get more intimate with the mighty grape. Every month, Humble Grape will be hosting a bespoke wine dinner in the private dining rooms of their Battersea and Fleet Street bars. Guests will have the chance to sample their many artisan wines and find out the stories behind them.
Humble Grape will kick off the series of dinners at the end of August by exploring the Chilean Millaman wines from the Andes Mountains. In September, they will travel east to South Africa as specialist winemaker Francois Haasbroek, of Blackwater Wines from Cape Town pays a visit. Then things get more adventurous in October with the Blind Challenge event which will give guests an opportunity to sample unknown and otherwise unavailable wines.
On 30th and 31st August, the Golden Ticket wine winner will feature seven newly imported Chilean wines from Millaman family vineyards. The wines include a Sauvignon Blanc aperitif, full-bodied Chardonnays, a Pinor Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and their Limited Reserve 2014 Malbec, among others. Accompanying the drinks will be sharing platters of charcuterie, cheese and vegetables.
A week later on 6th and 8th September, artisanal wine producer, Francois Haasbroek will be taking guests on a journey from grape to glass. His top five artisanal wines from the Cape Region will be sampled alongside a bespoke four-course meal with a South African twist.
Finally, on 25th and 26th October, the Blind Wine Tasting will test your senses to new heights. Explore a range of flavours and scents as hidden bottles are served. Guests will be guided thorough eight unique wines, including from the Blanc blend to Pinot Noir, in a multi-sensory trail. Accompanying the wine exploration will be a delicious four-course meal.
- Humble Grape is located at 2 Battersea Rise, Battersea, SW11 1ED (Nearest station: Clapham Junction) and 1 St. Bride’s Passage, City of London, EC4Y 8EJ (Nearest station: City Thameslink or Blackfriars). Tickets from the Wine Dinners range from £50-£100pp. For more information, visit the Humble Grape website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in September, click here.
You may not be able to go to Brazil this summer for the Olympics, but why not enjoy a taste of Rio in London? This August, Battersea beach shack bar Cocobananas will be transformed into an exclusive Olympic-themed pop-up with food, drinks, entertainment and sports screenings. Situated upstairs from pizzeria, bar and karaoke venue Bunga Bunga, the pop-up will feature a Caipirinha bar, a dedicated Olympic-themed cocktail menu, POPS frozen Bellinis, a Brazilian-inspired food menu and Samba dancers.
With Brazil a few hours behind BST, Cocobananas will get the party started early with an official Olympics opening ceremony party on Friday 5 August. The bar will be decked out in Brazilian flags, palm trees, banana leaves, beach balls, exotic flowers and colourful lounge chairs. There will be a medal table on the wall keeping count of how many Gold, Silver and Bronze titles Team Brazil are picking up. Meanwhile, whenever Brazil win, the national flag will be flown while guests will have blue, green and yellow confetti cannons to fire off. There’ll also be the opportunity to showcase your vocals to karaoke in the L’Osservatorio, while DJs will be at the decks on Friday and Saturday nights.
Meanwhile, the Closing Ceremony party on Sunday 21 August will feature a Brazilian-inspired Supper Club by ‘The Latina Cook’ Natalie Salmon and Bunga Bunga’s head chef, Alexis de Naray. The menu will feature colourful and exuberant dishes, starting off with Brazilian pastels, filled with ground meat, mozzarella, heart of palm and chicken; Coxinha (crispy chicken balls) and grilled Chicken Heart skewers, marinated in fresh herbs. The mains will include a choice of Brazil’s national dish, Feijoada, a stew made with beans, beef and pork; Vegetarian Brazilian pizza with the chance to choose your own toppings and Seabass Ceviche. And finally, for dessert, will be Brigaderios (truffle delight); Acai Bowls with tropical fresh fruit and homemade Avocado Ice Cream Gondolas.
- Cocobananas, 101 Howie Street, Battersea, SW11 3BA. Nearest stations: Clapham Junction, Queenstown Road Battersea or Battersea Park. For more information visit the Cocobananas website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in August, click here.
To find out where to watch the Olympics on the open-air big screens this summer, click here.
Battersea Power Station has come to symbolise many things over the decades – industry, dereliction, Pink Floyd. Since it was decommissioned in 1983, Londoners have witnessed the iconic 1930s landmark lie ruined and neglected over the past 29 years – with the decline of the building sped up following the removal of the roof in the late ’80s (thanks Margaret Thatcher, for approving THAT decision!). It’s no surprise the Power Station has been on English Heritage’s At Risk register for a while.
Growing up in south London, I regularly passed the Power Station on the train or in the car as I made my way back and forth over the River Thames. Throughout my life there has been various plans – and long periods of inactivity – of what to do to the former station and its huge 39 acre site. In terms of the capital, the Power Station’s land overlooking the river is a prime spot of real estate and I think it’s a crime it has been left to rack and ruin for so long. Years of neglect mean the Malaysian consortium who bought the land this year will sadly have to knock down the Grade-II listed chimneys and replace them with replicas.
Of course, the main obstacle of turning this huge space into something usable has been the cost. The Power Station has been owned by various companies over the years and at one point in the ’80s was going to be transformed into a theme park, a prospect which excited me greatly as a child at the time, but in hindsight I’m grateful it didn’t happen. So following the purchase of the estate earlier this year and a £400million plan to transform the building and surrounding area into housing, offices and commercial areas, I’m keeping my fingers crossed this plan actually reaches fruition. Preparatory work has already begun on what is the largest brick building in Europe, with the builders moving in next year to start the 800 residential units, with phase one of the project estimated for completion in 2016.
Although Battersea is one of our favourite landmarks now, when it was being built from 1929 onwards, many complained it would be an eyesore. Londoners moaned it would spew out pollution into the nearby areas and there were even fears it could damage the paintings at the Tate Britain gallery a short distance down the river. In an attempt to appease concerns, acclaimed architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) was hired to design the Power Station. Scott, grandson of St Pancras architect Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878), was famous for designing the red telephone box, the Tate Modern building and Liverpool Cathedral. Construction of the A station started in 1929 and opened in 1933, with the creation of B station beginning shortly after the end of World War II and gradually coming into operation between 1953 and 1955. Once B station was up and running, Battersea had a generating capacity of 509 megawatts and was the third largest generating site in the UK and was the most thermally efficient power station in the world when it opened. Although Italian marble and Art Deco features were used in A’s turbine hall, Britain was too poor after World War II to afford the same lavish interiors for B.
Over time, the equipment became outdated. A Station was closed in March 1975, followed by B Station in October 1983. Following closure, there was talk of demolishing the Power Station, but it had been Grade II listed in 1980 ensuring its survival.
A few years ago, when Battersea was still owned by previous owners, Irish developers Real Estate Holdings, I was lucky enough to get the chance to visit the Power Station up close and see the plans. It was amazing seeing inside a building I knew so well from the outside – the Art Deco tile work, the ghostly wall markings of wrought-iron stairwells long since destroyed and the decorative wall in the old staff canteen. So here’s some of my photos of the striking station before it is transformed into a modern living and working space over the next few years.
- To find out more about the current plans for Battersea’s redevelopment, visit the official website.
For more of Metro Girl’s blog posts on London history, click here.