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The Little Blue Door review: Quirky cocktails and delicious grub hanging with the flatmates

Little Blue Door kitchen © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Grab a table in the cosy kitchen for the legendary supper clubs at The Little Blue Door

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

A Shaun Of The Dead blender cocktail

Last week, I went along to the launch of The Little Blue Door. The opening is a sequel of sorts to The Little Yellow Door, which opened as a pop-up in Notting Hill, but ended up remaining for three years. The concept is a flatshare, where guests can hang out with their pals over cocktails and food and make new friends. Setting up camp in Fulham, this double-fronted property has been transformed from a traditional shop, with a hallway, kitchen, living room, study and even a laundry room, which really gives the venue a homely feel.

Walking down Fulham Road, it would easy to walk straight past TLBD, with no signage except its simple blue door. Entering the venue, you’re in a lovely entrance hall, complete with grandfather clock and a cosy window seat. Straight-ahead is the kitchen – the hub of all house parties. I’ve got to admit I suffered some interior design envy at the kitchen-bar hybrid with its colourful tiles, where you can order frozen cocktails, served in a mini blender. I had a fabulously fruity ‘Shaun of the Dead’ cocktail (Bacardi rum blend, raspberry, cherry and lime). The kitchen features several tables, which will play host to their legendary supper clubs, which were constantly sold out for three years at their predecessor The Little Yellow Door.

Little Blue Door © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

The hallway features a cosy window seat for intimate chats

When you’re ready to party, the main action is in the living room. It’s an expansive space with a long bar, lots of comfy sofas, armchairs and stools, surrounded by the artwork and eccentric decorations of the housemates, including a taxidermy fox. It took my friends and I a while to realise the ‘vase of flowers’ nearby was actually a hidden cocktail full of straws, so we were invited to have a drink of the flower water, which tasted great! During the evening, we sampled some canapes, including lobster, mezze and the absolutely delicious Cam ‘N’ Bert’ (Baked Camembert served with Truffle Honey, Roast Pear and Sugared Almonds).

The domestic theme follows throughout with the hidden study available for private groups, with gaming consoles and safes for regulars to keep some surprises hidden. Meanwhile, one of the big talking points was the Prosecco vending machine in the back hallway. There’s no need to wait at the bar as you can get your own mini bottle of classic or rose Prosecco in seconds from the machine. Overall, it’s a great venue for catching up with friends. The décor managed to be both homely and stylish and really gave a welcoming feel. The cocktails and food were fabulous, so I’m really looking forward to returning for one of their supper clubs or bottomless brunches.

  • The Little Blue Door, 871-873 Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 5HP. Nearest station: Parsons Green. Open: Wed-Thurs: 6pm-12pm, Fri: 6pm-1.30am, Sat: 11.30am-1.30am, Sun: 11.30am-6pm. Tel or Whatsapp: 07538 229 096. Email: Justknock@thelittlebluedoor.co.uk. For more information, visit The Little Blue Door website.
Little Blue Door prosecco © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

If you need an urgent Prosecco fix, head to the vending machine

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Freakscene review: Creative Asian fusion plates and cheeky cocktails at a fabulous Soho addition

Freakscene black cod tacos © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Miso Grilled Black Cod Tacos with Sushi Rice and Scorched Red Chili Salsa at Freakscene

Last week, I ended up dining in Soho’s hottest new opening by accident. A friend and I had been at a launch party so were feeling peckish after canapés failed to satisfy our hunger. Walking down Frith Street, we spotted Freakscene, a pan-Asian fusion restaurant which opened just a month ago. The bar-style seating overlooking the kitchen gave the venue a really buzzy feel and easily pulled us inside. We grabbed two stools and were immediately hit with the amazing scents coming from the Kobata grill. I’ve visited South East Asia quite a lot and the love the hawker open-kitchen style so this really appealed to me.

Freakscene chili crab © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Delicious: Chili Crab and Avocado Wonton ‘Bombs’

Freakscene’s arrival in Soho comes after a hugely successful pop-up in Farringdon from Chef Scott Hallsworth and co-founder Phar Shaweewan. Like many, we were intrigued by the name and Phar told us it was named after a song by 90s grunge band Dinosaur Jr. Hallsworth was previously head chef at Nobu, Park Lane for eight years before finding Kurobuta Izakaya on the King’s Road so really know his stuff when it comes to Asian cuisine. The menu describes Freakscene’s dishes as ‘curious Asian plates’, which I interpreted as pan-Asian fusion tapas.

As you would expect, we started with drinks. As it was a warm night, I was attracted to the Freak Smash (St Germaine, Gin, Grapes, Mint), a light and refreshing cocktail. We also ended our night with the saucily titled Wet Pussy shots (peach schnapps, vodka and a twist of lemon and lime), which was quite nostalgic as we reminisced drinking schnapps a lot as students in the ’90s.

Freakscene chicken © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Chicken-Fried Chicken with Peanut Soy and Picked Cucumber

When it came to the food, the menu is short and manageable, with a selection of around 12 dishes and sides to choose from. As we had eaten a bit already, we went for a small dinner than usual, but enjoyed everything so much, in hindsight probably could have ordered more. Like in a tapas restaurant, the various dishes just arrive as they’re cooked so your meal is stretched out into a relaxed and informal sitting. Our first dish to arrive was the Chili Crab and Avocado Wonton ‘Bombs’. Served in a crispy taco-esque wrap, the ‘bomb’ really packed a punch with a flavour explosion, with the avocado cooling down the heat of the chili. After our first bite, my friend and I actually looked each other and murmured ‘soooo good’ in unison. The crab bomb set the bar high for the remainder of our evening and we were not disappointed. My friend chowed down on the unusual Chicken-Fried Chicken with Peanut Soy and Picked Cucumber, which she thoroughly enjoyed. As a pescatarian, chicken was off-limits, but I was kept occupied by the Foil Baked Garlic Mushrooms with Sake, Soy and Butter, a tasty light side dish. The garlic was evident, but subtle so I wasn’t overpowered by the flavour. We finished with the Miso Grilled Black Cod Tacos with Sushi Rice and Scorched Red Chili Salsa, which was pretty special. As a huge fan of Mexican and Asian cuisine, this creative mix was a perfect combination.

I cannot recommend this place highly and have already been telling numerous friends to go. I am not exaggerating when I declare it was one of the best meals I’ve had in London in a long time. Every single dish was delicious and so different from anything I’ve tasted before. If you’re a fan of more informal dining in more of a bar atmosphere, than Freakscene is definitely for you. This venue is a cool and valuable addition to the Soho dining scene in a time where there’s too many chain restaurants creeping in for my liking. As Arnie says, I’ll be back… and soon!

  • Freakscene, 54 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4SL. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road. Tel: 07561 394 497. Open Tues-Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-10.30pm. For more information, visit the Freakscene website.
Freakscene interior © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Take a seat at the bar for this informal and relaxed dining experience

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Freakscene Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Houses parties, roasts, cocktails and games at The Little Blue Door

© The Little Blue Door

Experimental cocktails and board games at the Little Blue Door

The team behind one of London’s most memorable pop-ups is reuniting. Some of the flatmates from Notting Hill hangout The Little Yellow Door (TLYD) will be moving into together a few miles away on Fulham Road. The Little Blue Door will be opening for a housewarming on 2 May 2018 with their special brand of cocktails, food and fun.

Located in SW6, The Little Blur Door is a versatile, late-night neighbourhood bar and restaurant. The concept is a fictional flatshare, with the housemates welcoming you in for weekly parties and social soirees. Expect the unexpected, such as drinking cocktails out of a cafetière, dancing on tables or sampling an international tapas-style menu. Stepping behind that blue door, the flatmates’ new home will be bigger and brighter than their yellow predecessor. The venue will be decked out like a real home, with mismatched furniture and quirky ornaments and pictures from the flatmates’ world travels.

Throughout the week will be series of events, such as Two’s Company nights for friends and double dates, Thursday singalongs around the piano and the emoji menu, where guests can order food and drink by texting their favourite characters. On Friday and Saturday, the flatmates will be hosting their legendary dinner parties, which sold out for three years straight back at TLYD. Expect an evening of free-flowing fun, food and booze with a host of dinner party games.

© The Little Blue Door

The eclectic menu has been inspired by the flatmates’ recent travels

So foodies, what can you expect behind TLBD? Well, the menu has been inspired by the flatmates’ latest travels, such as Mezze Dishes served with Pea and Dill Falafel and Cranberry; or Carrot and Cumin Slaw and Crudité Platters with Beetroot Hummus, Zhoug and Feta; Garlic Whipped Avocado, Chilli and Coriander and Labaneh; Smoked Aubergine, Cucumber and Shallots. Some old favourites will be back on the menu, including Kami’s Hot Wings (Cayenne Glazed Wings served with a Blue Cheese Dressing and House Pickles) and Cam ‘N’ Bert’ (Baked Camembert served with Truffle Honey, Roast Pear and Sugared Almonds). In honour of the newest flatmate, American hotshot Hunter, there will be some East Coast treats such as Gravalax NYC deli style with Dill Sauce, Cucumber, Black Radish and Nigella Seed Salad, served with bagel crisps, and Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Fondant served with a Reese’s Biscuit. Meanwhile, the hangover-fighting brunches will kick off the weekend mornings, with bottomless food and drinks, an egg station and a BIY (Blend It Yourself) cocktail. On Sunday afternoon, you can head to TLBD for a traditional roast with all the trimmings, while enjoying their ‘Sunday Papers’ program of movies, sport, debates and retro gaming.

When it comes to cocktails, there will be creative concoctions inspired by flatmates’ favourite things. Coffee and Cigarettes is a smooth espresso martini served with a surprise on the side, while Crimes of Passion is a twist on a Pornstar Martini served with a sweet treat. There’s also a private hideaway in the study, with pool table, fancy dress, retro consoles and karaoke for those who ask nicely.

  • The Little Blue Door, 871-873 Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 5HP. Nearest station: Parsons Green. Open: Wed-Thurs: 6pm-12pm, Fri: 6pm-1.30am, Sat: 11.30am-1.30am, Sun: 11.30am-6pm. Tel or Whatsapp: 07538 229 096. Email: Justknock@thelittlebluedoor.co.uk. For more information, visit The Little Blue Door website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in May, click here.

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Food, fun and frolics at the Feast of St George at Borough Market

© Borough Market

Celebrate all things English at Borough Market’s St George’s Day festivities

The capital is a hub for world cultures, but how often do Londoners celebrate home-grown food and traditions? This month, why not head to London’s oldest food market to mark St George’s Day. Taking place a day earlier on Sunday 22 April 2018, Borough Market are hosting a celebration for the Feast of Saint George. Borough Market will be exploring the English and international heritage of St George through an afternoon of food, music, stories and theatre.

Foodies will be spoiled for choice with the market’s traders offering delicious St George’s day food to sample or take home. Choose from the best of English produce, from Colchester oysters and Tamworth pork to Melton Mowbray pies and Cheddar cheese. As St George is also the patron saint of other countries such as Georgia, Ethiopia, Greece, Turkey and Catalonia, expect to see traditional food delicacies from around the world. As St George is the patron saint of butchers and shepherds, chef Luke Mackay and Northfield Farm will be giving free butchery and cooking demonstrations to help you get the most from your meat.

Throughout the day, there will be plenty of family friendly entertainment. Children and adults can enjoy an interactive performance of St George and the Dragon by local theatre group The Lion’s Part. Of course, no St George’s Day celebrations would be complete without maypole dancing. Folk Dance Remixed will be performing a musical merger of traditional steps with hip-hop moves. Visitors will be invited to create ‘wraps ‘n ripples’ and ‘waves ‘n breaks’ around a bespoke 12ft maypole. The Castellers of London will be practising a Catalan tradition of constructing a human tower. Meanwhile, 4-9 year olds can learn about food provenance and the process of farming through games, interactive learning and activities with the National Farmers Union in the Discovery Barn.

As well as the St George’s Day festival, there will also be other foodie events for April’s St George’s Residency in the Borough Market Demo Kitchen. Leonardo Rivera Ruiz, group head chef of Brindisa Kitchens, will be hosting a Catalan cooking demonstration on 12 April. A week later, Alissa Tomoshkina, founder of KinoVino, will be exploring Georgian and Russian cuisine on 19 April.

  • The Feast of St George takes place on 22 April 2018 from 12pm-4pm. At Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, Borough, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.
© Borough Market

There will be plenty of English and international cuisine available to sample or take home

For a guide to what else is on in London in April, click here.

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Afternoon Tea at Sketch Gallery review: A fun and eclectic approach to a traditional favourite

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Quail egg with soldiers and caviar to start

Sketch is a unique London restaurant offering a diverse selection of bars and dining rooms. I first visited Sketch about 10 years ago and enjoyed the tasting menu at the Lecture Room. More recently, my boyfriend surprised me with Afternoon Tea at Sketch’s famous Gallery, of which I’d heard many great things.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Cheers! A glass of Pommery Brut Rose

The Gallery is a modern European gastro-brasserie at the back of Sketch. The dining room is a square windowless room with a domed roof and pinky bronze panelling at the bar. The room is painted in pale pink with matching, plush velvet furniture – a sort of mix between a princess bedroom and a Mad Men 1960s vibe. The walls are covered with drawings by British artist David Shrigley (famous for the recently departed ‘Really Good’ sculpture on the Fourth Plinth). Since my visit, Shrigley’s 239 black and white drawings have been replaced by 91 of his newer pieces so in terms of décor, there has been a slight change.

Admittedly, the Sketch Classic Afternoon Tea is more expensive than others, but in hindsight the overall experience surpasses its cheaper rivals so you can see the difference. The Sketch Classic Afternoon Tea starts at £59pp, with the option to add-on Champagne. As we were celebrating a special occasion, we pushed the boat out and added Pommery Brut Rose. I’m normally one for traditional Champagne or Prosecco, but being in such a pink room, I felt inclined to follow the theme and opt for rose. The bubbly was served in a huge martini-style glass with long stem – which kind of reminded me of the stretched out dimensions in the Shrigley artwork surrounding me. There is a huge selection of tea in the menu and it took a while for us to commit to one type, before I finally decided on an old favourite, Earl Grey. I particularly liked the china, designed by Shrigley and available to buy. The crockery features quirky slogans such as ‘it’s not OK’ on the sugar bowl or ‘forget about it’ at the bottom of the tea cup.  Read the rest of this entry

100 Wardour Street review: Fine European dining in an atmospheric venue

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Crispy baby squid, fennel salad and yuzu dressing

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The Madame (Vodka, lemon juice, apple juice with mint)

The address 100 Wardour Street has long been associated with Soho life – be it as a restaurant, bar or nightclub. I had visited various establishments on the site over the years, including Floridita and Meza for meals and cocktails. However, in 2016. the venue was reborn as 100 Wardour Street, a dining, drink and live music destination.

The 100 is split across two floors – a lounge area on the ground for more casual drinks and all-day dining, while the grand basement space features the huge restaurant and club. After dropping off our coats in the cloakroom, we wound our way down the grand staircase to the atmospheric basement, with low-lighting and designer furniture. The main focus of the room is the stage, which hosts live music throughout the week.

We were shown to a cosy booth, with room for five of us and space to look out across the expansive room. We kicked off proceedings with an apéritif, as I chose a ‘Respect Your Elder’ (Tanqueray Gin, Elderflower Tonic, garnished with lemon and edible flowers). Our party had opted for the set menu, with four options in each course. To start, I had the Crispy Baby Squid, Fennel Salad and Yuzu Dressing. What I liked about it, is that it wasn’t as greasy as regular calamari and had a lighter feel.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Grilled Scottish salmon fillet and warm vegetables a la Grec

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Confit Duck with Braised Escarole, Piquillo Peppers and Olives

The mains available were mostly traditional British-European offerings, such as Roast Pork Belly, Confit Duck and Rigatoni. However, I settled on the Grilled Scottish Salmon Fillet and Warm Vegetables à la Grec. The salmon was cooked well with a crispy skin (if you like that sort of thing). By salmon standards, it was OK, but could have done with more a bit more flavour. Meanwhile, a few of my table opted for the Confit Duck, served with Braised Escarole, Piquillo Peppers and Olives, which was a universal hit.

To finish, I couldn’t resist the Chocolate and Peanut Butter brownie with Milk Ice Cream. The brownies itself was pretty rich as you can imagine, but the subtle flavour of the ice cream really diffused the sweetness and complemented it well. Meanwhile, I had also been enjoying a saucily named cocktail ‘The Madame’ (Vodka, Lemon Juice, Apple Juice with Mint), which was refreshing with just the right amount of fruitiness.

Overall, we had a great evening. I really liked the venue and atmosphere. The staff was incredibly friendly and attentive. Although my mains was OK, I really enjoyed my starter, dessert and cocktails. I would definitely return.

  • 100 Wardour Street, Soho, W1F 0TN. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Tottenham Court Road or Leicester Square. For booking, visit the 100 Wardour Street website.
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Gooey! Chocolate and peanut butter brownie with milk ice cream

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100 Wardour Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Mac and Wild Fitzrovia review: Hearty comfort food and the best of the Highlands

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Venison Topside Steak 200g and chips

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.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

An Irn Bru Daiquiri

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.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Cullen Skink, a soup made with smoked haddock, potato, onion, chives and dill

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

Where to celebrate Burns’ Night 2018 in London

© Pear Tree Cafe

Listen to a live bagpiper at the Pear Tree Cafe’s Burns’ Night celebrations

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.

– The Gallery, 190 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, NW6 3AY. Nearest station: West Hampstead. For more information, visit their website. Read the rest of this entry

The General Store review: Coffee, cocktails, cake and chat at Highbury’s new all-day venue

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Gluten-free chocolate and raspberry cake at The General Store

I really like the idea of cafes that turn into cocktail bars and have started to make a byline for them in the past year. Earlier this year, iconic north London music venue The Garage had a major refurbishment and makeover, with a new standalone all day bar and café The General Store opening next door.

Last week, I popped ‘up north’ to check out it out and also sample their new summer cocktail menu. Taking over the site of the former gloomy Mini-Bar, the light and contemporary General Store could not be more different. The venue brings a slice of old town Americana to Highbury Corner, with vintage gas pumps, huge US fridges, cosy leather booths and retro tiling. The GS serves coffee, cake, cocktails and craft beer so enough to keep you watered from daytime to night.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

English Garden (left) and a General Store Mai Tai (right)

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The General Store is located next door to the recently relaunched The Garage music venue

Arriving on a warm summer evening, my friend and I were definitely in the mood for cocktails. The menu features some classic drinks with a twist, such as the General Store Mai Tai (Hibiscus-infused rum with lime juice, sugar and coconut water) served in a short glass, which my friend noted had quite the kick. I was in the mood for something lighter (and can’t resist elderflower) so went for the English Garden (Hendricks Gin and Elderflower Liqueur shaken with Apple and Lemon), which was very refreshing. With such tempting concotions on the menu, I threw caution to the wind and mixed my spirits, opting for a Apple Caipirinha (Cachaca Rum served with Sherry, Apple Juice, Syrup and served over Cubed Apple), which was the right amount of sweet and strong.

Accompanying our cocktails, my pal and I decided to share a slice of cake. I gave him free rein to surprise me with his choice. When he came back with a gluten-free piece, I was initially sceptical as previous experiments with GF haven’t worked out well for me in the past. However, I’ve got to praise the GS for baking a thoroughly delicious GF chocolate and raspberry cake, it was delicious.

Overall, it’s a great spot to catch up with friends over coffee or a cocktail. Located next door to The Garage, it’s a perfect location for pre or post gig drinks, with the venue open until 3am on weekends if you’re up for a big night. Having met friends often over the years in the area, it’s good to see a decent drinking venue on Highbury Corner at last.

  • The General Store, 20 – 22 Highbury Crescent, Highbury East, N5 1RD. Nearest station: Highbury & Islington. Open Mon-Wed 10am-11.30pm, Thur 10am-1am, Fri-Sat 10am-3am, Sun 12pm-11pm. For more information, visit The General Store Facebook page.

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Fiz Bar review: Sharing plates and plenty of bubbles at London’s sparkling wine bar

Fiz Bar

Enjoy sharing plates, with a special version of a cheese toastie, one of the highlights

While a lot of people enjoy sparkling wines, London’s champagne bars tend to be rather exclusive and expensive destinations. With the rise in popularity in the more affordable Prosecco and Cava in recent years, the capital has been ripe for an alternative. Opening in Soho this summer is the capital’s first dedicated sparkling wine bar. Fiz Bar is having a 10 week residency at the Lights Of Soho, offering a range of bubbles and food.

Fiz Bar © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Experiment with white, red or rose sparkling wines

I popped (excuse the pun!) along with a gal pal last week to check it out in its first few days. The venue has taken over the ground floor of members’ club Lights Of Soho in Brewer Street. Immediately walking in the atmosphere was a world away from champagne bars – bustling, casual and full of energy. We pulled up a stool at one of the side tables so had a good vista of the busy bar and kitchen area. The drinks menu features a range of sparkling wine including Prosecco, Cava, English sparkling, Cremante and more by the bottle or glass, with most of the latter in the £5 range. If you’re with a friend who’s not into wines, there’s also a small selection of other drinks, including cider, lager and spirits to keep them refreshed.

As the day on question was pretty hot and summery, I was in the mood for some sparkling rose so started with the Paternina Cava Rose, a fruity wine which went down very well. Next to shake things up I hoped across the Mediterranean to Italy for a glass of Canal di Rajo Lemoss Frizzante, which had a fuller aroma and richer taste because it was unfiltered. Finally to finish off, I enjoyed a couple of glasses of the 47 AD Prosecco, a lovely soft and refreshing wine.

Of course, with all this quaffing going on, it was only sensible we should be lining our stomachs too. Quite wisely, Fiz Bar serves a mix of buns or sharing dishes ranging from £3.75 to £9.50. We opted to share the Grilled asparagus with salsa verde; Smoked Trout with Fennel, Dill Pickles and Charcoal Sourdough; and Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Comte, Emmental and Ogleshield. All three dishes were delicious. I thought the charcoal sourdough was particularly interesting, with the trout absolutely yummy. The grilled cheese was very naughty, but incredibly moreish.

Overall, Fiz is a great addition to the London bar scene, offering something different from craft beer houses, champagne bars and speakeasies that are becoming so commonplace. The staff were really friendly and the quality of the food and drink is exceptional. Fiz Bar is in residence until August so check it out while you can.

  • Fiz @ Lights Of Soho, 35 Brewer Street, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. Open Mon 6pm-11.30pm, Tues-Thur 10am-11.30pm, Fri-Sat 10am-12am; Sun 12pm-4pm. For more information, visit the Fiz Bar Website.
Fiz Bar © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Fiz Bar has taken over the ground floor of Lights Of Soho in Brewer Street for the summer

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