London Cocktail Week

Yesterday marked my first day at the official London Cocktail Week.

Situated in both East London at Old Spitalfields Market and at the World Class House in Central, the festival has events, pop-up bars, discounted deal on drinks – (cocktails are all 5 pounds) and many bars across London also take part. If you have a festival pass, you can essentially use it to gain access to exclusive offers. The pass is 10 pounds, and the festival lasts for a week. Laura and I went to the cocktail village in Spitalfields, and you definitely need more than one day. This means you can go back to try more drinks and food so…its pretty much a win-win situation, and if anyone needs me, that’s where you’ll find me this weekend.

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Some of the pops up bars also do food and have a deal for 8 pounds so you can eat and drink (the dream). Venues paired specific drinks with menu items: Southern Comfort and fried chicken , Tacos and Margaritas, Bodeans Bbq and Jim Beam and Scotch Eggs. if the food in there doesn’t get you excited, there’s a number of stalls outside the venue that stay open (when I was tipsy this knowledge made me happier than most people).

We started off our evening by trying alcoholic ice cream: toffee and vodka (6%). At first, it tasted just like toffee ( YUM), but as you ate it more, the vodka flavour really came out. This was quite tasty until the end where the alcohol was the most prominent (and overpowering) factor. While the guy said it was one of their most popular flavours, I didn’t necessarily feel like it was the best thing I’ve ever tried. Perhaps the espresso chocolate martini would have been better- I mean I do love coffee and chocolate.  They did have another stall selling alcoholic ice cream so for my next visit, I’ll be sure to give that one a try.

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We then went for some fabulous cocktails. There was one pop-up bar which was serving a twist on classic drinks from eight of the best bars in London. I had a Tom Collins (Hendricks gin, lemon juice, cinnamon sugar and soda) originating from the Beaufort Bar in the Savoy (fancy) and Laura had a bramble Royale (Champagne, Monin Cassis, Hendrick’s gin and lemon juice) from happiness forgets. I just need to take a moment to say that if you are ever in East London Happiness Forgets is a great bar to go to for casual drinks or a date. (you may laugh at me but I know you’ll thank me when you all have to take your tinder dates somewhere hip- hint hint Mark if you’re reading this I want you to take me)

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I also had a delicious chorizo scotch egg with the strangest cocktail. It was called porridge, and it replicated the exact taste (even including oats). Except, the taste was the kind of porridge where people use water and not milk when they make it. (i mean.. milk always triumphs am I right?)

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However, strange did not come close to the cocktail me and Laura were kindly given by Dean, one of the employees at The Winking Pig. The cocktail was: Yorkshire Tea infused rum, lemon juice, tonic and a mini bacon butty! (leighs not included) However, they had sadly run out of bread so we had some bacon on the side instead. I am a coffee person, so when I say that it REALLY tasted like tea- I mean it. The taste of tea was too much for my liking, but I did like that the bar was playing with British classics.

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nice spot of tea

The wackiest cocktail of all and by far a highlight for me was the bacon cocktail I had. It was a genius concept, and I got to eat bacon and drink a cocktail to best accentuate the flavour combination. (bonus) It was: Bacon Oak Gin, Smoked Bacon, Golden Syrup and Angos Bitters.

I definitely want to try different places on the weekend, but I‘ll be going back for that one.  

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happiness= bacon in a drink

 

 

 

 

Murder Mysteries & Fried Chicken

Yesterday, my good friend Katrina was kind enough to invite me along to the American Horror Story Murder Mystery press event. It was to publicise the hotel season’s official availability on Blu-ray and DVD from the 3rd of October (Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment).

NOW you’re probably thinking – wait what has this got to do with food ‘eastlondonfoodgirl’?

Well, when you’re drunk and have been fed in minuscule bits of canapes you automatically need substance… right? We decided to try out Absurd Bird in Soho

…but more on that later.

Certainly, I had my doubts about what the event would be like (American horror story has always freaked me out). Yet once  we were there, I became completely invested in trying to solve the crime, talking to the actors and actresses and trying to outsmart everyone. (TRUST ME you’d have done the same). On arrival, we were each given booklets of critical information- who the characters were, what the hotel was like. More importantly, we were served with kir royales (creme de cassis with champagne- lovely darling) and canapes. My favourites had to be the small zucchini canapes which were rolled and stuffed with ricotta and sundried tomatoes. They also had mini steak tartars, Chicken liver parfait (mine fell all over my crucial mystery info.. it had to be me) and my favourite part.. mini desserts… who can say no to a mini apple crumble or five?

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Studying our suspects (booze included)

Once we were ushered downstairs back into the “past” before and after the murder occurred, we were served with endless amounts of wine (red or white), and I must admit we were all pretty tipsy at this point- maybe this was to increase our willingness to participate and if so it worked. Katrina and I basically believed we were the new Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. We were given clues and had to tactically listen to private conversations. In the end; you had to vote for who you thought did it. Of course, my potential career as a private detective was a massive fail, and we both ended up getting the culprit wrong. Nonetheless, it was a really captivating and fun event that cleverly promoted the series- we even got to watch one episode. – (it turns out that the drunker you are the more surreal the series gets)

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Two aspiring detectives

We then headed to Absurd Bird in Soho. We were both craving fried chicken, and it certainly hit the spot! They had a deal on cocktails until 8pm (£6 on each), so we decided to try the in house moonshine. dsc00279They had many different flavours – we tried both original and apple cinamon.- Naturally, I liked apple cinnamon better- it was sweet enough, but not too sweet that when having your cocktail you feel like you’re eating a dessert (which is technically never a bad thing I guess).

dsc00283For food, they have a twisted take on southern classics: I went for the fried chicken bao buns, and Katrina went for the fried chicken sliders. There is also a range of different side dish options and we went for the sweet potato fries– (they quickly disappeared). It’s a restaurant that’s easy going, the food is highly shareable (bonus), and it has many different choices on the menu to cater to all.dsc00284

The only downside was that ALL the desserts had sold out… every. single. choice. on the menu and we had been pretty adamant that we wanted to try the peanut butter cheesecake.

I mean, doesn’t everyone else look at desserts before main courses? …or perhaps just a restaurant’s menu beforehand?

I know I do.

 

 

 

Friends and Good Food

As I sit here and contemplate what I want to do with my adult life, I thought there was nothing better to do than to write a blog post to avoid making any concrete decisions (still being productive though right?)

In the past few days, I’ve had my friend Alessandra come and stay at my apartment (hotel sofs as she likes to call it ). She’s visiting London from Dubai and naturally we had to go out and catch up over some good food and drinks. Having shown her East London before, I wanted to take her somewhere different. I decided on a favourite of mine… Homeslice. The reason I even knew about it in the first place was because of my friend Laura, knowing both our love for pizza, got us tickets to a pizza festival for my birthday back in May (BEST BDAY GIFT EVER). We got to make our pizzas (just like the pros), and we basically begged our way around trying the slices off each stall as our ticket didn’t include the tasters. The aim of the festival was to vote the best pizza restaurant in London and each stall gave out their version of perfection in a slice. While we succeeded in trying a lot of them, our puppy-eyed pretty pleases did not go well with the homeslice lady (thanks, gal) but it was winning the votes by a mile and we knew we had to try it.

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The best pizzaiolo’s around

Fast forward to this week and me and Alessandra were on our way. We got a litre of red wine (went down a treat as per usual) and decided to get the 20″ inch half Mushroom, Ricotta, Pumpkin seed and Chili and half Chorizo, Corn and Coriander. I had tried the mushroom one before and I’m not sure why ( maybe it was the wine- jokes) but I particularly enjoyed it a lot more this time than the last. Maybe because it had more ricotta on the topping and I love cheese. The chorizo corn and coriander was great too although if anything a little bit more chorizo would have been even better! Regarding the pizza itself, it is just the right thickness so that it’s not too doughy and not so thin that the toppings fall off as soon as you try and pick it up. I love pizza, and it ranks as one of my favourites in London.

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Still looking glam

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up close n’ personal

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seriously look how happy I am

Also, we also finally tried out this bar opposite my apartment called Map Maison. If you have me on social media, you’ll know that I made that my caption on Instagram. BUT seriously I’ve lived here for two years now and I had never been! They had a 2 for one deal on cocktails in the week; a cute Lewis Carroll kinda vibe with menu’s inside classic books and the drinks are fascinating and complex. Aless had the rosemary martini… sounds weird but trust me when i say the taste was surprisingly fresh and unexpected. On the other hand, Laura and I had pisco sours. She has taught me the incredible ways of this drink- (more on that when we have our Peruvian dinner party.. yes you heard me correctly) and we both agreed they were perfect. If you’re ever in Haggerston check it out!dsc00200

Next time I think we’re going to try their afternoon tea with the optional glass of prosecco because let’s face it, as much as I love fancy tea, I like fancy booze better.