Tim Firmager rounds up the hottest new places to eat, drink and enjoy a fresh ginger beer across London during March 2017.
The Holy Birds recently opened to offer its unique dining experience, inspired by the 1960’s London music & art scene and the city’s only restaurant to specialise in poultry. Enlisting the services of legendary bartender Salvatore Calabrese who has collaborated with his sons for the first time, The Holy Birds boasts an extensive cocktail menu – think classics such as The Moscow Mule, and a Downtown Manhattan. The Holy Birds spans two floors of meticulous design, designed with furniture and fittings inspired by the 60’s Danish Modernist movement. Small touches of multi-coloured phone handsets at the welcome desk to the ‘cocks’ and ‘hens’ for the toilets embrace The Holy Birds fun and quirky offering.
All poultry is locally sourced, free-range birds, so naturally is the place to try if in the mood for chicken, duck, grouse, wood-pigeon, quail or pheasant, or if you want to indulge in a retro cocktail. The main restaurant in The Holy Birds is in full view of the open plan kitchen. We shared starters of Duck Breast Carpaccio (£11) and Goose & Apricot Terrine (£7); however we much preferred our main courses of Confit & roast pigeon with beetroot, kale and redcurrant (£18.50) and Roast duck breast (£21.50) served with butternut squash and chicory tatin. We of course indulged in a side of chicken-dripping potatoes (£3.50) and encourage asking for them with a main course.
Desserts were like homemade puddings reincarnated with kitsch twists, for example the hot chocolate pudding with Kirsch and cherry sauce (£7) – don’t consider sharing this one, and a poached pear and apple crumble (£7), which we devoured with chocolate ice cream.
To drink we indulged in a Negroni Svegliato (£9), a Champagne Cocktail (£15) – it was a Monday afterall, and a traditional after-dinner Espresso Martini. The drinks menu is vast, and although this can lead to significant time deliberating, rest assured there is a drink for everyone’s tastes.
Diners visiting on a Saturday will be able to try the Babycham bottomless brunch, where all-you-can-drink Babycham is available for just £15.
The Holy Birds is located at 94 Middlesex Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 7EZ.
The venue is open for dining Monday to Saturday 11am – 10:45pm. The Mule Bar, located downstairs is open 6pm till late Thursday, Friday and Saturday. To book head to OpenTable and for more information visit theholybirds.com.
Number 177 Bar & Kitchen is the latest venture from the owners of Number 90 Bar & Kitchen in Hackney Wick, who have decided to expand the company and bring its innovative gallery space, restaurant and bar concept to the bustling streets of Hoxton.
Taking influences from the esteemed Berlin bar scene, the 350 capacity venue is split into two sections, a main restaurant and bar, and a back club room, separated by a sliding wall of graffiti art. Decorated in an industrial style, bespoke metal poker lights hang over chunky tables that fold up against the walls to make for more dancing space, and downstairs a bright orange formica photoautomat booth is situated outside the unisex bathrooms.
Art will be a key element at Number 177, with a roster of ever-changing artists, whose work will be available to purchase online through The Number Group’s Gallery. The venue will have its own bespoke mural, which will change at least every three months, along with handpicked artwork, which will be updated every two months. The concept of the ever-changing paintings is to keep the interiors of the venue exciting for diners, and to give a variety of artists the opportunity to showcase their talents.
The food menu at Number 177 is the highlight, offering a selection of high-quality vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes (such as the Chunky Veggie Burger at £8), alongside inventive burgers (like the pulled pork burger £8) and indulgent desserts. The dishes themselves are hearty, flavoursome and have a German accent; Schnitzel burgers and Jagermeister ice cream grace the menu, alongside a plethora of fresh and healthy salads and five types of chips, including root vegetable varieties and sweet potato with Tzatziki sauce. Accompanying the food menu will be a strong drinks list focusing on innovative cocktails and craft beers.
The new venue has inclusiveness at its heart. Just as Number 90 has become a vital part of the Hackney Wick Community, Number 177 will welcome local and international artists, DJs and musicians, whilst playing host to numerous creative workshops, pub quizzes and bingo events. The Number Group pride themselves on their relationships with residential affiliates, always making sure their best interest is at heart and even investing in them where possible, an attitude which is reflected in the positive and all-inclusive atmosphere found in each of the venues.
Number 177 is located at 177 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ.
For more information or to book, call 0207 683 3491 or visit number177bar.co.uk.
Umbrella Brewing have announced the opening of their new brewery and therefore the latest alcoholic ginger beer on the market. Admittedly this opening is on a product rather than a venue, but as the boys at Umbrella Brewing worked so hard to restore a formerly fire-damaged Victorian industrial building, we felt they have earned their place in our round-up this month.
The Umbrella Project is a collaborative effort between the trio (Alistair Tatton, Andy Kerr and Stephen Thompson) behind acclaimed East End bars Discount Suit Company and The Sun Tavern, and master brewer Matthew Armitage. The boys are even showcasing artwork, which will constantly evolve through a series of collaborations with artists. The current branding is inspired by album sleeves of the ‘60s and ‘70s, a style loved by all of the co-founders and a subtle nod to The Rolling Stones.
The team at Umbrella Brewing found that other alcoholic ginger beers haven’t quite ticked their boxes, so they redefined a ginger beer should be: super fiery and not too sweet, and the alcohol – well that’s a bonus.
Umbrella Brewing alcoholic ginger beer has a natural focus, containing only a few ingredients: fresh pressed ginger; hand squeezed lemon, cane sugar, malted barley, yeast and water. Natural ingredients create natural sediment in every bottle. We remove all the yeast using an incredibly fine filter, so any leftover sediment their bottles is entirely made up of pressed ginger root. That’s why they ask you to turn the bottle over before serving – to “wake up the ginger”.
Umbrella Brewing alcoholic ginger beer is cloudy, golden brown with light effervescence in appearance. It has a candied lemon nose with fresh ginger, and has flavours of raw ginger, rich molasses, sharp citrus and a subtle hint of malt. This gives an intense fiery spiciness similar to chillies.
How can you get your hands on a bottle? Umbrella Brewing Ginger Beer is available through order direct from their website, umbrellabrewing.co.uk. Currently stockists in London include Cocktail Trading Co. on Bethnal Green Road, Patty and Bun on Redchurch Street, The Star on Queensdown Road, and Clapton Craft on Lower Clapton Road
For more information about Umbrella Brewing’s ginger beer visit umbrellabrewing.co.uk.