Category Archives: Drink

Review: Hootananny Brixton

Have you ever been in a pub and thought to yourself… what this place needs is a shitload of passive aggressive people, sweating profusely and jumping up and down to the sounds of some kooky rock band that never quite made it but wholeheartedly refuses to give up…?

 

You HAVE? Fantastic!

 

Let me tell you about Hootananny, Brixton’s weirdest (i.e. worst) night out.

 

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So, What’s It Like?

Like a pub, designed by someone who hates pubs. One half of this grime-encrusted netherworld is really very much like a good old public house, it’s got a snooker table and everything.

The other is more of a school assembly hall, with a stage at the end. Massive velvet curtains too, harbouring small colonies of undiscovered species. There’s also a bar, but it’s been carefully hidden behind a monstrous crowd of slobbering drunks, so you might not see that.

Outside there are many marquees, and street food vendors selling some sort of garlic coated pizza thing, presumably in an effort to add a smattering of halitosis to the rich and varied scents drifting about the place.

There are also patio heaters, conveniently placed in the centre of the marquees, threatening to sizzle the skin off of anyone brave enough to attempt to pass them. So that’s fun!

 

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Don’t Miss

The toilets. Seriously, these funky-smelling things would give the good old festival toilet experience a run for its money… but that’s not even the best bit! The toilets at Hootannany also come with LIVE MUSIC!!

Here entertainment is provided by the attendants, who delight in screeching the most indecent of lyrics, stopping every so often to shout at you to hurry yourself up. Who doesn’t love to pee under pressure?

 

 

Will I Get In?

Hootannany Brixton reckons itself as some of member’s club, delusions of grandeur so hysterically funny you’ll forgive me for taking a few moments just to compose myself.

As you enter mysterious people in a hut whip a few quid from your desperate, nervous little hands, then glare at you as a strapping security guard frisks you to within an inch of your life. Only then are you presented with Hootenanny’s special membership card, which apparently gets you money off when you come back.

Why you would return after experiencing Hootannany once, though, is anyone’s guess.

 

 

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Will I Find Love?

No. You won’t. Because within minutes of being granted entry to this entirely tragic arena of awfulness you’ll feel so utterly dejected you’ll consider throwing yourself in front of a bus, before deciding that actually just going home would probably take the pain away.

 

 

 

Who Goes?

  1. People who hate music.
  2. Failed bands.
  3. People who want to fight you.

 

 

The Verdict:

Absolutely not.

 

 

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Hootannany
95 Effra Rd,
Greater London
SW2 1DF

020 7737 7273

Free Gin! It’s #TanquerayThursdays

Forget that World Cup nonsense. This Saturday is WORLD GIN DAY, a day so smashing that many find it entirely impossible to comprehend. In fact, some smart thinking types at Tanqueray love World Gin Day so much they’ve decided to extend it…

 

 

Now gin-lovers of the world will be able to enjoy two-for-one gin cocktails at ten of London’s finest cocktail bars every Thursday, for TEN WHOLE weeks, thanks to a wonderful new thing called #TanquerayThursdays.

 

Tanqueray was born nearly 200 years ago in London’s Bloomsbury, and it also happens to be the best-selling gin in the top 50 Best Bars In The World. So its seems entirely just that it should have more than one day on this busy calendar of ours.

 

 

To get your two for one cocktails all you need to do is show your bartender that you’ve tweeted something to do with #TanquerayThursdays. And boom. Double the gin for you. There’ll be ten bars participating. They are…

 

  • Bounce, Holborn
  • The King of Ladies Man, Battersea
  • The Lucky Pig, Fitzrovia
  • Earlham Street Clubhouse, Covent Garden
  • Cecil’s, London Bridge
  • Ruby’s, Dalston
  • The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Liverpool Street
  • Steam & Rye, The City
  • The Big Easy, Covent Garden
  • Callooh Callay, Shoreditch

 

#TanquerayThursdays will be running for ten weeks, from 9th June 18th August 2014. For a full list of the participating bars, information about each week’s featured bar and weekly opportunities to enter brand new competitions, visit the #TanquerayThursdays page HERE.

Dirty Martini, Hanover Square

If you’re looking to channel your inner Bond with a delicious and nutritious* Martini you can’t go wrong with Dirty Martini.

 

dirty martini

 

The Hanover Square branch is the perfect place to rest weary toes after a day of shopping on nearby Regent Street, and that’s exactly what we did last weekend.

 

dirty martini

 

J’Ara of style and beauty blog La Sugar Lace and I sampled two of their classic cocktails. J’Ara picked the Dirty Martini, which must be said with much emphasis on the DIRTY. This includes your choice of Martini Grey Goose Vodka or Tanqueray Gin, mixed with Kalamata olives & thyme served straight up with a hint of Martini and Extra Dry Vermouth. This tasted like all the world’s alcohol in one glass. I tried it and almost fell of the face of the Earth.

 

dirty martini

 

My choice was a little less adventurous, Passion Fruit Martini, a delectable concoction of Beefeater Gin shaken with Passoa, fresh passion fruit and passion fruit juice. This was rather less shocking. Sort of like fruit juice, but better. Much better.

 

dirty martini passion fruit

 

Dirty Martini also does happy hours, where you can get half price Prosecco cocktails, Martinis and bottled wine. Which means you can drink twice as much!!! Or just spend less, whatever.

 

dirty martini

 

*Really, some are sort of healthy! Dirty Martini also serve up skinny cocktails, the skinniest of which contains a mere 123 calories – it’s called Skinny Grape & Elderflower Martini, ok weight watchers?

 

Hanover Square Happy Hours:

Mon – Thurs 4pm – 10pm

Fri – Sat 4pm – 8pm

 

10c Hanover Square

London

W1S 1JH

Hanoversquare@dirtymartini.uk.com

0844 371 2550

 

Square Meal

Talented Mr Fox, Soho

In the backstreets of Soho lies an escape from the rammed pubs and hideous tourist traps. A crazy fox den of an escape… Talented Mr Fox.

 

He isn’t really a fox, he’s Mr Whiley. But I reckon we can safely say he is talented.

 

Matt Whiley is behind some of the cocktail community’s top bars, Purl, Worship Street Whistling Shop and Shoreditch’s Peg & Patriot. He’s famed for his madcap concoctions and the use of all sorts of fancy equipment in the making of mixed drinks… and Talented Mr Fox is Whiley’s first residency at top Leicester Square Hotel One Leicester Street.

 

one-leicester-street

 

The cocktails here are definitely for the more adventurous drinkers – on the menu is a Bloody Mary (£16) made with clarified pig’s blood and ‘black pudding distillate’. Even the ones listed under ‘Nice and Easy’ are nothing short of unusual…

 

talented-mr-fox

 

Frightened by the very mention of pig’s blood we opted for some more accessible drinks. Mary Hoppins was made with Moonshine Kid Hop Gin, Manzanilla and Honey. The Twisted Nose comes complete with Foraged Leaves, Celery and Lemon – it was the talk of foraging that got me interested, you know. But our last order was undoubtedly the most exciting. This one, whose name I have (to my shame) forgotten, was flavoured with Monster Munch! Pickled Onion flavour! Goodness!

 

Monster Munch
Monster Munch

 

Twisted Nose
Twisted Nose
Mary Hoppins
Mary Hoppins

 

When the drinks arrived I’ll admit I was slightly disappointed. They appeared just like normal drinks. They didn’t live up to their outlandish descriptions, at least in appearance.

 

On tasting we were largely reassured, they sure didn’t taste like any cocktails we’d ever had before, and all the odd flavours came through despite there being so much alcohol in each one it almost knocked us clean off our seats – definitely proving Mr Fox’s talents! I’d recommend the Twisted Nose, full of sharp citrus flavours and actual salad ingredients (i.e. incredibly healthy).

 

The Talented Mr Fox Bar
The Talented Mr Fox Bar

 

The Verdict: Great cocktails unlike any you’ve ever had before. Perfect if you’re looking for a bit of calm in the craziness of Chinatown. I’ve heard the  Urban Foxtail (£11) is served in a little wheelie bin, too. Definitely get that!

 

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7/10 

 

£££

 

One Leicester Street on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

 

Barts Bar’s Chelsea Flower Show Cocktail

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show is already causing quite a stir, but it won’t all be about precious plants this year, because top secret speakeasy Barts Bar is getting in on the action,  launching a new cocktail in homage to the show.

Continue reading Barts Bar’s Chelsea Flower Show Cocktail

Why No One Should Ever Go To Walkabout

A sort of village hall come student union, Walkabout is the undisputed king of shit nights out. Like a weeping sore on the banks of the Thames, this miserable chamber of inebriation is immediately recognisable by its garish yellow and green logo, which has the audacity to suggest Australia has actually endorsed it. 

 

Continue reading Why No One Should Ever Go To Walkabout