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24 April 2014

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Blog Reviews from The List

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Trying out quirky places to eat, drink and be merry in London - follow @matthew1hickman or sign up for email updates below


  1. Published : Wednesday, 23rd April 2014

    The Whip | The Whip

    We decided to call in at The Whip, a Kentucky Derby inspired julep bar tucked away above The Running Horse pub. The classic Mayfair boozer (dating back to 1738) was reopened at the end of 2013 by James Chase (Chase Distillery) and Dominic Jacobs (former bar director at Sketch), and the 1st floor cocktail bar followed in early 2014. The pub itself has an exciting cocktail list including Beetroot Lemon Balm Sours (Williams Chase GB Gin, Beetroot Juice, Pressed Lemon, Lemon Balm, Egg White, Honey) and Blackberry & IPA Tankard (Fresh Blackberries, Stem Ginger, Chase Rhubarb Vodka, Pressed Lemon, IPA) amongst other Chase-based concoctions. Masterchef (The Professionals) quarter-finalist Andrew Justice's food menu is also very appealing with the likes of Hand Chopped Rump Skirt Of Beef with Triple Cooked Chips & Onion Marmalade and Steamed Toffee Banana Pudding with Salted Toffee Sauce, Banana Crisp & Clotted Iced Cream making me want to come back for a second visit. Downstairs was rather busy though, so we plodded up to The Whip which was an oasis of calm in comparison...

  2. Published : Monday, 21st April 2014

    Mele e Pere | Mele e Pere

    Back to lunch, I finally made it to Mele e Pere in Soho - an Italian Trattoria & Vermouth Bar whose colourful apples & pears (get it?) I have often admired from afar when passing. Continuing with the cockney rhyming slang, most of Mele e Pere is tucked away down the stairs with the bar, but there a few tables that benefit from natural light as you walk in. I considered my options over a glass of their homemade vermouth (more on that later), before ordering a few sharing plates & small pasta dishes. Large pasta plates and main courses are available if you aren't in a sharing mood. There are excellent lunch and pre-theatre deals to be taken advantage of too...

  3. Published : Thursday, 17th April 2014

    Rotorino | Rotorino

    Sister Jo, Sister Em, and Al (my wine spy) joined Will and I for a 4 course Italian feast at Rotorino, a new restaurant & wine bar in Haggerston from the dream team of Stevie Parle (Dock Kitchen), Ruth Spivey (Wine Car Boot / Street Vin) and Jonathan Downey (Milk & Honey / Street Feast). As we sat down at our very cool, oval shaped central table, we were welcomed with ultra thin bread and glasses of prosecco, allowing us to relax and take in our surroundings. The décor is classy, funky and suitably East London edgy all at the same time, reminding me of JD's Rotary Room in Old Street (now shut). If you can't get a booking, there are plenty of seats for walk-ins including a long communal table which can also seat a large group of 26. The front of the restaurant is home to Rotorino Vino, a wine & cocktail bar that you may want to visit before (and after) your meal. Ruth was on the floor helping people to come to a boozy decision - if you ask nicely, she might reveal her secret wine list...

  4. Published : Friday, 6th December 2013

    Kench & Bibesy (closed) | Kench & Bibesy

    After a boozy Tuesday (see here), Wednesday was supposed to be my night off, but Louis (of Tuck and Vine) & Amy dragged me back out again. If I'm honest, it only took one text before I was on a tube to Barbican, one of the least convenient stops to get to in all of Central London (I live in the incredibly well connected Battersea). This is where the Evans & Peel Detective Agency boys have launched their new place, Kench & Bibesy. Upstairs is a an attractive restaurant & bar serving small plates of British food. Chef Michael Harrison has developed a quirky little menu with oddly named dishes like 'The Fall of Jerusalem' (Jerusalem artichoke, chestnut & black truffle paté, spelt crackers, pickled walnut) and 'Pigeon, Fancier' (pigeon breast, barley, chocolate, hazelnuts, rowan berry)...

  5. Published : Friday, 14th June 2013

    Galeto | Galeto

    Natalie arrived as we were finishing our drinks, so we decided to head off to the recently opened colourful Brazilian restaurant/bar called Galeto for some food. Mary is obsessed with Nandos so she was pretty delighted to find that the main thing on the menu is 1/2 chicken, marinated in house for 24 hours served with chips and a choice of sauces. We all went for it with the fruity barbecue sauce, plus beers and wine on the side. We were all very impressed, not least because it is extremely affordable considering that it is right in the middle of Dean Street. Caipirinhas are £6, all desserts are under £4 and so on - cheap cheap cheap! I might need to go for the Rump Cup Burger next time if I can tear myself away from the chicken. Street artist Milo Tchais has done a great job decorating it too...