Wandering along Southbank there is A LOT of choice. But when you’re feeling super hungry after a session on the Duck Bus, there is only one place you should be heading…
The sun was shining. The layout is really cool. View of the river. Little stairs to an intimate area upstairs. Industrial. It’s basically a massive container balancing above the Wahaca Van that you can grab and go from.
And the tacos are great.
I say no more.
Oh one more thing… There are bowls of matches. Or what you think of matches. They are actually little chilli seeds for you to plant at home. Now that I love…
Snuggled in Bermondsey, Village East is worth a visit.
Very cool space with lots of different areas. Big open bar. I’m embarrassed to say I can’t even remember what I ate so I’m not saying it stands out over everything in London. But I’m saying the vibe is cool. We had a cracking night. And have a look at the menu – it is delicious. I should probably pay more attention next time. And they serve brunch and all.
If you want a bit of New York in London. Head to Bermondsey.
It’s the ultimate battle in my head. Do I go to boot camp, save money, sign up for marathons, cut back on the booze? Or do I say yes to another jelly shot? Well I’ve found something where you can do both.
One small word for one epic adventure.
Starting in the depths of Borough Market, you can jump on board a Pedibus. An odd contraption consisting of a company driver. And 8 bicycle seats. It’s difficult to explain so check out the picture.
On top of this are blaring speakers. And flashing lights. You bring your own booze. And off you go around London Bridge (or other locations). What more could you want for a wag do. Our wag was dressed up in tinsel and feathers and we peddled him around the city of London while pouring Smirnoff Ice down his throat.
I’ve got to say the mix of cider, cycling and extreme laughing did make me feel like I was going to throw up. But the whole evening was hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Maybe not so much when I decided to jump off and rugby tackle a random man running home. #lout
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. Nooooo it’s the Duck Bus.
This is the ultimate date. The ultimate outing. The ultimate day for anyone that is a bit odd.
The Duck Bus Tour is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever been on. You might have see it whizzing around London. It’s big. It’s yellow. It’s a boat. It’s a bus? It’s one of the strangest things around and it’s absolutely amazing.
We settled into our seat. Surrounded by children And set off to the sound of ducks quacking. Our guide knew everything about London. So much so that I’ve borrowed his facts to show off on my own.
“Did you know the Winston Churchill’s status is the only statue with electric currents surrounding it so that pigeons won’t poo on it. He never wanted a statue as he thought a statue covered in pigeon poo was very undignified.”
“Hyde Park was the burial ground for the Fire of London. And it was a leper colony prior to that”.
I could go on.
The best bit was when the bus changed it driver to a river man. And we all have to bounce up and down as the bus dipped into the water. Luckily the below didn’t happen.
The whole experience was brilliant. A London tour. Through the streets. On the river. All on a big boat named Titanic. Not the most promising name for a tour that had become famous for sinking the week before.
Book yourself on. It’s along the same lines as dressing up like a cockroach at the Science Museum. Utterly random. Yet brilliant.
Everyone has a dream list of places they need to experience at some point. Including places like Dinner, Hix, The Ledbury etc. Well Pollen Street Social is probably on there too. And so my family decided to go for a birthday celebration.
After hearing about the place so much, I had no idea what to expect. Bright, light and vaguely corporate. The food isn’t simple but you still know what you’re eating and every bite was delectable. And shock horror, I am actually going to tell you what I had. To start, the soft hen’s egg, parsley, garlic puree, smoked haddock brandade, watercress and crispy bacon. Then the Cornish seabass & red mullet, bouilabaisse, fennel, cuttlefish and saffron potato. Heaven.
I met Matthew Fort at an event and he said the reason people return to a restaurant is for ‘service’. So if you’re looking for service, this is exactly the place you should go. Our waiters were attentive, helpful, enthusiastic.
It isn’t cheap but the food was spectacular and I felt like it was worth every penny.
As we walked into Tramshed for the first time, I suddenly realised that the chick I was taking may be offended by large stuffed animals. And Tramshed is more than that. With an enormous cow and cock in formaldehyde by the one and only Damien Hirst, this is not a place for vegetarians.
Another venue from Mark Hix, Tramshed serves up chicken and steak. And not much else. In contrast to many critics disgust at minimal menus. I love them. Takes far less time to decide. And means they have to do them well.
I chose the steak. Obviously. While the birthday girl chose the chicken. Both good. Cocktails. Wine. Pudding. The bill was quite big but I had been warned by Grace Dent’s write up on the place.
I liked the vibe. But more importantly, my date is the chick I take for ‘secret meat’ when she is trying to go veggie. So this place = heaven.
A view of London. A wood-burning fire. Drinks. Snacks. Blankets. The ideal Monday?
The Boundary Rooftop has opened for the summer. Yes. Despite the weather confusion, it is actually summer. But have no fear, there is a burning fire and blankets to make you think it’s summer.
I found this place on google and it was perfect. The service was incredible. They kept moving the heaters closer to us when we looked cold. And we celebrated my friends birthday with nuts, snacks and bubbly. With blankets over our laps. And a view of London, we felt like two little grannies allowed out for the day. It was perfect.
Can’t afford to get away on holiday this year? Don’t have any holiday time left at work? Well head up to The Rum Kitchen for a slice of the Caribbean in our home capital. We managed to grab a moment with entrepreneur, rum lover and co-founder Jonny Boud.
The Rum Kitchen. Where did it all start?
All Saints Road. We had always loved the site so the next question was what to put in it!
Why Caribbean food?
There was an obvious gap in London’s restaurant scene for Caribbean food served to a high standard coupled with a great cocktail.
Who thought of the name?
The founders, inspired by the idea of bringing a bit of sun to London.
Who did the design?
44th Hill & I Love Dust.
If you could nick one item from the place, what would it be?
The bottle of Black Tot rum from downstairs.
Favourite dish there?
Saltfish Fritters, which are Carribean fish cakes.
How do you like your rum?
In The Rum Kitchen’s Grog 349, which is what the sailors drank. Its mixed with bitters and ginger beer, with a squeeze of lime.
What’s your favourite bit about the place?
The suitcase wall in The Rum Cellar.
If you were on a deserted island what item would you bring?
My Jerk Drum
If you were on that same deserted island what song would you listen too?
Jammin’ – Bob Marley
If you were STILL on that desert island what ONE food would you have?
Chicken for the drum… Obviously.
Any future plans?
We are looking at a few sites in Soho for a Rum Kitchen spin off.
Want to add anything?
Time flys when you’re having rum
If you haven’t heard of Xero Vodka, then you need to get your head out of that Smirnoff bottle. Super hot booze-hound Will Seth-Smith is hitting the world with this uber posh Polish vodka. We find out a bit more about the man behind the bottle…
No greater spirit to drink neat. Versatile in taste & clean in effect.
Finest and longest standing vodka producer in the world, why wouldn’t you draw on that heritage. People are cool too. Xero is about Polish and British combined. All our flavours are British produced, steeped in Polish potato vodka. Tying in those two classic elements.
How did you come up with the idea?
My father did, I saw it through.
Does it go with any snacks or nibbles?
Mosdef, massive philosophy is food pairing the vodkas. XERO NO/05 Raspberry accompanies chocolate based desserts amazingly – XERO NO/03 Elderflower with perhaps a peppered duck with elderflower dressing number or a classic pannacotta - XERO NO/03 Pear fits excellently in the aperitif realm ‘cleansing the palate’ (hate that phrase) – XERO NO/02 Original you can just chew on the olive in the martini.
Describe Xero in three words.
PUNCHING BELOW WEIGHT (Just launched so expect 2013 to blow up)
Describe yourself in two words.
Describe your imaginary friend in one word.
What’s your favourite tipple?
Enjoying mescal based drinks at the moment. And DOOM BAR
What’s your ideal hangover cure?
Most are arcane and woeful, but its obviously subjective. For me cure in the form of prevention with water before bed and exercise the next day.
Who would be your ideal hangover friend?
Deborah Meadan; anything sexier than Deborah running her fingers through her hair… and saying…”I like your product” ?
Best party you have ever been to?
I went to one with a wizard once, otherwise any old rave in the woods
Do you have a favourite glass to drink from?
Favourite type of ice – cubes, block, crushed, none of the above, something else?
Straw or no straw?
Do you have a little quirk when mixing drinks? Maybe you wear a little hat or do a little dance?
No but I once saw a really old bartender in Brazil bless every concoction before serving. I know alcohol can be religious for some people but that always made me laugh
Who would be your ideal Xero ambassador?
Excellent question. Dead – Dennis Hopper / Alive – Bruce Parry (when drinking) or David Nalbandian (he loves a smash jaja cheap joke)
Who would be your ultimate stockist/ bar/ restaurant?
When we go retail its got to be Gerry’s of Soho / Mark’s Bar at HIX / Gessler at Daquise (already there)
Do you have a favourite bar in London? Or in the world?
878 THAMES in Buenos Aires (only a security guard lurking outside gives any suspicion that something deeply jackin’ is happening behind the seemingly residential wooden doors, too many good nights there)
Tell me about your ideal imaginary party that would knock your socks off.
Always imagined going on the rampage through London streets on VE day 1945, would have been insane. Black & white hangover though.
Where can we find Xero?
Bar wise head to 104 Draycott Avenue, just opened and they are going to have the most killa roof terrace for when the summer kicks in. Restaurant wise go to Bam Bou in Fitzrovia, amazing things happen there.
What’s next for Xero?
Boldly going where no brand has gone before, a listing in LIDL supermarket. Just kidding
Anything else you want to add?
Here’s the plug; outside of bars and restaurants Xero vodkas are killa additions to parties and weddings served with dinner. Look me up.
I have chosen the start and end point for my 2000 mile kick-scooter around Italy. Hip hip hooray.
And it’s not some little mound of soil somewhere.
It’s way way way better.
I’m going to be flying into Perugia and scooting to Tribewanted’s latest addition in Monestevole.
If you haven’t heard of Tribewanted. Shame on you. Founders Ben Keene (who rocks) and Filippo Bozotti (who I’m sure rocks too) are determined to recruit 10,000 members and through crowd funding create ten sustainable communities. You can read more about their story here.
With the first in Fiji and another in Africa, it’s latest addition in Monestevole is making this sustainability idea more accessible. The ethos of Tribewanted is the same, to protect the local environment and promote the local culture. But in the Italian version you have the Umbrian cuisine, farmers, horse lovers, artisans and music on top. Oh yes.
So I emailed Ben. The plan has been made. I will officially be starting my 2000 mile kick-scooter from these beautiful rolling fields. And I could not be more excited. I’ve been promised a proper send off on a full belly. What more could you want. And maybe I will even get hugs at the end. Watch this space.