Thursday, December 8, 2016

London Food and Drinks

Ok, so here comes part 2 of our London saga.  This will be an entire post devoted and drinks, with a heavy focus on drinks.  I'm going to start with the booze, because...why not?  Just a little context:  Casey and I are huge into reading reviews and looking up all those cheesy "best cocktail bars," "top ten best restaurants," "best bars in the world", etc etc.  We always end up checking out some of the places on those lists (how hipster eh?).  Sometimes we are blown away, and sometimes we are left disappointed and/or dumbfounded.  Life is as life does, or so they say.  So for our trip to London we did that exact same thing, and what we ended up checking out London's top cocktail bars.  Coincidentally, it also happened to be International Cocktail Week, where a lot of the cocktail bars were gearing up for competition, but also on guard for critics and aficionados that may sneak in unannounced.

The first cocktail place we went to was called Dandelyan, and it's head 'mixologist' is Ryan Chetiyawardana, whom also goes by Mr. Lyon, the world's best bartender.  It also had the coolest cocktail menu I personally had ever seen.  It goes into great detail to describe every component of every drink and much more. 

The next cocktail bar we went to was called Nightjar.  It definitely played on a whole speakeasy kind of vibe, with prohibition style d├ęcor and atmosphere.  It had a pretty cool jazzy type of band playing and their cocktail menu was themed based on time eras.  They had pre-prohibition cocktails, prohibition era cocktails(which they had warned us would be very strong), post war, and signatures(modern takes on cocktails or experimental).  It had a significance to me because one of the beverages featured a Kirsch brandy, which my grandpa used to make cocktails with.  I had actually never seen it in a liquor store or out at a bar so I was excited to finally get to try it on what would have been my grandparents' anniversary.

The next(and final I promise) cocktail bar we went to was Artesian.  It was a really cool place as well.  They focused very much on aesthetics(the others did as well, but not like this) in addition to the quality of the drink.  It was very awkward drinking out of a fuzzy glass....especially as I pondered how it may be cleaned from patron to patron.  Nonetheless, delicious!

One thing that Casey really wanted to do was a proper British afternoon tea.  So of course, we had to do it.  And I am very thankful that she wanted to do it, because it's a pretty cool experience that you should check out at least once if you ever get the chance.  I was also very thankful that Casey did her research on proper British afternoon tea, because otherwise I would have been super nervous on how to act, dress, etc.  I actually don't even like tea, but whatever they poured for us that day was really good.  Piece of advice if you do get a chance to try it out:  do not eat ANYTHING before you go that day that is not biologically necessary for survival because there is so much food.  Don't let the formality scare you off, it is definitely cool to check out.  And from what I've read there are less formal tea times as well if you'd rather ease into it.

Tootles for now.