Phew, what a scorcher June turned out to be, both in terms of the freakishly good weather and the number of quality drinking events on our list.
First up, champers on the rooftop at Harvey Nics. Very ab fab, particularly as the invite was to celebrate the opening of its new Belle Epoque Garden courtesy of Champagne Perrier-Jouet. Obviously, we’re talking style here, bubbles of this ilk don’t appear in any old gaff. But they did feel very at home in this chic urban space created by a cool team of artists and designers. We loved the lawn (fake but fab) and specially commissioned metallic anenomes inspired by those adorning the distinctive P-J bottle. The romantics out there will love the cutesy rattan swing specially designed for two to quaff champagne.
Next day we mixed cocktails and culture at the opening of Super Contemporary at the Design Museum. Oh yes, we style it out pretty well even if we do say so ourselves. We were more than happy to check out the work of London’s grooviest creative minds, ranging from fashion and architecture to industrial design and graphics but if we’re being really honest, the reason we were here was because our friends at Beefeater were sponsoring the event. So before you could say ‘London’s finest gin’, we found ourselves jostling for space along with every architect, graphic designer and style journo in town. God, it was packed. And hot. Just as well we were invited to the after party and being in sensible mode, slipped away from the Design Museum in good time to get ourselves a prominent spot. Don’t get us wrong, we really loved the exhibition and all that but this part of the evening was even more inventive. Once again, Beefeater pushed the boat out – quite literally this time, by hiring a spectacular houseboat for the festivities. Lost Vagueness were in charge of the look and feel of the event which meant costumes a-go-go and amazing aerial acts performed while balancing precariously over the River. It goes without saying that the cocktails flowed freely all evening and being the perfect guests, we took our lead from our gracious hosts.
Hoxton Pony celebrated its first birthday a few days later, so naturally we stopped by to join in the party action. Guest DJs, complimentary cocktails and a fun crowd ensured this little pocket of East London rocked way into the night. We reckon we’ll be celebrating a few more birthdays here in the future.
Our next excursion couldn’t have been more different if it stood up and wore a frock. Although cocktails are predominately the driving source behind TCL, we feel it would be churlish to ignore the merits of other drinks. That’s why we bought into the Vine Lease Scheme at Chapel Down in Kent and how we managed to find ourselves surveying said vines, touring the vineyard and enjoying a spot of lunch. We even got to taste our wine, a rather fresh and spirited number which, according to the Master Of Wine in attendance, will come into its own in a few years. We’ll bear this in mind as we put our six, personalised bottles to rest. Maybe we’ll crack them open to toast in the London Olympics in 2012, who knows? We’ll keep you posted.
There’s been a lot of chat about Tini, the latest drinking den from Piers Adam, Nick House and Guy Pelly. Not content with pulling in tout le monde at their other joints Mahiki, The Punch Bowl and Whisky Mist, this triumvirate of London nightlife have added another surefire winner to their list. We went for a nosey round a few weeks into opening for a swift one each, just long enough get the gist of the place. One word: Italian. It’s all sleek, sexy and intimate with Pirelli pin-ups lining the walls and free aperitivio available early evening. Perfect for after work, just as good if you want to make an evening of it. Full review coming soon.
Words to the wise (or just plain curious)
English wine is not as comical as it may initially sound. In fact, there are around 400 vineyards in Blighty producing an estimated two million bottles a year. We even found out that Samuel Pepys sipped wine produced from grapes in Walthamstow in 1667, so it’s nothing new.