Yet another totally random roundup of things from July, starting with a wonderful complimentary brunch for two at Marcus Wareing's Gilbert Scott in King's Cross that I won in a Barchick competition. It was the second part of my prize after also being given two free tickets to Ginstock (read more here). I was originally meant to go for brunch on the morning of Ginstock, and be taken in a taxi to Haggerston, but I had to squeeze in a concert in the morning. Luckily they allowed me to rearrange, and so I turned up with North Londoner Cassie on Saturday 20th July, over a month after that gin fuelled day.
Wednesday 17th July - A few days earlier, Team List decided to bite the bullet and try out Shake Shack and Five Guys (in the same lunchtime), but I'll save that for another time as I want to compare them with some more of the British burger boys in detail. Anyway, we needed to walk off the calories before having a nap in the sun, so we crossed the river and sought out the Roof Garden Cafe/Bar on top of Queen Elizabeth Hall on Southbank.
I was perhaps a tad underdressed in shorts and a t-shirt, but in my defence I did have to also fit in with beer aficionados later on in Bermondsey (read about the rest of my day here). The staff (and background pianist) didn't seem to mind, and we were informed that we could order as much as we wanted on the house - a very dangerous thing to say. To be honest, we were quite restrained in the end, only having two breakfast cocktails and a coffee each with our superb brunch. We possibly should have got some bubbles in there too. The food was wonderful, as were the drinks (these were not my first Gilbert Scott cocktails) - Breakfast Margarita was the winner for me. My main issue was how do you leave a restaurant when you don't have to pay? Luckily they solved that by turning up and giving me yet more free stuff as a parting gift. I had forgotten that the prize also included a bottle of Boodles Gin, so this was a pleasant surprise! They also chucked in a tiny bottle of Hendricks and a packet of thyme seeds. Anyway, the brunch is reasonably priced, and I would definitely recommend it to people even if you do have to part with your cash. The surroundings are lovely, and the quality of service was extremely high.
|Rhubarb and Ginger Sour|
|Even toast needs to sleep.|
It's very peaceful up there, with bees buzzing and the Thames in the background. We slowly drank our bottles of Curious Brew lager in the sun, surveying the quirky Southbank surroundings. The garden will be open til the 1st of November, and you can even get involved by going along to "Drop In Gardening" from 11-1 on Tuesdays throughout October. Make sure you also check out the other nearby popups Propstore, Aperol Spritz bar, and Look Mum No Hands before they disappear.
Rosie had to dash off leaving Taro and I out in the sun. We had a craving to watch a stupid film (Pacific Rim) so Taro suggested Genesis Cinema in Stepney Green, as it has recently added Studio 5, complete with sofas, footrests and a bar, to its collection of screens. Other places in London offer the same comforts (Electric Cinema, The Lounge, Everyman) but few are as affordable as Genesis. It is a short walk from Stepney Green and Whitechapel, and well worth a look. There is also Bar Paragon upstairs which has beers, cocktails, happy hours, short film nights, quizzes etc.
One last thing to mention - we still have a few days of sun left (fingers crossed) and it doesn't get much better than sitting outside drinking a beer with the Thames and some London skyline in sight. However, whenever the sun does decide to show its beautiful face, the riverside joints fill up faster than Nicolas Cage's impressive CV, so you have to be a bit crafty and go further afield. One good option that I was introduced to by Vauxhall local Mary with Cassie (from Gilbert Scott) is the Aqua bar/restaurant at the back of St. George's Wharf near Vauxhall Bridge. Whilst the food and drink are nothing special, they are reasonably priced considering their location, and the views from Battersea Power Station to Westminster are delightful. Try it out sometime for a peaceful drink outside on a summery evening.