DRINK: Hook Norton Brewery Tour, The Cotswolds

This weekend, as part of my Dad’s Birthday Gift, I went along to the Hook Norton Brewery for a tour with my family. Hook Norton Beers are relatively local to where I grew up out in Buckinghamshire as they are located just a 45 minute drive away towards The Cotswolds which in themselves are a beautiful place to visit. The Brewery has been around from the early 1800’s and since then, has flourished impressively. IMG_1420Our guide for the tour was a local man named ‘Keith’ who was fantastic, full of knowledge with some light humor thrown in. You enjoy a full walk through of the brew house and learn about the brewing process of their many labels. In itself, it was fascinating. I have done the Guinness Brewery experience over in Dublin as many others had however this tour was incomparable, with a much more intimate ‘access-all-areas’ approach plus it feels great to support a local business like this. Of course the best part is the tasting, and a generous affair it was too. I got through a good four half pints sampling some delicious beers. My personal favourite was the Hooky which is their popular ale however a notable mention for the Red Rye which funnily enough is brewed with the addition of Rye creating a unique taste. You are presented at the end with a commemorative stemmed glass from the shop and no trip wouldn’t be complete without walking out with some well-priced beers. I took away a Red Rye and a Greedy Goose to enjoy later on this summer. A great morning out had by all, I would highly recommend it to everyone- a fantastic gift idea. https://www.hooky.co.uk/

DRINK: Lobby Bar at The EDITION, London

Sometimes it’s more fun to have a classier evening out at the weekend. A few weeks ago I joined a friend and we went for a couple of drinks at The Lobby Bar of the relatively new Boutique Hotel- The EDITION London. I was recommended this by a friend specifically because of the setting and atmosphere of the venue. roomserviceUpon arrival you instantly feel like royalty as you are greeted inside by the prestigious doormen. I would advise you dress smart as it seemed that this was generally the tone of the evening throughout the bar. As for the cocktails, you are looking at around £10 per drink, which I think is reasonable considering their presentation and taste. An all round terrific collection of cocktails all with plenty of flair. The interior is what you are really going for however; a beautiful modern take on a very classically influenced design. A beautiful silver egg gleams as it hangs from the centre of a dramatically ornamented cornice ceiling surrounded by a wealth of marble walls. I absolutely recommend this place whether it’s to start your night before following the arrogant crowd through to Soho, or to wind down with a night cap before catching the last tube home! Like I said, sometimes it’s great to dress smart and have a slightly more sophisticated evening in the City at a unique and stylish hangout! Check it out: http://www.editionhotels.com/london/restaurants-and-bars/lobby-bar

DRINK: Artesian at The Langham, London

This weekend alongside a friend, I went to the Artesian Bar which is housed in The Langham Hotel here in London. Its an award winning Cocktail Bar winning World’s Best Bar in 2015. I have been before, however this was the first time I went with an intention to try their famous cocktails. We stayed for two, however crystalI chose different to my friend and the tastes were unlike any other I had tried before. All around the bar you see some fantastic contraptions that the cocktails are served in, anything from a champagne flute to a model elephant to a gold bar to a giant bronze ant! I had the Mezcal Paparazzi (#feelingcrazy) first as I didn’t think it would be too soon that I had a cocktail containing Leather again. The photo attached was my favourite however both for taste and presentation. The Chameleon Crystals (#feelingamazing) was Gin based with hidden flavours such as soy, chilli and lime and served in a timber wish box that of course, exhaled smoke when opened. I would highly urge you to take a trip one evening at least just to step inside another world where everyone around you oozes elegance and all have money to burn. The newly released Surrealist themed Cocktail Menu can be viewed online: http://www.artesian-bar.co.uk/#/cocktails/surrealism/