CUB, Shoreditch

CUB is not a bar, and it’s not a restaurant… it’s a new concept from cocktail mastermind Ryan Chetiyawardana in collaboration with Silo chef Doug McMaster. With this venue (located in the remodelled White Lyan bar) Ryan hopes to bridge the gap between drinks and food, offering a set menu where cocktails and dishes are intrinsically entwined.

CUB

CUB is kitted out in bright mustard leather banquettes with white sparkly tables made from recycled yoghurt pots. As soon as you sit down the passionate staff will inspire you with stories about the current dishes and drinks. Our waitress Jane Cryan was brilliant, answering every one of my questions with a full and fascinating response.

CUB

Our CUB culinary journey started with Krug Champagne spiked with water jelly and herbs, and some crispbread snacks. Both were subtle and delicately flavoured and beautifully paired together.

CUB

My favourite dish was the Green Tomato with Fig Leaf and White Peach. This unusual looking plate was a intriguing and refreshing mix of sour tomatoes and sweet ripe peach, the fig leaf oil added an aromatic twist.

CUBCUB

When I visited, the whole menu was vegetarian, seemingly by accident. CUB only uses completely sustainable ingredients, many of which are grown nearby to the venue.

The Chervil Root with Red Flash Apple and Turbo Whey was an intensely sweet dish with a yeasty savoury depth. Though unexpected, we found the dish warming and comforting. The Shrooms on Shrooms was an earthier recipe, a mix of different mushrooms cooked in a variety way to create a range of flavours and textures. It was filling and delicious.

CUB

The drinks blended perfectly amongst the plates of food. I loved the gin based drink with fermented carrot, bitter orange and miso, an elegant drink with a touch of saltiness. The final drink was also delicious, made with Square Mile Coffee, Cognac, H.M.S and Peach. This short and strong drink was a lovely smooth and rich end to the meal.

CUB do welcome guests for just drinks, but I encourage you to visit for the whole experience… the menu changes regularly featuring spectacularly unique recipes, both to drink and to eat, and trying them together makes the flavour even more vibrant. The set menu costs £45 per person and is more than worth it.

More information and book a table at CUB here.

The Hoxton Paris

It doesn’t take much persuading to get me on the Eurostar to Paris… so when one of my favourite hotel brands, The Hoxton, asked me along for the Paris launch I was more than happy to oblige!

Hoxton Paris

The shiny new Hoxton Paris is found on Rue du Sentier in the 2nd arrondisement, perfectly placed for an action-packed weekend in Paris. This clever company have transformed a beautiful historic building with modern touches and stylish design features everywhere you look. It is their most ambitious project yet, with 172 guestrooms, a trendy all-day brasserie and a hidden-away cocktail bar upstairs for those in the know. The interiors in the public spaces have been taken care of by the Soho House team whilst the bedrooms have been beautifully designed by Humbert & Poyet.

Hoxton Paris

Much like the other Hoxton hotels, the new Paris branch has lots of lovely places to sit and relax or work. I fell in love with the leafy covered courtyard, which is kitted out in bright mustard velvet. There is also a grand and spacious outdoor courtyard, which I imagine will be a hit for events in the summer months.

Hoxton Paris

There are four categories of rooms to choose from: Shoebox, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy. The descriptions say it all, however thanks to the careful design, even the smallest rooms feel big enough for a luxurious citybreak. If you book in advance, on a weekday, you could get a shoebox room for as little at 99 euros! All the rooms have bespoke chevron timber floors, indulgent beds with striking checked sheets, glamorous thick curtains and very efficient bathrooms. For an extra special stay pick a room on the top floor, which comes with a roll-top bath and views of the Eiffel Tower.

Hoxton Paris

A petite breakfast is delivered to the room in the morning – freshly squeezed juice, a piece of fruit and a yoghurt and granola pot. Head to the Rivie restaurant downstairs for a more comprehensive hot breakfast. We enjoyed dinner here, a feast of French classics from Steak Frites to Chocolate Mousse. Don’t leave without enjoying a nightcap at the intimate Jacques’ Bar where local cocktail experts Quixotic whip up creative drinks.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for The Hoxton brand… the Williamsburg hotel opens later this year, and it sounds like there are lots more exciting projects on the horizon!

Book a room at the Hoxton Paris here.

Dandelyan, Southbank

Ryan Chetiyawardana, or Mr Lyan as he’s also known, is a cocktail connoisseur like no other… winning accolades with every bar he opens around the capital. Dandelyan is perhaps his more celebrated and accessible bar, found within the stylish riverside Mondrian hotel and serving up pretty, innovative drinks and intriguing reinventions of the classics.

Dandelyan

The sophisticated bar is located on the ground floor of the hotel, with tables overlooking the River Thames. It is a vision of moody hues, with a dark green marble bar and pale pink leather chairs. The staff are knowledgeable and well informed, and brought over the Botany inspired menu to us immediately, carefully explaining each concoction.

Dandelyan

The menu guide book, which is currently on its 4th edition, lists drinks in terms of light and rich, recommending the ideal time of day to drink them. We started with the ‘Rocks Off Manhattan’ and ‘Sweetheart Sazerac’ before moving on to the ‘Koji Hardshake’ and ‘Forty Coin Fizz’.

Our overall favourite was the ‘Rocks Off Manhattan’ a strong but smooth mix of Rusted Copper Dog Scotch, chokecherry grenadine and pine nut vermouth. The drink was rich but also had a fruity, nutty flavour… a delicious start (or end) to any evening. The ‘Koji Hardshake’ is one of the Dandelyan Classics, which has remained on the menu for a while. An unlifting short drink with Dewar’s 12yo Scotch, lemon, koji and cream sugar and liquorice bitters. For something a little lighter opt for the dry and fizzy ‘Forty Coin Fizz’, a gin based cocktail with ginko leaf, lemon and “silver apricot”.

Dandelyan

The bar food menu has a short but tempting offering of snacks. The Sea Containers Flatbread with Kale, Truffle and Chestnuts was an indulgent hit. I’d also recommend the salty bitter Padron Peppers and the moreish Mondrian chips with garlic and chilli aioli.

Dandelyan

Whether you are popping in for a quick afterwork tipple or date night drinks, Dandelyan has got a cocktail to suit every occasion and every palate.

More information and book a table at Dandelyan here.