The celebration of me becoming even more knackered and rancid (which is to say, my birthday event) took place at Hawksmoor – London’s best meat restaurant. The usual selection of delectable bits of animal (the remains of some are pictured left) were on offer, but I was gratifyingly altered by the brilliance of their new cocktail list.
The cocktails at Hawkmsoor have always been a draw, but their cocktail list has recently been refined and enhanced with a selection of irresistible booze-infused delights. Given the massed ranks of jolly fellows with rosy cheeks crowded around the bar this intelligence has clearly been widely diffused already.
On arrival I was feeling distinctly jaded and spent, understandable given my advanced years, and needed an immediate sharpener. When I said I wanted a frighteningly spicy Bloody Mary I could see by the look of determination on the barman’s face that he took this as a challenge. He certainly rose to this and I was invigorated and enlivened by my drink. So I ordered another.
This little gem, with the moniker ‘Bijou’, was a Chartreuse and orange suffused entity of mood-enhancing brilliance. As I imbibed I became charged with a humour of such blithesome ebullience that I wanted to find a miserable person and give them a good talking to for missing the essential point of existence. Kierkegaard was clearly wrong to maintain that each individual is solely responsible for giving their life meaning, our bartenders have a profound influence as well.
Indeed, existentialists’ focus on individual experience determining whether we lead a fulfilling life looked distinctly shaky as Editor Daniel passed around his Delicious Sour for us all to try – its playful skylarking with ideas of sweetness and acidity were enhanced by the acts of sharing and discussing them with enlightened friends.
You may notice a distinct lack of pictures of these wonderful concoctions for which I lay the blame squarely at the feet of Mr Jobs and his iPhone contraption being inadequate at taking pictures in the subdued lighting of the Hawksmoor Bar. I wouldn’t have the lighting level any different; after a few drinks excessive brightness may lead to neuralgia. I hope this picture of me with a glass of their rather nice house fizz will go some way to make amends for the general lack of booze pictures.
The subject of wine brings me nicely onto news that the wine-list at my preferred outpost, the Spitalfields’ branch, has now been upgraded to match that of Seven Dials – the new venue. There are a profusion of riches on it at prices to suit all wallets. If you’d like a recommendation I don’t think you can go far wrong with Freddie Mugnier’s Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Clos de la Marechale 2005, it is simply scrumptious.
Contact details: Hawksmoor Spitalfields, 157 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ Telephone: 020 7247 7392 or Seven Dials 11 Langley Street, London WC2H 9JG Telephone: 020 7856 2154