Friday, 17 October 2014

Drinking from Camden to Belgravia

Me and Dan had date night on Wednesday.

Because of my surgery, it had been a while. So in an effort to make up for lost time, we decided to go all out and try not one but two new places.

Is Wednesday the new Friday? Hey, it’s London, every day is the new Friday.

BYOC Camden (21)

The day before I ask Dan what his favourite spirit was, he said he didn’t know and that he’d just see what he fancied off the menu.

Well there was a slight hitch in his plan. Where we were heading, there was no menu and no booze.
No alcohol is a bar? Say what?

Let me bring you up to speed. BYOC is a bar that has no licence. Instead, each patron pays an entrance fee, brings a bottle or two of their favourite tipple, and then all night, the master bartenders make cocktails with your spirit based on your likes and fancies. All completely off menu, and individual.

We decided to bring down a bottle of Belvedere Vodka, and a bottle of Cointreau, as I have no idea what to do with it to be honest with you.

BYOC Camden (17) BYOC Camden (16)

Their second venture after the success of the Covent Garden bar, the new Camden bar is much bigger, and with a 1920’s casino theme.

Patrons sit around one of the multiple bars, tell the bartender what they have, what they like, and then they work their magic.

With fresh daily made jams, syrups and organic juices. It’s practically a laboratory. 

BYOC Camden (18) BYOC Camden (20) BYOC Camden (14)

We decided to start strong with our 50% vodka. I usually like sweet, girly drinks, but I thought no. Let's see what they've got. 

BYOC Camden (15) BYOC Camden (19)

A few shakes and stirs later, and this was prepared. A vodka, line, ginger beer and absinthe cocktail. Wow. Now that was a way to start a night. We're not talking fluffy, fruity things that barely contain any alcohol, this is serious drinking. 

BYOC Camden (22)

Now a tip for you is to make friends with the people next to you. Swap alcohol and you get to try new drinks. I over heard the couple next to us mention the word Vermouth. Now you might remember my love affair with Vermouth in Barcelona. Gasping at the cocktail, the couple kindly let me steal a bit, and so me and Dan found ourselves with shooters. Got that hedonistic 1920s feeling yet?

BYOC Camden (23) BYOC Camden (28) BYOC Camden (25)

Next up was my dusty bottle of Cointreau.

BYOC Camden (26) BYOC Camden (27)

I said I wanted something cherry based. I just love cherry's, yet Dan hates them. So he decided to have a Cointreau twisted Old Fashioned, whilst I had a cherry and Cointreau cocktail infused with clove. Never have I had clove in a drink, and yet it works. It's like Christmas in a glass.

BYOC Camden (13)

Next was my favourite of the night. Oh boy could I drink this again and again and again. It's my new favourite drink... well if only I could remember all the ingredients. The is the problem with no menu and off the cuff concoctions.

However I do know it was my Cointreau and the most amazing palmer violet syrup the bartender had decided to make that morning. Best drink, hands down.

BYOC Camden (29)

Now remember what I said about not remembering? I thought taking notes might me a bit sad, so sadly I don't know what this was now. But trust me when I say everything was great.

BYOC Camden (30)

This is a bar for those who are serious about their drinks. Fun, classy with old school glamour. For the ladies, the drinks will keep your attention. The men... the poker table may be a distraction.

BYOC Camden (35)
BYOC Camden (34)

You think someone's been practising their poker face?

BYOC Camden (32)

Mine, not so much.

The night was still young and we'd got more in-store for our night. We had been invited to the launch party for Salmontini, one of the hottest new openings to happen, so we waved good bye and bundled ourselves into a taxi headed for Belgravia. 

Salmontini (3)

If you fancy something a bit more upbeat and lively, plus without the need to provide your own booze, then head on down after dark to Salmontini.

Known on the luxury dinning scene in the Middle East, with restaurants in Lebanon, Jeddah and Dubai, they've finally settled down in London- about time I say.

Salmontini (1)

With a buzzy, Friday night atmosphere, we headed straight for the bar, him walking, me wiggling along to the in house DJ.

Salmontini (7)
Salmontini (8) Salmontini (2) Salmontini (4)

This time with menus to hand, we ordered their signature Espresso Martini, which boy do they do a mean one.

Finally, Dan got his classic Old Fashioned. I think it's the suit, he's come over all Mad Men.

Salmontini (6)

However if you fancy a bit of the off the menu vibe, go right ahead. I ordered a cherry Mojito because well, I just can;t resist cherry's.

Salmontini (9) Salmontini (5)

However Salmontini isn't just a cracking bar, no it just happens to be one of the most coveted new restaurants in town. Coming down late, we got a taster of things to come with some nibbles. My favourite was the goats cheese rolled in seaweed. I think I ate most of them.

Serving fresh fish, sashimi and meats, they had me a fresh fish, so I'm betting next date night I might find myself booking in for a meal. Watch this space.

Salmontini (12)

If though like this man below, you started to flag and need a little rest, there is a quiet, secluded lounge area to just chill out. And I thought it was women who complained that 'They're feet hurt'.

Salmontini (11) Salmontini (10) Salmontini (13)

It was nice to get out of the house, as lately our date nights have consisted of epic runs of Breaking Bad. Wow though, that show. I'm on season 5, episode 6, so it's all kicking off.

However as the clock edged towards midnight we had to make our swift exit as work loomed the next day, although secretly I could have kept going for hours more. Maybe I will move date night to Friday after all.

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  1. I really like the idea of bring your own cocktails, I'm not very experimental with spirits so this seems like a great way to try something new! I love that we blogged about Salmontini on the same day and were able to give two different perspectives.
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

  2. I can't believe you managed all those drinks with work the next day! I don't think I could have stood up.

    Looks like a fab night. I'll definitely be trying that bar in Camden.

    Katie <3

  3. Looks like a great night. I haven't been to BYOC yet but it's definitely on my list x

  4. I love the idea of taking your own booze, and great that you took a bottle of something you're not sure what to do with - our booze cabinet's got a few of those in so I think I need to make a trip to non-alcohol bar with them!

    Rosie xx

  5. After reading this, I'm strongly tempted to put my glad rags on, raid the booze cabinet and go there immediately! Sounds like so much fun!

  6. This place is amazing! I went to a party there and the place was simply breathtaking. I would recommend this place to anyone.

  7. that bar looks wicked cool. great way to learn new cocktails with the bottles you already like to buy!

  8. The drinks are so pretty and the food looks great. This place looks amazing

    Made in Mauve

  9. What a great date night out. This looks amazing, and ahh, vermouth! :) I used to live in Belgravia, so must check that other place out in the future. :)

  10. London is definitely one the places where you can find an amazing bar every day of the week! So many cool places, you could explore your whole life! Never been there but maybe when I move back next year =)

    {Teffy's Perks} X

  11. I love the bring your own booze idea! I'd have definitely gone for the cherry mojito too at Salmontini, a fruity pink drink girl! H x


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