lifestyle

Where to eat and drink in London this January from vegan fried ‘chicken’ to sparkling tea


Do the right thing AND have a great time

Who says you can’t do the right thing while having a great time?

Certainly not us and to prove it this week we will be working out with beer, tucking into vegan Korean fried ‘chicken’, learning all about sustainability and how we can get involved, and swapping our usual tipple for non-alcoholic sparkling tea (though we’ll probably have it with a cocktail chaser in February, FEBRUARY!). 

Honest…

Hops to it…

At last! An exercise regime we can all get behind.

It’s called Bar Crawl, it’s an anti-Dry January concept (we’ve already lost too many friends to Dry January) and if you do the work out you get rewarded with a six pack… of beer!

The strongman-style exercises include Landlord’s Walks, Keg Lifts (with real kegs!), Don’t Spill My Drink, which is basically an overhead keg squat, and Pulling Pints, all of which we’re sure we’re almost Olympic standard in.

It comes courtesy of GYMBOX – where else? – and starts with an energy shot and ends with a six pack of Tiny Rebel beers that come in at under 700 calories even if you drink the lot. Which you will, let’s face it.

Think outside the box (Picture: Tom Harrison)

 Various venues

Bark up the right tree

Let’s talk about sustainability (Picture: Veerle Evans)

January is the month for changing your wicked ways which is why it’s extremely clever of the Culpepper family, owners of many a fine pub, to host Regenerative Agriculture – a Conversation, which is a discussion on how we can all live more sustainably while having the good old time we demand of life.

And the line-up includes Glen Burrows from The Ethical Butcher, Natoora, Growing Underground… all people with interesting and important things to say.

And seeing as they’re going to be saying them in the surroundings of some of our favourite drinking spots, it’s not all hard work and no play.

Various London venues from January 20

Wing your way

It’s a vegan haven (Picture: The Spread Eagle)

It’s already our very favourite out-East drinking den with a great vegan menu (London’s first fully vegan boozer!) but for Veganuary they are stepping it up even more. Those guys!

Now at The Spread Eagle, you can have Korean crispy fried ‘chicken’ of the woods, braised butterbeans with fennel, chilli and green sauce, green herb pancake… so not your usual pub fare.

And don’t worry, the classic pie, mash and liquor and Sunday roasts are still there.

And because it’s Dry January and they’re kind and caring people, they have extended their non-alcoholic vegan cocktail menu to include espresso martini-less and Sober Sue.

All this in an atmosphere that goes from quiet and conducive to pre-riot madness.

224 Homerton High Street, E9

Doesn’t get cheddar than this 

Upper crust (Picture: Justin De Souza)

A pizza that is a cheeseburger and is vegan… Are our ears deceiving us?

No, it’s the latest collaboration cooked up between Yard Sale Pizza and Halo Burger.

The result? The vegan cheeseburger pizza called You Had Me at Halo in celebration of Veganuary.

That’s our kind of celebration! Not only that but as part of their Stuffed Crust Mondays (don’t you love that someone is putting the work into Stuffed Crust Mondays?) there’s a vegan stuffed crust Margherita, for one month only with cheese – or ‘cheese’ – courtesy of Hackney-based vegan cheese-sters I Am Nut OK.

Follow it all up with some vegan soft-serve ice cream, and you don’t see nearly enough of that.

Until February 1, various locations

Turn over a new leaf

Head to this virtual valley

Still in a New Year’s resolution frame of mind? Still thinking this might be the year you turn everything around and become happier, healthier and something else that begins with ‘h’? Us too (as long as it doesn’t take time out of our busy drinks schedule).

And that’s why we’ll be tuning in to Yeo Valley Organic’s virtual event starring expert panelists discussing ethical lifestyles, sustainable retail, regenerative farming and how we can play our part in making the world a better place through small positive acts.

And if we have a small positive cocktail to hand while we listen (helps us concentrate) then who’s to say we’re not helping save the world?

1pm, Tuesday January 18, online

Down to a tea

Drink up!

You’ve heard of tea. You’ve heard of sparkling drinks. But have you heard of sparkling tea?

Well, you have now because sparkling tea brand Saicho has teamed up with The Gantry, the hot new hotel in Stratford, to open the first (well, the first we’ve heard of) sparkling tea bar, just right for Dry January.

Sample the range of sparkling teas or maybe a sparkling tea-based cocktail in Union Social, the Gantry’s first floor bar.

You can even do some food pairings – Shanghai-style braised pork belly, duck spring rolls – to round off the full Asian experience. And have a snoop around the gorgeous hotel while you’re at it.

Until February 7, The Gantry, 40 Celebration Avenue, E20

Nom nom nom

Peanut butter goes with everything tbh (Picture: Le Bab)

With Christmas and New Year over, we’re back to National Days with Peanut Butter Day coming up on January 24! Put out more flags!

And to celebrate the day and the month of your humble peanut butter, one of our favourite bab stops, Le Bab, will be marking Veganuary with a collaboration with ManiLife peanut butter to come up with a range of curries and stir fries, cocktails and cookies all featuring… you got it, peanut butter.

And if it sounds a bit weird, then just rest assured nothing comes out of chef Manu Canales’ Bab kitchen that you wouldn’t die for.

And it’s protein rich and healthy to boot, the peanut butter… not so much the cocktails and cookies.

Until January 31, Le Bab, Top Floor, Kingly Court, W1

Time flies when you’re having FENN

Fly the nest (Picture: FENN)

We love a collaboration, especially when it’s a reunion, this time between FENN, the gorgeous Fulham restaurant and wonderful Nest in Hackney where the idea for FENN was hatched.

Taking over FENN’s kitchen, the Nest team are putting on a pre-book set menu with no fewer than ten courses packed with the finest British seafood from crab and caviar to langoustine, cod, you name it. 

It is £70 a head and, let us repeat: for that, you’ll get crab, caviar, langoustine included, all of which you can pair with different wines. 

And these people certainly know their wines. They even run a wine club! 

Don’t delay! It’s the perfect pick-me-up!

Tuesday January 25, FENN, 194 Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6

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