Whilst London can surprise me at any moment, the nights that go beyond my expectations can be few and far between. Maybe it’s because I have high expectations living in a capital city or maybe it’s a result of letting some of the good opportunities go by whilst being too busy? When something turns out to be more than what you thought it would be you have to share it, right?
A couple of weeks ago I was invited by About Time Magazine to attend a cocktail masterclass at 155 Bar & Kitchen, along with a group of bloggers. As a fan of the site and a lover of all good cocktails I accepted the invite in the blink of an eye. In the week running up to it I got swept up in the chaos of a working week and thought little of the event until the day arrived, time started to drag and I longed to be out of the office sipping cocktails. Even then, I only found out its exact location near Farringdon station as I was leaving the office!
So with little to no research I was completely surprised to discover when I arrived that 155 Bar & Kitchen is part of Clerkenwell London, which houses a collection of hand-picked homeware, fashion, stationery and art from niche and independent designers, as well as food, wine, cocktails and events.
We were given an after hours tour to take in its impressive selection. I think you’ll agree by the end of this post that it totally fits in with the creative area.
(By the way, sorry for the yellow/orange glow in these photos, I’m still getting used to taking photos at blogging events and the camera seems to struggle with low light – or I do!)
We started in the basement with a fully stocked wine tasting area.
Moved on to the event space.
Where you’ll find one of the private drinking or dining spots.
Through to clothing.
And up to homeware.
If we had a bit more room in our flat I would have definitely added a few items to the wishlist.
The stationary would make great gifts.
There’s even a selection of perfume and scented candles (which I am so tempted to go back for).
It might not be a shop that’s within my usual budget but I would certainly go back for gifts and key homeware pieces.
Once we’d taken in every corner (and attempted to photograph it all) we got started on to what we were really there for!
155 Bar & Kitchen wanted to showcase their new autumnal cocktail menu by sharing a few recipes. Whilst we were chatting away we were handed the Lavender Refresher – Chase Gin, cranberry juice, lemon juice and homemade lavender syrup.
We talked about our blogs and our work. It was so nice to meet Carla from London is for Living, putting a face to a Twitter handle. It’s a little bit like meeting someone in person that you email at work, although much less formal! It was great to be able to chat before ‘getting to work’ too.
Then we got down to business with the art of cocktail making.
First up was the Buffalo Berry – bourbon, lemon juice, fresh strawberries, apricot jam and basil leaves, muddled together in a similar way to a Mojito.
I really enjoyed the bourbon and basil in this and was surprised how nice the spirit tasted in a cocktail.
Next was Catch the Cherry – Tequila, Cherry Heering, Drambuie, apple juice, rosemary tincture and fresh lime juice. Shaken and poured over ice.
Of course we all clambered over this pretty tray of drinks (you can see bloggers in the wild here. Oh dear.)
And then got to sampling the drink.
I liked the overall taste but I’m really not a tequila cocktail fan.
The last drink of the masterclass was Black Cow martini – a martini stirred (not shaken) with white vermouth.
Served with a cracker and cheese!
The cheese and cracker was the best part for me, way too strong for my liking!
We rounded the evening off with the Pinkster Bakewell Tart – gin, raspberry liqueur, amaretto and apple juice, with almond cream floated on top.
It really was a bakewell tart in a glass!
It was a great selection of cocktails to cover all tastes in a beautiful venue that had so much more than I expected. I really would go back. You can find more information about 155 Bar & Kitchen on their website. (You may want to know, like much of the area, it’s not open at weekends ). It looks like they’ll be offering Cocktail Masterclasses too so keep an eye on this page if you’re interested.
Aside from the cocktails, it was a great blogger event which felt much more like networking than other events I’ve been to. It reminded me how fun it is getting together with other bloggers who are doing it as a hobby or as part of their work.
I was invited as a guest by About Time but I was not asked to share this with you. As ever all opinions are my own.