We know that for some Shoreditch food is so 2000 and late, but we finally decided to have a proper meal, coffee and bar experience, in between browsing through vintage shops and bumping into people who had more 1970s clothing than one can imagine.
Hungry and questioning our fashion choices, Andina was an appealing spot, after a bit of a browse in several other places on the high street.
We had never been to a place with Peruvian cuisine before so we were aware it could potentially be a hit or miss experience. With the option to eat around the kitchen area and watch your sizzling food, we decided to go for a more private spot, where the decor was all about vinyl covers and bright colour.
This Peruvian gem had a weekday and weekend menu, which were both packed with ceviche, skewers and street food choices, on top of their cocktail selection. After a bit of a wonder, we went for Beef Anticucho (very brave ‘hearty’ choice), Causa Misti (a flavoured potato mash and asparagus, Ceviche Morado (raw salmon in a zesty sauce), Cassava Chips (a Brazzilian root vegetable that we’re still unsure whether we like) as well as Andean Mint tea which was absolutely yummy.
With a comfortable level of fullness, having enjoyed the Ceviche and Causa Misti the most and happy we discovered a good semi-exotic lunch place, we thought than Andina did well, pretty well.
As vintage clothing window shopping is exhausting, there was soon need for an afternoon coffee and cake, so we came across the Huntergather on Redchurch street. Industrial space, exposed brick, combination of clothing on racks and coffee making, leather sofa, halogen heater and organic carrot cake. A pretty good spot if you need to get some work done – there were proper sized desk-level tables, or want to chill on the comfier seats and indulge in that carrot cake. The coffee was good too.
The concept of hidden bars is relatively new to us, because why would you make people work for their cocktail to begin with. Putting the pragmatism on the side, we were excited to visit the pretty popular Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, an underground bar which you can enter only through a SMEG fridge in the Breakfast Club near Liverpool street. Going there at probably its peak hour, it wasn’t a surprise we had to wait about 20 minutes (inside though!) after which we were asked to provide the necessary password – yes, very secretive indeed.
With a big sign ‘No heavy petting’ on the wall, dimmed lights, candles and instructions how to exit the bar in the least suspicious way, the pretty good number of 9 pound cocktails seems like a nice bonus. We went for ‘Prince Albert’ which tasted like an enhanced glass of Champaigne, with its Tanqueray gin, sweet vermouth, green Chartreuse and Luxardo maraschino add-ons. Pretty royal.
We also had a taste of a warm, chocolate and chilly infused cocktail, which reminded us of a hot chocolate that makes you slightly smilier. Not to spoil the experience for you, we’d skip the part how you exit the bar but we’d like to conclude that hidden bars are worth it. Even if you have to google the password as you enter.
The Saatchi gallery. Not the most popular or touristy place in London, this gallery, just off Sloane Square was a nice surprise of how you can spent a pleasant hour amongst contemporary art and then further enjoy yourself in the form of King’s Road shopping.We admit we are not the most keen post modern/pop art/ anything appearing in Tate modern type (apart from Russian propaganda posters), but we did appreciate some of the humour/seriousness behind the installations of Post Pop: East meets West – a free visiting exhibition that could be seen until 3rd March. Mickey Mouse holding Lenin’s hand, The Hammer and dollar combo, Malevich branded cigarettes. For anyone who has a slightest bit of interest in the ‘east’, which in this exhibition goes geographically much further than Russia, you’d have a giggle.
The Science museum. Year 5 kids we are not. An occasional visit to the science museum though is always a nice reminder of all we have forgotten or never knew about space engineering or in this case, the temporary Churchill Scientists exhibition that you can see until 1st March. What we saw was an illustration of the breadth and depth of science innovation in the late 1930s/ early 1940s as an enabler for strategic military advantage, which we found both curious and a bit disturbing. With Churchill’s custom made green velvet all-in-one suit, the latest radar equipment of its time, samples of penicillin, submarine firing tools and molecular genetics illustrations, we were pleased with the edutainment of the afternoon.
If you have been following our Instagram feed (e.g.When Whittard met Oliver), you may have noticed we’re more of coffee drinkers. Nevertheless, we came across T2, an Australian brand selling loose tea and a lot of jazzy tea making equipment. While we knew that there is more than herbal, fruity, green and black tea variations, T2 put us to shame and with an average price of 8 pounds per 100g, we saw it as a bit of a treat for us and our pots.
We went for the safe-smelling French Earl Gray, after a sample-frenzy sniffing process that covered items from the extreme Really Russian Caravan to the uber-sweet Crème Brulee. After having drank more than necessary, out verdict is clear – loose leaf tea is a whole new experience.
A recap of the month: faux fur vintage coats, hidden bars exploration, pop art galleries and Peruvian food.