If you’re planning a get-together with friends and fancy something a bit different, there are some new destinations in Kingston and the surrounding area that are definitely worth investigating to make the occasion that little more special.
If you’re out with friends, a date night, whatever, and you want to make it a night to remember, Hawkers Bar and Brasserie is the place to go. Part of the newly opened DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, it’s so beautifully styled that you feel as if you’ve walked straight into an upmarket interiors magazine; all cool, contemporary furniture, high ceilings and atmospheric lighting.
I was there on Thursday for the launch party and it felt so glamorous I couldn’t quite believe I was a stone’s throw from home. It’s perfect for a night out and the cocktail menu is positively inspired; with names like Smoking Goldfish and Storm In a Teacup, what’s not to love?!
A nice touch is that Hawkers strive to use local produce as much as they can, serving artisan beers brewed by North Kingston’s The Park Brewery, and Beckett’s Gin, the only gin in the world distilled with British juniper and mint. There are nibbles and bar snacks available, plus an a la carte menu offering steak, burgers and other appealing brasserie fare. The staff are charm personified.
Or maybe you’re after something a little more unusual? If that’s the case, head straight for Tipplesworth Cocktail Academy. Tipplesworth started out selling their unique cocktail cases and kits at the likes of Liberty, Fortnum & Mason and Harvey Nichols, before opening their own shop in Teddington. Everything is fantastically retro in style, from the tiered gold hostess trollies to the fabulous 50’s era dresses worn by Lady Tipplesworth herself, Frankie Snobel, and Vanessa, our cocktail mixologist for the evening.
The theme on this occasion was gin, and on arrival we were served a sloe gin cocktail that certainly got the evening in full swing, delicious! After several more craft gins and various tonics, even a chocolate tonic, we then had a go at making our very own Tom Collins cocktail. I’ve never had one before, it was wonderfully refreshing and made me dream of sunnier climes. You’re guaranteed a great evening, and Frankie and Vanessa are perfect hostesses, good fun and full of interesting information about the spirits we were sampling. I’ll definitely go back, especially as their next one is a Mother’s Day Special, with a focus on chocolate, mmm…
But sometimes you just want to be low-key, and a latte and a catch-up will suffice, in which case, Beanberry Coffee is an ideal destination. Situated on Fife Road in Kingston, the cafe has only been open a few months, and already has a solid fan base who appreciate the broad range of organic coffee that comes fresh from Beanberry’s roasting facilities in Woking. The cafe has got a cool, post-industrial feel to it, with sparse lighting and a subtle mix of wood and metal surfaces. The pastries are great and the coffee just perfect, and you can easily while away an hour or so savouring the cafe’s laid-back atmosphere. The staff are friendly without being overbearing; a welcome change from the ubiquitous chain cafe, of which there are too many in Kingston.
So there you have it: a great new bar, a stylish cafe serving proper coffee and a cocktail academy where good times are guaranteed. Where are you heading first? Maybe I’ll see you there.
By Our Kingston Blogger, Lamees.