East London Liquor Company

A few weeks back (and when I say a few, I mean two months ago), my family and I took a trip up to Mile End, to celebrate my parent’s wedding anniversary. They moved to London 35 years ago and originally lived in Hackney, so they were keen to go back to see how much the area has changed.

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We decided to hit up East London Liquor Company, a gin and vodka distillery in East London with a bottle shop and restaurant. You’ll find it just south of Vicky Park next to the canal. It’s a well-kept secret (there’s no signage) and it’s just simply decorated with reclaimed brick walls and salvaged trestle tables – the shimmering copper distillers behind the bar do all the talking here.

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It was a beautiful golden afternoon and after being crammed on a sweltering hot central line tube, all I could think about was that gin and tonic waiting for me at the end of my journey. They boast an incredible stash of bottled spirits (and you can book into distillery tours) but if you’d rather a cold beer (like my brother) they’ve got it by the bucketful.

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If you need something to soak up the booze, they’ve got an on-site restaurant which is influenced by Italian cuisine, complete with a pizza oven and array of sharing plates. We dived into the sharing plates and each ordered our favourite thing on the menu to divide between the four of us: prosciutto & ricotta wrapped grissini, zucchini tagliatelle, artichoke & fennel Salad, and burrata served with nettles.

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I’ll definitely start incorporating the prosciutto and ricotta wrapped grissini into my dinner parties, such a simple snack but one that is incredibly tasty.

The other highlight was the zucchini tagliatelle, it was so light and was served with a dollop of parmesan cheese on top. If you ever find yourself at The East London Liquor Company and fancy a snack to accompany your drinks, get this.

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And if you’re anything like my family, a couple of sharing plates isn’t enough, and thankfully their pizza oven comes to the rescue when feeding the Boasts. Order the ricotta stuffed crust, which is topped with tomato, salami, parmesan and rocket.

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East London Liquor CompanyUnit GF1, Bow Wharf, 221 Grove Road, London, E3 5SN

*Main photo courtesy of East London Liquor Company

 

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Where to Take a Date in London

There’s a fairly high chance that you’re either in a relationship, or single – and whichever it is, you’re going to need date ideas.

And that’s where this little guide comes in handy it’s time to put a stop to the classic dinner and a movie.

Eat Some Street Food

It’s no surprise that this makes the top of my list, and in London there’s so much choice! If you’re both foodies and have differing taste buds then this is the perfect date – there’s usually something for everyone.

Try Broadway Market in East London, and head to the Dumpling Shack and grab some of their homemade crispy dumplings and for dessert try Crosstown Doughnuts.

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In your in North London try Kerb who have recently opened a street food paradise in Camden. You can’t go here without getting Oli Baba’s deep fried halloumi fries.

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And you can’t forget about Borough Market. If it’s a sunny day bring a wicker basket and spent the morning stocking it up. Then walk across the river to St Pauls where you should have your picnic. Some serious good food and stunning views of London can be had.

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Watch a Movie

Oh don’t be fooled and go to your local Vue or Odoen. Try an indie cinema

The Phoenix is my local favourite in East Finchley and it’s so nostalgic. It shows feature films, live opera and art house hits. Grab a glass of wine in the bar upstairs and sit back, relax, and enjoy the film.

Also try The Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise and The Everyman in Baker Street.

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Play a Game or Two

If you both have a competitive streak head to Draughts in Shoreditch – just don’t challenge each other to a game of Monopoly if you want to end the date on good terms.

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If board game aren’t you thing, head to Bar Kick and play a game of table football.

Or better yet, head to Junkyard Golf and challenge each other to the wackiest game of crazy golf around and dare the loser to buy all the drinks.

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Boris Bike Tour

If you’re new to London, or have managed to avoid seeing all the tourist sights, there’s simply no better way to see the city. Plus, if you know a thing of two about the history of London this is a great way to try and impress that special someone.

Click here to read the Telegraph’s best cycle routes.

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Go on a Gin Tour

If you both love a tipple (or two) then this you definately be in your to-do list. There’s now quite a few gin distilleries in London, but Sipsmith is one of my favourites. Tours cost as little at £25 and include a G&T – but you’ll need to book a few weeks in advance.

The East London Liquor Co is also a good bet, and if you don’t like Gin you’re in luck as they also make Vodka and Whisky.

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