— Ellie Broughton

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Spring is in the air, and for chocoholics that can only mean one thing. Easter eggs are inspired by the traditional symbolism of the egg as promising new life, but for anyone who’s started a new life as a vegan or is dairy intolerant, they can evoke sad memories of an easier life when you didn’t have to check ingredients lists before buying.

Luckily the dairy-free egg market gets stronger every year, and we found plenty of quality, tasty options to try.

Click here to head over and see the best in show.

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As part of Time Out’s reviews team, alongside Ashleigh Arnott, Josie Ayre, Tania Ballantine, Elizabeth Darke, Kitty Drake, Danielle Goldstein, Steph Hartman, Andy Hill, Emma Hughes, Laura Richards and Yolanda Zappaterra, I reviewed Scandal Water at Punch Room at the London Edition.

Afternoon tea in the Punch Room nods back to the way it would have been in eighteenth and nineteenth century: tea is served without milk, there’s an open fire in winter, and muffins come in repro muffin-warmers. The rest of the tea is bang up to date, though, down to the cool London-themed willow-pattern china, the sustainable credentials of the tea, and our favourite twenty-first-century upgrade: punch. Choose three cups of loose-leaf tea, then food and punch are matched. Cheese shortbread, ganache tart and eccles cake came in canapé-sized mouthfuls that won’t sate the typical arvo tea appetite. But you didn’t come to Punch Room for the grub, did you? Read the rest of the review, and the rest of the round-up, online here.

Elsewhere on Time Out:

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Hot shot: a bartender pours a drink to go with one of the bar's snacks, served on a slab of pink salt. Photograph: Alex Zalewska

Hot shot: a bartender pours a drink to go with one of the bar’s snacks, served on a slab of pink salt. Photograph: Alex Zalewska

No, it’s not behind any wall. It’s down some stairs and if it’s behind anything, it’s velvet curtains. Other than its name, though, guests are unlikely to quibble with there being a new bar on the Narrow Way.

Alex Harris opened Behind This Wall (previously used as storage for a local Turkish social club) back in February after many years working in food and drink for the Soho House group.

He is a London lad who grew up in Baltimore and returned to the capital to settle in Bethnal Green. The East Coast connection pops up on the menu in a few places (Vermont whiskey and cheddar, oysters, Providence Martinis) but the atmosphere in his bar is otherwise pure Hackney.

I reviewed the bar for the Hackney Citizen’s November 2016 issue. To read more from my brief spell as the features editor at the paper when I first went freelance or read some of the features I wrote afterwards for the sister paper, the East End Review, head over to the site, or go straight:

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Our city’s history can very easily be viewed through beer goggles. Fashions and technologies have changed over the centuries and the current renaissance of craft ales is just the latest twist in a boozy tale that predates the city itself.

On Londonist: the history of London in five beers.

 

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London

A short walk from Liverpool Street tube station lies Petticoat Lane, a bustling fabric market by day, but a quiet, shuttered road by night. City bars and pubs tend to peter out around this area of town, and it’s still a few blocks away from Brick Lane. But on the corner of Wentworth and Leyden Streets, underneath an old building advertised as Discount Suit Company, stairs lead down to a basement bar big enough for around 50 drinkers – the best secret bar in east London right now.

In January I also discovered £2.50 pints at the King William IV – the Leyton local is a big, independent venue is the flagship pub for Brodie’s brewery, housed behind the building.  Just down the road, The Chequers serves great local beers and boasts its own smoker. No wonder it’s tipped as one of the coolest new pubs in E17.

In central London, I discovered a wine bar from the team behind the Experimental Cocktail Club Chinatown, in Chelsea I found an Italian restaurant selling traditional arrosticini from Abruzzo.

Lastly – I gave up one of my long-guarded favourite – Jan’s Belgian beer bar in Stoke Newington. Jan’s is one of the lesser-known bars in Stoke Newington, perhaps because it’s not on the main drag of the high street or Church Street. But it’s easy enough to find. Walk north up the high street, past the Jolly Butchers, and turn right at Abney Park Cemetery gates. Northwold Road cuts through Stoke Newington Common, but the bar is just a minute or two away from the high street.

Click here to read all my reviews on the site.

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