Hot in the city! But with so many top tipples to choose from and foodie favourites, here are our top picks to refresh and treat yourself here in south-west London….
Here, at Round & About Magazine, we are passionate supporters of local pubs, restaurants and producers. After all, anyone working in the food and drinks industry will know it takes a lot of hard graft to create the perfect recipe for punters to relax.
One fellow foodie who followed her hunger ( and her heart) is British-Italian entrepreneur Lavinia Davolio. Her sophisticated handmade confectionery, made with fruit, nuts and more goodies wrapped in chocolate and spices and a delicate sugar-spun shell are decadently delicious (not to mention pretty in their William Morris gift tins). Parsons Green-based Lavinia left a high-flying career in investment banking to pursue her dream and has lots of events planned for August and September –visit www.lavolio.com
Best for drinks
Gin has seen a surge in popularity and there are some interesting local distilleries and bars worth checking out. Did you know gin started out as a medicine (it was thought to cure gout and indigestion)? In the 18th century, alcohol was safer to drink than water and gin was cheaper than beer (it was untaxed until the government cottoned on, sparking hooch production). Much of the gin was drunk by women (with historians saying it resulted in child neglect and wet nurses giving gin to babies to quieten them), landing many in debtors’ prisons or the gallows, or driving them to madness, suicide and death (hence the term Mother’s Ruin). However, these days it’s a more joyful summer spirit, and best enjoyed in the sunshine. The Star & Garter, overlooking Putney Bridge, has 140 years of history and is home to Putney Gin Club (as well as serving good food, including charcuterie boards and cheese); www.thestarandgarter.com.
The Sipsmith Distillery in Chiswick is the first of its kind to open in London since 1820, and offers weeknight tours, a “sipper club” and delicious tipples; visit www.sipsmith.com.
We’ve also enjoyed a visit to the fun Mr Fogg’s gin parlour, tavern and house of botanicals in Mayfair and Covent Garden – visit www.mr-foggs.com.
A refreshing choice for those who love the botanical flavours and want a delicious summer drink without alcohol, Seedlip’s non-alcoholic spirits are served in some of the world’s best cocktail bars, Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotels; have a look at www.seedlipdrinks.com and enjoy!
We have so many great brewers and booze-makers here in this corner of south-west London. Parsons Green-based Pilango Cider offers exceptional cider with a global twist. The team’s offering is inspired by their travels across the world and their house ciders, Liberated and Hopped, are 100% juice ciders made from community-sourced apples.
Also great for hoppy bunnies, check out tours and tipples by Chiswick’s Fullers www.fullers.co.uk/brewery, Sambrooks Brewery, www.sambrooksbrewery.co.uk, Fordham Brewery in Kensington www.heathwick.com/fordhambeers
and Kew Brewery www.kewbrewery.co.uk. Also check out www.vagabondwines.co.uk
Best for food.
We have too many to mention that are especially beautiful in summer. For starters, our top picks include Claude’s Kitchen in Parsons Green, SW6 4JA, – our resident food fanatic Jessica Elphinstone is a big fan, especially of the tiramisu; call 020 7371 8517 or visit www.amusebouchelondon.com. She’s also a fan of vegan haven Picky Wops in Fulham’s North End Road (especially the pizza); www.pickywops.com.