Imagine a combination of healthy herbs, flavoursome flowers, juicy fruits, alcoholic tipples and a little night music thrown in and you have London’s hottest pop-up cocktail bar.
Lovely Lottie, the ‘Cocktail Gardener’ has created a fabulous roof-top paradise with botanically-infused drinks straight from the garden.
Last year, Lottie completed a one-year horticultural course at Capel Manor with honours and was looking for a vacant plot she could transform.
She found the neglected circular plot on the roof of the Brunel Museum, just across the road from her home.
In spring, with the help of fellow students, Lottie transformed the plot into a beautiful, edible garden with six raised beds radiating out from a central sundial.
By day, this rooftop cottage kitchen garden can be visited and enjoyed by all, while on Saturday evenings in September, Lottie places shimmering, coloured birds and flares among the plants, puts out the deckchairs, takes off her gardening gloves and rustles up the most amazing ‘prescriptions’ – her cocktail creations.
Visitors sip divine drinks amongst the foliage; honey and basil daquiris, whisky mint juleps, raspberry mint martinis and lavender gin fizzes with lavender sprigs as swizzle sticks.
Lottie uses borage blossom as decoration and also creates inspired, imaginative – and potent – creations such as lovage with brandy, gin with thyme or chocolate mint in whisky.
As Lottie says ‘Although we use lots of herbs and flowers, our cocktails really pack a punch.’
The marvellous Midnight Apothecary will only last until the end of September, so visit soon and reap the benefits!
Midnight Apothecary is going on till Sat 29 Sept, but then they have two specials - for Halloween (Sat 27 Oct) and Bonfire night (Sat 3 Nov.) In between, Lottie will be doing the bar for the Royal Horticultural Society's harvest festival event on 9 October.
Free entry, cash bar
Every Saturday in September 5pm-10.30pm
Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue SE16 4LF
Nearest tube: Rotherhithe
Buses: C10, 188, 381
Tours of the Grand Entrance Hall at 7:30pm (£5)
Google map: bit.ly/RVPDWG
* Lucy is our Been there local for London. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/london-local-lucy-mallows.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/LucyRM.jsp
There are a few other nice bars and restaurants nearby but CDLC is by far the best choice. This place serves as a cool, swanky and fashionable eaterie by day and a trendy bar/club by night. Decked out in a fusion of Oriental and Mediterranean decor and ornaments, it's hard not to be drawn in. It's a great place to go for lunch after a stroll/swim at the beach. During the day we took in the glorious sunshine and relaxed on the huge outdoor loungers - the size of a double bed - at the front of the restaurant. It's very much a casual yet chic dining experience. The food was great and elegantly presented. I'd recommend the rice dishes or club sandwiches if it's a light bite you're after. It's a bit pricey but you're paying not only for the food but also the ambience and experience. We came back here later on at night. The atmosphere was completely different, but in a good way. By night CDLC is transformed into a slick, sophisticated and enchanting club where you can reserve individual indoor lounges which are partitioned by long white drapes - it has an almost mystic Middle Eastern feel. Opposite the lounge area is the bar which served a wide range of cocktails. Further back is the dance floor - music policy ranged from chart/dance/electronica/hiphop, so something for all preferences.
Press floor 64 in the State Tower in Bangkok and get transported onto a rooftop bar with a sultry jazz singer to your left, a luminous blue bar to your right and 360 degree views of the steaming city below. Step down the twinkling, sweeping staircase make your way past the beautiful people to the cocktail bar and believe it - you are living the dream :-)
State Tower, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
+66 2 624 9555
Google map: bit.ly/tdxvcL
Now Iconic, thanks to Lost in Translation, the New York Bar is situated on the 52nd floor of Shinjuku’s Park Hyatt Hotel. The bar has arguably the best views in Tokyo and if you venture up there in the day before 8pm you won’t have to pay the 2200¥ cover charge. However, the view at night is priceless. They have an outstanding whiskey list if you fancy doing your best Bill Murray impression. If not, the house cocktail list is wonderful. Try the sublime L.I.T: a fusion of Sake, Sakura liqueur, Peachtree and cranberry juice. The perfect accompaniment to the live music.
3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku Tokyo, 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Google map: bit.ly/sAYLlq
The Star at Night is a mixture of a bar, cafe, cocktail bar, bistro and crusty old pub, all rolled into one. It's usually frequented by gay clientele, but in Soho anything goes and it's one of the most relaxed and friendly places in town.
The short menu has over-priced tapas-style offerings in disappointingly small portions: Greek salad, smoked salmon, grilled Halloumi, tortilla and nibbles such as pistachios and olives.
The main reason to go is the great, chilled out atmosphere and the old-fashioned decor with an emphasis on old wood, which makes a change from the usual sleek, up-to-the-minute, minimalist places all around.
The Star also has a great collection of sign memorabilia, including a pet food advert, which the waitress claims is the 'most photographed sign in London'.
Drop by and you'll see why!
Don't let the Crossrail building works occupying 95% of the street put you off. The word on the street was that the Star would have to close, however they are digging their heels in and staying put, hopefully for a lot longer.
Forget the Sydney Opera bar, Scubar and the party buses driving you around Darling Harbor.
I’m taking you for a day out to the alternative and indie kids paradise, Newtown. Although only one station from Central, backpackers and tourists tend to miss this lively area.
Here is my guide to a place often forgotten for the Bondi sunshine and lifeguards. So put away you boardies and pick your favorite pair of skinny jeans.
Newtown is amazing for food. Every time I went to Oz, I ended up piling on the pounds because I lived so close to so many delicious places. I am actually slightly drooling when I think of it. Get me there now.
To start the day right, one of my favorite places for breakfast is Café Sophia on Erskenville Road. You have to try their banana raspberry melon smoothie with salmon and eggs benedict or their French toasts. Actually try everything. Just go every morning for four months like I did.
For lunch, I would generally go for one of the many Thai restaurants on King’s Street, Newtown's main road. Most of the places are vegan/vegetarian and although I'm neither, I did get a little bit addicted to the fake duck, pak choi and rice $6 lunch boxes.
To walk off all this food, shop around! Newtown has lot to offer when it comes to retail therapy, whether it’s one the many vintage stores or young designers’ outlets, you will find everything you need to look like the Sydney hipster crowd.
Then head to the art gallery “Oh really?” on Enmore Road. Oh really? is a collective/magazine/gallery presenting the latest street artists around. They regularly organize openings and you could find yourself having a beer with artist Ears while nodding to some breakbeat. Check out what’s going on at ww.ohreallymagazine.com
Then it’s time to wind down. Head down for a cold long neck at The Court House (“The Courtie”) on Australia Street. Cheap drinks, a lovely beer garden decorated with fairy lights, a lively atmosphere and very important, a pool table.
Then move on for some cocktails on the Zanzibar Roof. You will find a cosy terrace and the staff there are always lovely (and not too shabby looking either).
If the schooners have gone straight to your head, then it’s time to go and pull some shapes on the dance floor. I have to say this is not in Newtown. On a Friday I’ll head to Mum at World Bar in Kings Cross to watch live music and listen to the latest indie-electro. Check the coming up MUM nights on MusicFeeds. On any other night check out Sydney promoters and all around cool kids UPTOOUR HIPS for the best nights in town (seriously).
And there you go, I can assure you this will be hell of a good day.
Now there is a lot more to discover by yourself in Newtown and around. But it would take way too long to tell you all about it and I have still things left to see myself. It’s alright; I’ll be back very soon. I’ll see you at The Courtie.
PS: If you were still to be hungry on your way home, stop by Saray’s on Enmore Road for a pite (also called Laknore) ,a filled bread from Kosovo with lemon juice on it. Delicious.
Cafe Sofia: 7 Swanson St Erskineville NSW 2043, +61(0)2 9519 1565
Oh Really? Gallery: 55 Enmore Rd Newtown, +61(0)401 919 624, www.ohreallymagazine.com
The Court House: 202 Australia Street Newtown, 2042, +61(0)29519 8273
World Bar: 24 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, +61(0)2 9357 7700 www.theworldbar.com
Saray: 18 Enmore Rd, Newtown, 2042, +61 (0)2 9557 5310
New York is expensive and I'll say it, often overrated. When you go to a bar or restaurant, you pay for the scene. But if you just want to get silly drunk on fruity, crazy-colored margaritas, consider the chain Dallas BBQ. There are locations all over, but I tend to stick to the ones in Chelsea or the East Village. I wouldn't advise ordering the food, unless you're trying something small to stave off a hangover. (There are much better, pricier places for barbecue. The offerings at Dallas BBQ are mediocre at best.) The restaurant staff won't rush you if you decide to drink a Texas-sized margarita and hang out with your friends. They won't even get annoyed when you can barely leave the place once you're done, either. I may or may not speak from personal experience(s).
Best bar in Portugal without a doubt! Alex is the greatest barman out there and makes the best cocktails known to man, prices are good. All in all a friendly and lovely place to spend the evening
Rua da 25 Avril, Lagos
A recently opened gallery and cafe located almost opposite Camberwell Art College and a great place to chill out of a morning.
From the outside, along the vaguely grim Peckham Road, it looks a bit bleak and industrial inside but the welcome is really warm and there's free WiFi all day, cocktails, snacks and a licensed cafe and bar.
On Thursdays there are introductory food and drink offers, such as a buy one get one free 12" pizza, which can't be bad.
Conveniently close to the super cool South London Gallery and also supportive of The Sassoon Gallery (www.thesassoongallery.co.uk) NewGallery London is THE place to be seen on the Peckham Road.
This small and cosy bar serves a large choice of cocktails, wine and spirits. For those who get hungry I recomend the tapas - and for those who want to smoke the choice of cigars.
+49 30 28 03 44 00
U-Bahn: U7 | station: Südstern
A little way out of town but easily accessed on foot from the centre. This is a great little restaurant that we went to in order to celebrate a friend’s birthday. They accommodated a booking for 12 at short notice even though the place was jam packed. Food is good and the atmosphere is excellent. They even brought free tequilas for the whole table because they knew we were celebrating. Great menu of cocktails, even I took a rest from my favoured tipple (beer) to try out the Ernest Hemingway Special.
80469 München, Germany
I have to say I think the Why Bar deserves a spot on any 'best cocktail bars' list. The owner makes some top notch cocktails, including creative and deconstructed cocktails at reasonable prices. It's a real find as far as cocktail bars go in Paris.
Silent Noise parties are held at Neptune's Point in South Goa – a stunning peninsula where hundreds of happy clubbers can look out across the water to Palolem beach as they dance the night away.
Everyone is connected to the music with wireless headphones so the party doesn’t disturb the neighbours (or the local police) and three DJs play simultaneously, competing to get the crowd to tune into their set.
Add in lasers, visuals, circus performers and tepees, and you’ve got a mini festival every week – helping to revive the outdoor rave vibe that originally put Goa on the beach party map.
Neptune's Point, Palolem, Goa
Best cocktail bar in Vienna. Daily happy hour from 7pm to 10 pm (€ 5.00). It's very small but incredibly charming.
Probably the best cocktails in town, and it's a great, ornate classy bar tucked away just behind Princes Street.
They serve food too and its generally pretty good. If you're looking for something a little different then I'd recommend a visit.
It's very near Waverley Train Station on West Register Street, telephone 0131 556 7060. Website:www.thevoodoorooms.com
If you're looking for somewhere classy to stay on the West Coast The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco brings old time nostalgia to the 21st century. Located in the very heart of Union Square it is in a prime location to explore all that this city has to offer.
However if all that sounds a little too strenuous then why not stay awhile and as the saying goes "meet me at the clock". The old style grandeur shines through in the lobby of this 5 star luxury hotel. Marble doric columns all exquisitely maintained and acres of polished wood make guests feel welcome as soon as you set foot in the door.The greeting is no less warm from the staff that work here, from the doorman to reception.
The rooms are very well appointed with all the modern amenities that a seasoned traveller could ask for. Especially the Heavenly Bed, you'll be fast asleep in no time. If you can, ask for room 1132 the views across Union Square are superb.
If you do decide to "meet at the clock" then be prepared to taste some fantastic cocktails and nibble finger foods from Michael Mina. Or why not stroll across the lobby and sample this Michelin starred chefs menu for yourself. Exquisite dinner and lunch at a price that might just surprise you!
Of course you may feel the need to work off some of that excess and there is a gym if you're so inclined, or why not head to The Spa and indulge in some rest and relaxation. Treatments to suit all tastes and budgets are catered for. Whether you would like a massage to relieve jet lag or just getting your nails done - its' all here.
If you are tempted to leave this luxury retreat then San Francisco has much to tempt you with. Take a cable car to Fishermans Wharf and experience the tacky side of 'cisco. Stalls selling fresh seafood, souvenir shops and the sea lions at Pier 39. Try Boudin bakeries sourdough bread with clam chowder - delicious! But make sure you leave room for the bread. Its the best bit!
No trip to San Fran would be complete without a visit to The Rock. Alcatraz has been closed for many years now but visitors still flock to its spooky corridors. The night visit is especially terrifying and not for the faint of heart.
The ferries also take you across to Sausalito a small slice of the Meditteranean in The Bay. Art galleries, boutiques and the best sandwiches ever at the delicatessen 'Venice'. On your return the Golden Gate Bridge spans the straits and there are some great photo opportunities.
Once you return to terra firma explore Chinatown, Little Italy and Nob Hill as all these areas are in easy walking distance. Don't forget Lombard Street the worlds windiest road. San Francisco may seem like a long way to go for a city break but its accessability is it's strong point. Everything seems to be in easy reach and a cab ride is taken at your own risk...remember Bullitt?
Couple your trip with a stay at The Westin and if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of San Francisco and need a quiet oasis to recharge and regroup then The St. Francis will leave you feeling refreshed - but I'm sure that at some point you'll want to return to the Streets of San Francisco!
Trendy, yet still informally friendly, this city-centre bar-restaurant is contemporary KL at its best, all crisp, cutting-edge design, moody lighting and some rather fine food and drink.
There's a great view of the Petronas Towers too, in case you spend so much time in there that you forget where you are.
Ascott Kuala Lumpur, No. 9, Jalan Pinang, KL
+603 2161 7789
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