If you’re not big into themes, or simply want to keep your hen do on the sophisticated side, a classy cocktail is a great way to elevate your hen party or turn your wedding welcome drinks into something a little more exciting.
I’m never short of new bars and restaurants to try out in and around Devine Bride HQ in East London, and the range of choice never ceases to amaze and inspire me!
This month I wanted to bring you some of my favs for some contemporary cocktail inspo, from the hottest and most hipster bars around London town – which, incidentally, would also make great pit-stops if you’re on a London hen do.
Aqua Shard’s Peach & Thyme Bellini
At level 31 of The Shard, sits the glamorous Aqua Shard bar, with stunning floor to ceiling 360 views of London and a cocktail list as long as your arm.
They have a strict rule of no trainers, jeans, or children after 5pm, but head over any time from 3pm to nab a spot next to the window before the city slickers descend after work.
Up above the bright city lights this bar feels more Brooklyn Bridge than London Bridge, but will definitely impress. Not their most adventurous cocktail, but a fav of mine is their Peach & Thyme Bellini.
It’s so simple to recreate yet looks thoroughly effective. The mini peg gives it an uber cool edge and gives a lush waft of thyme every time you take a sip making the flavours really burst.
Worship Street Whistling Shop’s 1961
Worship Street Whistling Shop is a Victorian inspired cocktail bar on Worship Street – ‘an ancient London thoroughfare between Shoreditch and the City of London’.
It’s an old-world speakeasy serving weird and wonderful cocktails in a candle lit basement, from a menu that looks like something from Game of Thrones. My favourite is their ‘1961’, which is their take on a muddled and mixed up (but restyled) French martini.
Ingredients include goat’s cheese, distilled Ketel One vodka, spiced raspberry shrub, and mead Grand Marnier reduction. Almost a whole meal in one; canape, entrée, main, dessert and nightcap in one drink.
Approach with caution, they are too tasty. Photos are hard to get due to the speakeasy light, but search on Instagram for further inspo.
Dram & Smoke’s Heather Honey & Thyme Whisky Sour
Dram & Smoke are a Scottish set up but host pop ups in bold venues all around London. Originally from Edinburgh, the team serve hearty dishes that celebrate seasonal Scottish produce from ‘open kitchens alongside whisky, wine and top-notch beer’.
I’ve been to two now, one in Vauxhall and one in Dalston, and it’s all a bit like a big posh family feast, with wild whisky cocktails and sharing dishes served at big communal tables in weird and wonderful locations where you might not usually expect to have dinner.
I’m not a big whisky drinker but their Heather Honey & Thyme Whisky Sour is as tasty as it is dangerous. Serve with a topping of burnt froth and a sprig of thyme.
Check out their website for their next pop ups (tickets must be purchased in advance).
Something Different: Sainlo’s Supper Clubs – BYOB
Foodie friend or indecisive drinker? Create your own evening with Michelin trained chef Jean-Luc Sainlo.
Jean-Luc heads up Sainlo Events with his wife Colleen and serves up the most delicious food for special weddings and events, and can be hired privately, too. The Sainlo team have been making waves in the wedding world for the last few years and I’m desperate to try their food! They have recently launched new dates for their supper clubs which I’m super excited about!
In Jean-Luc’s words; “I believe the perfect event should be based around excellent food and a lively atmosphere and that is exactly what I deliver.”
Hen dos have started to become quite epic endeavours but somewhere like Home Farm Glamping (who the Sainlo team work with regularly) offers bell tents and yurts kitted out with luxurious furnishings in an idyllic setting less than an hour from central London.
Couple this with an evening supper menu created by chef Jean-Luc served to you onsite with a bring your own bottle policy, and you have the perfect recipe if you ask me.
About the author, Laura Devine of Devine Bride
Laura is a wedding tasker and runs the multi award-winning wedding blog Devine Bride. Laura offers pick and mix wedding planning, from stationery to styling, hire a bridesmaid to help on the day, and from wedding planning to wedding websites. Her honest and practical blog covers hen parties to honeymoons and everything in between.
Laura won Best Rising Star at the Wedding Blog Awards 2016, Wedding of the Year 2016 with Your London Wedding Magazine, and was highly commended in the Wedding and Events category at the UK Blog Awards 2017.
Laura is Glasgow born and bred but now splits her time between Scotland and London, where she lives, works and plays. She is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art and the London College of Fashion.
In her words, “Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility, and ultimately, it’s all about making people happy – and I love that.”
Are you looking for more wedding inspo? CLICK HERE TO VISIT LAURA’S BLOG, DEVINE BRIDE.CO.UK