Get ready for The Hoxton’s world domination

Shoreditch has long been the jewel of London’s East End for a host of reasons. Markets, fashion, hipsters, bars, restaurants and more recently, hotels. New bars and year round pop ups appear frequently but one of Shoreditch’s staple places to be is The Hoxton Hotel and grill. Owned by Sharan Pasricha and his growing empire Ennismore, they teamed up with the Soho House family in 2006 when it opened it’s doors to the world. The Hoxton has since gone from strength to strength, expanding to a second hotel in Holborn in 2014 and branching out worldwide with a hotel in Amsterdam in 2015 and others in Paris, Southwark, Chicago and Williamsburg coming soon.

Re-writing the hotel game

The company has rewritten the hotel game. Not only has The Hoxton created stylish, comfortable rooms for guests, they want to give a whole city experience with their delicious food and drink, giving guests a real feel for the area. The spacious bar with its comfy green velvet couches is incredibly welcoming. Not only is it the trendiest hotel bar going, it’s a local favourite too and is always bustling with people.

Past the bar you’ll find the grill. And if you think you’re not hungry when you walk in, you’ll soon discover you are in fact wrong. The whole place smells amazing and sneaking a look (or just hungrily staring in our case) at food on other diner’s plates will have you reaching for a menu. From the grill comes a choice of Butler’s steak, Hanger steak, NY strip and king prawns to name but a few. And if steak isn’t your thing, try the Portobello mushroom and halloumi burger with fries or the butternut squash, wild rice and harissa yoghurt. Pair with a Smash Royal cocktail of Hendricks, lemon, basil syrup and champagne and you’re onto a winner.

Spoilt for choice

Being a hotel, breakfast and brunch are also on offer and you’d be out of your mind to miss them. From crisp polenta and mushrooms with fried eggs to the classic eggs benedict, royale or Florentine, every choice is a winner. And the brunch menu is a fusion of breakfast and grill with the added benefit of cocktails before 12.

When ambling about Shoreditch, be sure to make a beeline to The Hoxton on Great Eastern Street. Or check out their other venues in Holborn or further afield in Europe or even America for a home from home.

Want to make your mark on London’s hotel scene? Send us your CV today and we can help turn that dream into a reality.

 

Martello Hall brings magic to Mare Street

Tucked away on Hackney’s Mare Street, Martello Hall is a diamond in the rough. With everything from pizzas to cocktails to brunch, there isn’t much this gem doesn’t have. The rustic downstairs bar has a relaxed feel, with the friendliest staff who are willing to offer up their help on recommendations for cocktails and food.

Best pizzas around

The impressive cocktail menu offers twists on classics and some delicious, more unusual concoctions, with many being made with Martello Hall’s own gin. The gin is made on site and Nicola the still takes pride of place on the back bar. They are also really into their absinthe, with a huge selection on offer, so if you’re a fan of that little green fairy, ask for a Leopold’s absinthe verte, it was our favourite.

As if the huge variety of alcohol wasn’t enough, Martello Hall has it’s own wood fired pizza oven which produces some of the best pizzas we’ve ever had here at Love Hospitality. Try the smoky bandit or the number 7 for a veggie treat.

If absinthe and pizza aren’t your thing, there is a cocktail bar upstairs to relax in, and if you’re a big brunch fan (as most of London is) you won’t be disappointed. Martello Hall does a bottomless brunch all weekend from 11am. Choose from Mimosas, Martello Rum Punch. Frizzante and fresh juices. Pair with the slow cooked pulled beef, cola-barbeque sauce, hot pickled onions and jalapeños in a brioche roll with green onion slaw or the Italian baked eggs, wood roast potatoes, spinach, ‘nduja tomato sauce and pizza bread.

Bottomless coffee

And when working from home in your pyjamas gets too much, Martello Hall has bottomless coffee and free wifi from 8am until 5pm every weekday.

With so much going on, there isn’t a dull moment in this bright and airy bar restaurant. The management and staff are amazing at keeping on top of every customer and all other goings on too. Make a booking for brunch or pop in for an after work drink but definitely put Martello Hall at the top of your places to visit list.

If you love hospitality and would like your career to take a turn toward the best restaurants and bars that London has to offer, get in touch with us today or follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with new Management roles.

The Ned brings the roaring 20s back with a bang

The Ned. The new name on everyone’s lips. And if you haven’t been yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Soho House’s newest addition offers an incredible 9 restaurants and 250 rooms, not to mention various members clubs and even a spa and gym. But the most impressive thing by far about the Ned is the stunning décor and layout as soon as you step through the door.  They say first impressions matter, and The Ned does not disappoint.

Stunning 20’s style décor

Located at 27 Poultry, the former home of Midlands Bank headquarters in London has been transformed into 3,000 square metres of elegance and beauty. On arrival, guests are greeted by an open plan layout of different bars and restaurants, but pride of place in the middle of the room is the incredibly impressive circular stage where live jazz bands perform.

From Paris to New York, your food fantasies will be satisfied with The Ned’s 9 eateries spread across eleven floors. Millie’s Lounge is a classic brasserie with a 24-hour menu serving everything British.

Zobler’s Delicatessen is a New York deli with sandwiches, smoked herring and cheesecake on offer. Cafe Sou is a Parisian café, offering classic French food such as baguettes, steak and salads. Lutyens Grill, which is members and hotel guests only, is an American-style steakhouse serving a selection of USDA prime, Hereford Angus and Japanese Wagyu. Kaia is a modern Asian Pacific restaurant. The Nickel Bar is an American-style bar serving classic diner dishes such as mac and cheese and milkshakes. Cecconi’s is a Venetian style restaurant serving Italian pizza, pasta and cocktails. And finally, Malibu Kitchen brings a taste of California to London, with healthy salads, juices and smoothies. The incredible staff are all attentive and great at recommending which drink or dish is best suited to you.

Satisfy your food fantasies

As impressive as the upstairs is, the real treat is downstairs. Originally the home to the Midlands Bank strongroom, the private members Vault Bar is entered through the huge vault door and the walls are lined with 3,000 safety deposit boxes. Enjoy a delicious champagne martini or a late night pizzette or tiramisu.

The roaring 20’s theme of decadence and glamour will soon make you forget you are in the heart of London’s business district, and with so many options, The Ned leaves you spoilt for choice, which means multiple trips are a must.

If you love hospitality and would like your career to take a turn toward the best restaurants and bars that London has to offer, get in touch with us today or follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with new Management roles.

London’s Best Rooftop Bars

At the end of a long day’s work in the heat of the London sun, the call of a bar is as alluring as a siren to a sailor. And as summer arrived in London, the city’s rooftops came alive. Here at Love Hospitality, we have found the best rooftop bars in London so you can have the best summer possible.

The Culpeper shot by Daniel Morgan

 

1.The Culpeper in Whitechapel is a multi-storey bar with a hidden gem at its peak. It’s winding stairs open out to a small but perfectly formed rooftop terrace and greenhouse with a wood fired grill for perfect summer food. Not only does the rooftop offer a rustic East end experience with delicious cocktails, you will be surrounded by the produce the Culpeper grows and uses. With the bonus of an inside seating option under the glass, the Culpeper is also well equipped for the British summer!

2.Toy Roof on top of Soho’s Courthouse Hotel is the perfect place to chill out after work or to enjoy a barbeque at the weekend. The relaxed bar will transport you to a beach side resort with it’s cage style booths and colourful décor. Complete with a glass bar filled with teddy bears, Toy Roof really brings summer to the city. Enjoy their delicious cocktails while you soak up the sun and enjoy a panoramic view of London’s most famous area. Be sure to try the watermelon martini, it’s our favourite!

3.Netil 360, close to London Fields is an East end treat. The hipster rooftop retreat has a relaxed open air feel. It is easy to spend the whole day here, with live DJ sets and a roofed area when the London sun gets too much. Netil 360 has such a friendly feeling, with everyone welcome. There is ever a rooftop dog called Tres! And don’t worry if you can’t find a table, sitting on the floor is perfectly acceptable. Share a classic jug of Pimms and relax the summer away in this amazing space.

4.Pergola on the Roof may be one of London’s most talked about summer bars, and with good reason. On top of a car park in White City, the picturesque rooftop haven sits under a canopy of flowers. The beautiful space invites groups of people to spend the summer sipping cocktails and sampling food from the self service restaurants on offer. From seafood platters, crab and fresh fish to burgers, to tacos and sizzling bbq’s, Pergola has something for everyone. And with the Instagram ready setting, you won’t want to leave!

Want to make your mark on London’s summer? Send us your CV today and we can help turn that dream into a reality.

Vanilla Black takes veggie food to new levels

In the past 10 years, the UK has upped its vegetarian and vegan game tenfold. Long gone are the days of frozen veggie burgers and mushroom risottos as the only vegetarian options on menus as a mere afterthought. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants have popped up all over the country with innovative menus and chefs who are excited to explore the veggie world.

Among these contemporary eateries is London’s Vanilla Black, which has taken vegetarian food to the next level. Chef Andrew Dargue and the Vanilla Black team decided to go veggie in 2004 after they were sick of the same tired options for vegetarians on menus.

Redefining vegetarian cuisine

One of the main criteria for their ground-breaking menus was no dish would rely on pasta, meat substitutes or heavy spicing. And they definitely followed through. Now regarded as one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country, everyone should give Vanilla Black a try.

The menu offers a huge variety of styles and flavour combinations. One of our favourite starters was the baby fennel, creamed lemon and toast with fennel puree and ice, basil and lime. Not only does the food taste amazing, but the presentation is so gorgeous it’s almost too pretty to eat. Not quite though, because after the first mouthful, you won’t want to stop eating.

 

Food almost too pretty to eat

We were worried the starter would be hard to follow, but the main soon blew us away. We just couldn’t choose a favourite, but the cauliflower dumplings, parsley and walnut crumb with pickled raisins and roasted cauliflower was an amazing amalgamation of flavours and textures. The Fried shitake, pine nut puree and crispy cous cous with marsala, lemongrass pickled enoki and pine salt was also a delicious fusion of flavours that all complimented each other incredibly.

When it came to dessert, we didn’t know how we could choose, but eventually settled on the poached pear, marzipan sorbet and blackcurrant with spiced bread, pear cheese and elderflower and the peanut butter cheesecake and cracked cocoa bean with caramelised banana puree. Both were to die for, and it was too hard to choose a favourite between the two.

The inventive menu is matched by the exquisite presentation of the food. The team at Vanilla Black have really cornered the market in all things veggie, with an option for everyone in every course. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, making sure we knew everything about the menu before we ordered.

Vanilla Black is well deserving of its recommendation in the Michelin Guide and two AA Rosettes. It is a must try whether you’re veggie or not.

Do you fancy joining the hospitality world and creating your own ground breaking menu? Send us your CV today and we’ll find you the perfect company.

 

National Martini Day: Shaken or Stirred

Dirty, Pornstar, shaken, stirred. What does make the perfect martini? We all know that 007’s favourite is a vesper martini. Shaken, not stirred of course. Far from a simple drink, the versatile martini can contain different spirits, garnishes and mixers. In honour of National martini Day on June 19th, here at Love Hospitality we have put together a guide to ordering the perfect martini.

1.The classic martini is made with gin, so if you are looking for the traditional experience, stick with that. However, if gin isn’t for you, vodka is also an incredibly popular choice. Dry vermouth is then added to give a fuller flavour.

2. Vermouth is the key to how wet or dry a martini will end up. Although many people think that more vermouth will make a martini drier, it is in fact the opposite. A wet martini has more vermouth and a dry one has less. You can also request a perfect martini, which is equal measures of both spirits.

3. A shaken martini is one that is, rather obviously, shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker and then strained into the glass. Stirred on the other hand, will be stirred in the cocktail, producing a slightly smoother, less diluted drink.

4. A dirty martini is perfect for all olive lovers, as this means olive brine is added to give a salty kick. The dirtier you want it, the more brine is added. A gibson comes garnished with a cocktail onion instead of an olive or peel and James Bond’s favourite, the vesper, is made with gin, vodka, Lillet Blanc, and a lemon twist.

The increasingly popular pornstar martini is a game changer for those who like a sweeter cocktail. It consists of vanilla vodka, passionfruit puree, passionfruit Syrup, passionfruit liqueur with half a passionfruit floating in the drink and prosecco served as a shot on the side.

Arguably one of the sexiest cocktails out there, the martini is a timeless drink that can put a sophisticated spin on even the most un-classy of nights. With our tips, get out and celebrate National Martini Day with the perfect martini like 007 himself.

What does Brexit mean for Hospitality?

What does Brexit mean for hospitality

Brexit: Britain’s new favourite dirty word.

The UK’s decision to leave the EU has left a plethora of unanswered questions up and down the country.

While it is safe to say that all the UK’s industries will be affected by Brexit, the future of the hospitality industry is extremely uncertain. Around 15% of the UK’s hospitality workforce is made up of EU citizens and the British Hospitality Association has warned that new immigration laws could cause a 60,000 person per year problem.

 

Hospitality is Britain’s 4th Biggest Industry employing 4.49 million people. It represents 10% of the country’s GDP, equivalent to £43 billion.

 

The BHA estimated that 700,000 or 15% of the 4.5 million workers are people from the EU, with London having the highest number of EU workers at 35-40%. With 34% of the hospitality workforce being under 25, the BHA said the UK has enormous potential to create a young skilled workforce. However, as an EU member state, the UK has received many subsidies in relation to provision of apprenticeships and skills. The European Social Fund budgeted 80 million euros from 2014-2020 and a further 3.2 billion euros to the Youth Unemployment Fund. “The loss of this funding would be detrimental to youth employment and the UK”, the BHA said.

How will Brexit impact businesses?

The effect of Brexit is already hitting hospitality businesses across London. Grind, a chain of popular coffee and cocktail bars is feeling the effect. Grind’s head of coffee Sam Trevethyen told us that everyone has felt the slump in the global markets:

“We buy and roast coffee internationally. These purchases are in dollars so it has certainly affected Grind. We also purchase coffee equipment from Europe, which has had a big effect on the company with prices increasing by 5-10%”

One of the most concerning factors for the UK hospitality industry following Brexit is staffing. Many establishments reply on people from all over Europe to work, especially in London.

“London is always very tight for good hospitality staff and people not knowing what will happen is certainly a turn off when investing in moving here. I think that most people have no idea just how vital Europeans are to this industry, especially in London,” Sam said.

London brewers FourPure are also feeling the hike in prices. Head of New Business Development Rob Davies said that the company has already had to reassess the export market.

“As a young business (3 years) we have to invest all of our available funds into the expansion of the brewery to provide our domestic market with beer. 70% of our beer is sold in the UK, with 60% of that being sold in London alone.”

The cost of all ingredients has also risen, along as the higher duty for alcohol rate hitting Fourpure due to their production levels.

An Uncertain Future

In the future, Rob thinks Brexit will shrink the export a little temporarily while they gain confidence in the future potential Government and how hard or soft Brexit is.

“If any parts of the deal are challenged with certain countries, we may not have access to that country as it may become cost prohibitive.”

With the hospitality industry doing everything it can to try to save both staff and money, the one certainty is that those in industry will continue to fight for what they believe in and continue to give their all.

The Kitty Hawk Raises the Steaks

Redefined Dining

As one of the most innovative cities in the world when it comes to food and drink, having a successful restaurant in London means having the drop on everyone else. Especially when it comes to something as seemingly simple as steak and fish. But far from simple, Kitty Hawk offers a delicious all day dining experience from champagne breakfasts, to laid back lunches, to evening cocktails.

A short walk from London’s Liverpool Street Station, Kitty Hawk’s elegant and relaxed atmosphere is immediately welcoming. It hosts a bar and more relaxed dining area upstairs with a more formal restaurant hidden downstairs.

The Kitty Hawk Restaurant - Love Hospitality

 

Mouth Watering Menu

The main restaurant has a carefully selected, mouth-watering menu. Steak and seafood are the main players, but veggies aren’t forgotten either. For starter, the mezze plate is a must. The matching of soft burrata, parma ham, roasted peppers and herb marinated goats cheese worked so well that we could have licked the board clean.

And if we thought the starter was hard to follow, we were soon proven wrong. The 8oz fillet steak was cooked perfectly. Paired with chunky chips cooked in beef dripping and béarnaise sauce, every bite was a little taste of heaven. The Ashdale beef comes from Alec Jarrett, a West Country family business founded in 1926. The steak is dry-aged for 7-10 days and wet-aged for another 28 days, resulting award-winning 35-day aged, tender British steak.

And for the veggies, the roasted squash and dolcelatte galette that we paired with a side of wilted spinach is a must. The perfectly flaky pastry melted in the mouth and the UK sourced cheese was creamy and delicious.

One of the best chocolate cakes we’ve ever had!

The extensive dessert menu left us spoiled for choice, but after careful deliberation and a recommendation from our waitress, we chose the aptly named decadent chocolate cake. It was by far one of the best chocolate cakes we have ever had here at Love Hospitality. Decorated with dark chocolate rolls, fruit compote and homemade honeycomb, is was the perfect way to end the meal.

The Kitty Hawk - Love Hospitality

 

Stunning food, matched by the service

Not forgetting the all important cocktails, the Mile High Mule was our favourite and definitely worth a try.

The stunning taste and presentation of the food was only matched by the service we received. The floor staff were attentive and friendly. They knew the menu inside out and gave great recommendations.

The Kitty Hawk offers something for everyone. Whether it’s a quick working breakfast, a relaxed lunch or a catch up with friends over cocktails, you will be drawn back time and time again to try what else they have on offer.

If you love hospitality and would like your career to take a turn toward the best restaurants and bars that London has to offer, get in touch with us today or follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with new Management roles.

 

The Skill of Bartending

The Skill of Bartending

Choosing a career in hospitality, and bartending in particular, has grown in popularity and necessity over the last 15 years. For those who consider bartending a slow or easy profession, think again. Good timing, precision and eye (or taste) for detail are vital for those who wish to do well.

Practice makes perfect

Training is a huge part of any job, but in the fast-paced world of hospitality, the correct training is essential for the smooth running of any business. In the bar industry, being able to pour the perfect pint or knock out a cocktail in record time will help get you to the top of the bar game, but is also a necessary skill on a Friday night when hundreds of thirsty people want to kick off their weekend. Obviously training varies greatly depending on the establishment or company, but the core remains the same – work to be the best you can at what you do.

Know your products to make tailored recommendations

Long gone are the days of barmaids and rotund pub landlords. These days mixology comes in a diploma and has a skill-set many covet. When working in a bar, knowing the product you are selling is crucial. From wine to craft beer to cocktails, every customer expects a tailored recommendation. Tastings are the perfect opportunity for every member of a team to come together and learn as one, while also discovering different tastes and preferences each person has. Most companies that supply bars with alcohol provide samples and tasters which make training nights easy and free to do. Some suppliers even run nights themselves to describe exactly how they want the product to be presented and sold to the customer. Not only will these events provide each staff member with more knowledge and skill, they also help teams to bond and become closer, which makes for a better well oiled machine when on a busy bar.

Learn mixology from scratch

With almost every bar serving cocktails nowadays, mixology training is also essential for any bartender who wants to succeed in the industry. Like in any job, prior knowledge is helpful but many bars also love having a clean slate to work with. So if you lack experience but learn quickly, being moulded into the perfect mixologist is a very achievable task.

The sky is the limit

These skills will last for a lifetime and can also lead to other vocations like flair or cocktail competitions which take place all over the world, with the winners becoming world famous bartenders and the best of their trade. So when thinking about a career in bartending, the sky really is the limit, just remember how important good training is, and how much it will kickstart you career to take you where you want to be.

 

 

 

Cocktails in the City

Cocktails in the City - Love Hospitality Recruitment Review

London loves a cocktail, this is no secret. So what better way to sample the best the city has to offer than to get all the finest bars together in one place to celebrate every kind of cocktail imaginable?

Cocktails in the City is an event held all over the UK to bring customers a taster of what each city has to offer. The stunning One Marylebone hosted 28 bars in pop-up form for the three-day event.

In celebration of their fifth anniversary, Cocktails in the City put on an amazing festival with the leading bars in London, along with tasting tables, international bars, a zen garden and delicious street food.

Taking old whisky cocktails to new levels

Every pop up bar had something different to offer, but Original Sin based in Stoke Newington stood out, not only for their cocktails but for their amazing customer service. The Blackbird cocktail was delicious, with bartender Rebecca describing it as the daytime version of the Manhattan. Combining rose liquor with Monkey Shoulder, it is not what comes to mind when you think of a whisky cocktail but is a refreshing take on a stirred down whisky drink. Original Sin want to take old whisky cocktails to new levels, and this was certainly apparent from what was on offer.

Cocktails in the City Love Hospitality Recruitment Review

The best cocktail we’ve ever tasted?

The star of the night had to be Battersea’s Three Six Six, who had the most impressive visual presentation, along with one of the best cocktails we have ever tasted here at Love Hospitality. It consisted of Carrot & Cilantro infused Brockman’s Gin, Blueberry Lejay Chocolate Liqueur, Mixed Citrus, Bayleaf & Vanilla Honey, Balsamic Vinegar Pearls, Viagra Bitters. Their impressive gin waterfall centrepiece and ivy covered walls gave the desired effect of being in a magical forest. Each customer was given a glass to dip into the waterfall and then asked to choose which garnish they would prefer to eat, which made for an overall magical experience.

https://londonscocktails.com/2017/03/17/london-cocktail-bars-at-cocktails-in-the-city-march-2017/

 

One Marylebone was the perfect venue, with two floors of cocktails on offer, as well as the zen garden outside, which had a relaxed atmosphere with more pop ups and street food on offer. All the bartenders at the event were clearly passionate about what they were doing and the cocktails they had designed. Each bartender took the time to explain why they had chosen each ingredient and what they wanted every cocktail to say.

With cocktails playing such an important role in the modern drinking scene, having people so passionate about the trade and wanting to give the first class service and product they can is fantastic to see. Cocktails in the City offers an interactive insight into the minds of London’s greatest mixologists and brings the customer closer to what they are drinking.

Cocktails in the City summer edition takes place on July 28th -29th in Bedford Square Gardens. We would suggest getting your ticket early so you don’t miss out.

Time for a new role in mixology?

Do you want to progress in this exciting industry? Send us your CV today and we’ll match you to the perfect company.

 

London Pop Up: Hot Gin Roof

It’s not solely recruitment we care about here at Love Hospitality.  We love the entire industry.  Every now and again we like to get out amongst the hustle to explore London’s vibrant scene and report back on our adventures.  Recently we headed out into the field on a mission to discover just what happens when you combine three of the capitals favourite trends.

Roof tops, pop ups and gin…

Heated and served to the discerning consumer, that’s what you find on a visit to Sipsmith’s “Hot Gin Roof”.  A winter pop up located on top of Ham Yard Hotel, serving hot gin cocktails and

Night on a Hot Gin Roof

“Hot Gin Roof was great!” was the general consensus for the night spent out under the stars.  There was lots of excitement surrounding the visit to the Hot Gin Roof and the team at Ham Yard Hotel didn’t fail to impress on the night, living up to the hype buzzing around town about just how special this experience is.

All guests were handed a hot G&T upon arrival, the intimate roof top was spacious enough for the 50 or so guests, and the hand warming drink allowed for a very welcome start to the evening.  Lounge style seating and low level lighting forge a setting suitable for taking in the London skyline whilst more importantly perusing the menu trying to decide which cocktail to try first.  The menu consisted of an intriguing array of classic gin cocktails all reinvented by the mastermind behind Ham Yard Hotel’s bars Eoin Kenny, enabling the drinks to be served hot and taste amazing.

Classic Cocktails Served Hot

Working through adaptations on Bloody Mary’s and Martini’s, it was the Hot Negroni served in a tea cup that was the show stopper here.  Taking our fancy not just for the bitter sweet fusion of the classic but the addition of red berry tea to create a further depth to the drink was a stroke of genius.

The warmth from the cocktails and staff were quite enough to keep out the cold but for those susceptible to the weather, there was plenty of blankets to keep you warm.

It’s apparent that Sipsmith’s Hot Gin Roof is one of the finest winter pop ups around, fingers crossed they’re back later this year – we’ve already ear marked it for the Love Hospitality Christmas party!

Follow our adventures through the world of hospitality and to stay up to date with the latest job vacancies via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

Cocktails & Fairy Tales at The Blind Pig

Hidden in plain sight on Soho’s bustling Poland Street, The Blind Pig is one of London’s best “secret” bars. Recognisable from the outside only by an optician’s sign and a blindfolded brass pig on an inconspicuous door, the upstairs bar to the already popular Social Eating House offers customers a bit of magic on the menu, as well as the location.

Fairy-take cocktails to connect with your inner child

The bar’s vintage décor matches the quirky menu and bartenders’ hipster vibe. The dark wood and antique leather chairs give the feeling of a country hide away, while the mirrored ceilings and bartenders’ uniform of trousers, shirts and braces still maintain a London edge.

A huge attraction of the Blind Pig is of course, the cocktail menu. Based on 10 carefully selected children’s books and films, each cocktail lets the drinker connect with their inner child – with an added kick. A favourite of ours at Love Hospitality is the Harry Potter themed “Half a Pint o’ Buttah”, which brings the magical butter beer to life. Other favourites include the Winnie the Pooh Hunny Pot that of course, comes in a replica “hunny pot” complete with an edible Piglet and the BFG’s Dream Pot, which includes a glowing “dream” in the drink.

Duck fat chips with curry alioli anyone?

If fairy-tale cocktails aren’t quite enough, the bar snacks are also out of this world. With small bites, jars and steaks on offer, there is something for whatever food mood you are in. The Chorizo dog with Montgomery jack cheese, onion jam and fermented cabbage is a delicious take on the classic hot dog. Also on offer are padron peppers, duck fat chips with curry aioli, Ham hock with piccalilli and wild trevise. The carefully crafted menu will leave you spoiled for choice.

The staff are incredibly friendly, helpful and attentive, making sure every customer is taken care of even on a busy Saturday night. With the rise of secret bars around the city, The Blind pig offers a truly unique cocktail experience. If you haven’t been yet, make it your next night out. But be sure to make a booking, especially on weekends, because everyone wants a share of the magic The Blind Pig has to offer.

We really do Love Hospitality – not just from a recruitment point of view but a customer point of view. If the restaurant or bar makes customers feel wonderful and enjoy their experience there, you can be sure the staff enjoy working there too, no doubt led by a great management team. Excellence on the floor comes from the top. We work with some of the very best bars, restaurants and cafes in the UK to match excellent managers to the right company.

Get in touch now if you want us to help find your next role or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news and job vacancies

Why Hospitality?

“Why hospitality?” I hear you ask, well the answer to that is quite simple, actually I lied, it’s not so simple to those who have not done it before. In fact, even those who have done it will find themselves standing in a walk in fridge at some point asking “why am I here?” but all carry on because as it turns out, it is one of the most demanding and rewarding jobs you could have.

When I sat down to write this piece I had a lot of negatives sprang to mind and so I wrote out a pros & cons list. Why on earth would anyone want to willingly dedicate their career to serving others?

That’s when it hit me, you can learn so much from an experience within the hospitality industry from problem solving to people skills and the beauty of it is, that you’re serving food not saving lives, it’s ok to make mistakes. You learn how to think on your feet and solve problems quickly; the only consequence being your table might wait a bit longer for service or a guest might get a bit peeved, but once you’ve made that mistake and learnt from it you won’t do it again.

Then I thought, what about those really pushy rude customers, why would anyone want to work in an industry where those people pop up? Have you ever heard the saying “you can judge someone by how they treat their waiter”? It is completely true, I tend to judge my new acquaintances by this rule, just because someone is being paid to serve you doesn’t mean you should treat them any different to those guests you are dining with. It then occurred to me, in order for pushy rude customers to exist their counterpart must exist in the form of pleasant, fun and interesting people. Over the years I have met some very pushy or rude people, I’m not discounting that, but I have definitely met far more fun and interesting people, some of which I am still friends with today.                                                              

Next up and actually (would you believe it) the last on the list of cons is the unsociable hours. More often than not you will be asked to work a Friday or Saturday night, when let’s face it, we’d all rather be out with our friends enjoying a beverage and having fun. So why do it? Well my friend, the answer is clear, would you rather work when it’s busy and there is actually someone to serve or would you rather be in an empty restaurant twiddling your thumbs? Our vote goes to the former and I have to say there is a uniqueness to hospitality in that the energy you get when it’s busy is not just challenging but fun!

So yes, you have to work unsociable hours and quite a few holidays, don’t worry you do have holidays, it’s not all work and no play! And I haven’t even told you the best bit! You get to do it with your friends. I know it sounds like the cheesiest thing you’ve ever heard but you will find this team will become your family, just remember, ‘not all heroes wear capes’. Someone will pick up a shift for you when you’re not feeling well, someone will lend you their bottle opener when you’ve forgotten your one or when your ex comes in they will jump in and serve the table with just the right amount of sass that won’t get them into trouble but make it clear ‘we all hate you’ so that you don’t have to.                                                         

I can’t tell you how many of the best nights out have been on a Sunday or a Monday where we’ve ended up in a deserted bar and completely taken over. I also can’t emphasise how relaxing it is to have the middle of the week off, go shopping and not have to queue for over 20 minutes to get one top, it’s a whole new experience entirely.

So let’s round this up, you meet some unpleasant people but the pleasant people out weigh them, you sometimes work unsociable hours but not all the time and one of the pros being it’s with your friends. You get thrown in the deep end so to speak, but this can be the best way to learn, and there is a great support system within this industry.

Most importantly you learn how to be the best version of you, in my opinion everyone should work within the hospitality industry at some point in their life, you will not experience anything as personally challenging but equally rewarding in many places. In short we love hospitality and think you will too, so what are you waiting for?!

Hello Byron!

Some of you may know Byron as the trendy alternative to that of its high street competition GBK or Five Guys, from its conception in 2007 it has gone from strength to strength. Byron stands out as each site is unique in terms of décor, they all have a very rustic warehouse feeling yet still manage to be comfortable and maintain a diner-style aesthetic without being too cheesy.

Despite the birth of more quirky pop up burger shops such as Honest Burgers which saw the brains of Cote’s unique take on hospitality, Harold Samuelsson, cross over to help lead them, Byron continues to grow.
With over 38 individual restaurants and counting within London you won’t have to travel far to find one, the plan is to open a further 14 sites this year and another 14 in 2017. Outside of London they are mainly located up North with the odd few on the South Coast so if you do have to travel, all I can say is it is worth the ride to get a good quality, reliable burger.

They have a van that pops up at food festivals and events throughout the year and is available for hire and if you weren’t already sold there’s also an exclusive Byron Burgers Members Club. If you’re as obsessed with burgers as I am this is the club for you, they invite you to new opens and previews to upcoming specials, I’d get on that list if I were you!

Byron’s slogan is “proper hamburgers” and I can’t fault them on that, all of their burgers are sourced from their own farms and made in their own development kitchen. You will get the same quality of beef regardless of which restaurant you pop into and the combination of flavours they come up with are ingenious.
The other thing to note is that all their burgers are served medium and in a soft brioche/cholla style bun, which to me is perfection, but if you prefer your burger slightly more well done it’s not a crime, just let them know!

They have seasonal burgers that appear for a few weeks as a time, the next up is the “Bryonaldo” a combo of crispy bacon, Bovril Onions, Freddar Cheese (a combo of cheddar, grana padano and red leicester) and bread and butter pickles. Pretty much your ultimate cheese and bacon burger, this particular burger has been devised by their resident head chef, Fred Smith, based around his love of football.
They also have a limited edition drinks and sides, this months are the Salted Caramel shake and cheese & bacon topped fries that are to die for! Basically all of the guilty indulgences humanly possible in one meal, we all have that one cheat day, right?!

Why are you still reading this? Get out there and visit your nearest Byron ASAP!
Happy eating!

Jason Atherton New Restaurant openings

Jason Atherton is opening two new restaurants in London in 2015. And now we’ve got full details of what to expect from the first of them, Social Wine and Tapas. Essentially it’s a place where the sommellier takes centre stage. We rather like the idea of it and it brings to mind Aldo Sohm in New York (in a very good way).

The James Street restaurant will feature a ground-floor wine shop and tapas bar with seating for 30 and a wine bar and restaurant in the basement with seating for 40.

Leading the team will be Laure Patry who is Executive Group Head Sommelier for the Social restaurants and has worked with Jason Atherton for 10 years She’s currently pulling together a list of accessible wines from around the world, while championing small growers. They’ll also be making fine wines available to all by using the Coravin system, allowing them to be available by the glass.

And emphasising the necessary knowledge of wine, we like the idea that all the front of house serving staff are going to be sommeliers, so they’ll be able to offer the necessary expertise when you’re working out what to order.

As for the food, Atherton’s brought in head chef Frankie Van Loo (from Social Eating House) to create a menu of modern tapas style dishes, made with the best of British produce. They’ll also have a seasonally changing selection of cheeses and charcuterie from the basement kitchen counter. A brief list of the dishes they’re starting with includes:

– Suckling pig, roasted pineapple with spies, piquillo pepper jus

– Egg, mash, morcilla, bacon dashi

– Cod, Anchovy & Caper dressing

They’ve brought in Russell Sage Studios (Social Eating House, Grain Store, Dishoom) for the design and he will be (according to the release) creating “an urban and contemporary interior with metallic finishes throughout. The walls will be adorned with copper artwork and an industrial chandelier will be a focal point at the entrance to Social Wine & Tapas.” We like the sound of the basemet space where the lighting “will create a glimmering room by night, with bespoke wall lights made from an original 1920s theatre chandelier.”

All this and a wine shop with somelliers and tastings too (with events planned for the future).

Social Wine and Tapas opens at 39 James Street, London W1U 1EB on 9 June 2015. For more information, follow them on Twitter @SocialWineTapas.

Written by Gavin Hanly

Barrafina, Gymkhana, Clove Club and Colony Grill hit London Art15

Written by Catherine Hanly

Next week’s Art15 which hits London is shaping up to be feast for the stomach as well as the eyes. The Global Art Fair is now in its third year and will be exhibiting work from 150 galleries from 40 different countries from across the world. But what we’re really interested in is Food 4 Art, the pop-up restaurant there.

When you know that the four days of the fair’s restaurant have been curated by the Evening Standard’s Fay Maschler you’ll know it’s worth paying attention. And she has a cracking line up for visitors to the fair.

Wednesday 20 May: Barrafina
Thursday 21 May: Gymkhana
Friday 22 May: The Clove Club
Saturday 23 May: The Colony Grill Room

“We very rarely take Barrafina’s cooking outside the restaurants” says their executive chef Nieves Barragan Mohacho, “so this is a special and unique occasion.”

Keep up with their news on Twitter @Art15London_Art15London_

London’s Best Popups

Pop ups are still a thing. Here are London’s hottest temporary fixtures for booze, food and weird and wonderful events. Hit ‘em or miss ‘em, you decide.

Visit BarChick.com for the full lowdown.

Russell Norman and Richard Beatty to open Polpo Chelsea

Written by: Neil Gerrard,

Russell Norman and business partner Richard Beatty are to open a new Polpo restaurant in London’s Chelsea in May this year.

Polpo Chelsea will be the pair’s ninth London restaurant, and will sit within a Georgian, grade II-listed building in Duke of York Square. The 940 sq ft restaurant will offer 40 covers inside, and another 70 outside.

Aiming for the feel of a scruffy wine bar in Venice, the restaurant will have timber floorboards, red brick walls and a rusted tin ceiling. Deep red leather banquettes will line the walls, alongside old chemistry lab tables and antique maps of Venice.

There will be a partially covered terrace with a glass canopy, linen parasols and heaters.

Norman said: “Polpo Chelsea will feel closer to Venice than any restaurant we have opened yet. There are so many tables and chairs outside that it will feel very reminiscent of the huge squares of La Serenissima.

“Duke of York Square is one of London’s prettiest locations, feeling secluded and continental, but it’s just a stone’s throw away from Chelsea landmarks like the Royal Court theatre, Saatchi gallery and Peter Jones’.”

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, dishes on the menu will include cicchetti such as fried stuffed olives, arancini and chopped chicken liver crostini (from £3). There will also be fritto misto; pizzetta bianca; spicy pork and fennel meatballs; and sliced flank steak (from £4).  Desserts will include: affogato al caffe; gelato cone; flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake; and tiramisu pot (from £4).

The restaurant will be open seven days a week and reservations will be available from 10am to 5pm, and then allocated on a first-come, first-served basis after that.

Norman and Beatty opened the first Polpo in Beak Street in 2009, followed by Polpo Covent Garden on Maiden Lane in June 2011, Polpo Smithfield in Cowcross Street in August 2012, Polpo Ape & Bird on Cambridge Circus in November 2013, and Polpo Notting Hill in June 2014.

They also run Polpetto on Berwick Street, Spuntino on Rupert Street, and Mishkin’s on Catherine Street.

The pair won the Best Newcomer Catey in 2012.

The London Sessions

The first London Session will be held in summer, and our speakers are joining us from New York for the occasion. For more updates, read below and like the page.

The London Sessions are about returning the importance of ‘people’ to hospitality. We want to talk, encourage discussion and set the precedent for a different kind of education – The kind that can shape peoples minds, careers and ultimately – their lives.

We’ve brought together some of our favourite storytellers, who just so happen to be some of the greatest industry professionals in the world, to find out what shaped them; stories of decadence, debauchery, affluence, hitting rock bottom, war, royalty and ‘Devil’ the chain smoking monkey.

The London Sessions will be held once a month with a different presenter, or paired presenters, each time. The sessions are recorded in front of a live studio audience (which you can be part of), and will later be made available on iTunes, and via Imbibe for those of you who favour the written word.

The London Sessions are being organised by Rebekkah Dooley with the help of Gareth Evans, Simon Thompson & Tomas Estes.

The idea came to fruition with a conversation between Rebekkah and Tomas over fajitas, beer (Rebekkah’s) and Tequila (Tom’s) at Cafe Pacifico. Fast forward a few days, and The London Sessions were born. Within 1 day, Gareth & Simon had come on board, and within 7 days, 9 speakers had said ‘yes’ to taking part – no one said no.

No one makes any money from The London Sessions, we’re just doing it because we think it’s cool.

We are especially thankful to the highly talented and very much in-demand individuals who are giving us their valuable time and even more valuable knowledge for free, for the benefit of the industry we are lucky enough to call our own.

Nuno Mendes
to open Portuguese restaurant in Spitalfields

Written by Catherine Hanly for Hot-Dinners.com 22 April 2015

There’d been whisperings on the London grapevine for a few weeks that Chiltern Firehouse’s Executive Chef Nuno Mendes was going to be opening a place in Spitalfields, and today we got confirmation.

Mendes will be opening Taberna do Mercado right in the heart of Old Spitalfields Market. The restaurant will be open all day, will serve up Portuguese food and – in line with its location – will go for an informal, casual dining vibe. Think Portuguese tapas and you won’t be far out.

He’ll be running the Spitalfields restaurant alongside his Chiltern Firehouse position, we’re told, continuing “to be the creative force in the kitchen” there.

We’re sure, given Nuno’s many fans that the place will be beseiged the minute it opens. But if you’re fast you can get in early and save money. The 40 seat restaurant is going to have six days of soft opening offer from 4-10th May which you’ll only be able to get by reserving online from 29th April at the restaurant’s official website www.tabernamercado.co.uk.

Taberna do Mercado soft launches on 4 May and then opens fully on 11 May in Old Spitalfields Market, London E1 6EW. It’ll be walk-ins only. You might be able to keep up with their news @tabernamercado on Twitter (it’s unconfirmed as yet).