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    Friday, 5 June 2015


    Smuggler's Cove in Liverpool is one of my favourite cocktail bars. It's one of the first places I went to with my boyfriend and, as I found out recently, it holds a world record for stocking a staggering 151 rums in it's bar! 

    The guys behind Smuggler's Cove also run The the Alchemist in Manchester (known for their chemistry inspired cocktails) and The Botanist in Leeds - so they know a thing or two about running successful bars up North...and now they're bringing that wisdom down here for us Southerners!
    I was recently invited to a blogger's preview event for their first London outpost, The Trading House which you can find tucked away in the old Bank of New Zealand building near St Pauls. It's one of those places you'll have walked past a thousand times and never noticed - but now you really do have a reason to pay attention.
    Bar stocked with bottles of spirits
    Interior of london barInterior of london bar
    Once inside you're greated by grand high ceilings, wood panelling, antique tapestries and so much taxidermy, it's bordering on a zoo. They were still getting the bar ready for opening when we were there, so every now and then you'd turn around a giant stuffed paraquet would be propped up next to you...

    As part our preview session we were shown some of the cocktails on offer in the bar. One of the great things about The Trading House is that they operate a free-pour policy which adds to the spectacle of true cocktail making! Did you know TGI Friday's is one of the other few other places that does this - and it's one of THE hardest bartenders courses? New found respect for those guys in the chequered braces.
    cocktail menu at london bar
    cocktail making class
    girls making cocktails
    girls making cocktails
    girls making cocktails
    girls making cocktails  
    I recommend the English Mojito - sharp with a hint of sweetness - all the balances of flavours needed to make a really good cocktail. The Rose Cosmo was pretty good too if you like floral flavours... Trading menu cocktails 
    We also tried out a selection of deli boards, which we all really good. You can never go wrong with meat and cheese in my book but the food menu itself looks very promising. Classic British pub dishes like the Scotch egg and Scampi and chips feature but they build in lots of exotic ingredients for the tagines and Malaysian curry to build on their romantic notion of being a 'Trading House'. 
    Platter of food in London bar
    Platter of food in London bar
    For the second part of the evening, we got treated to an ale tasting. I wish Tom was able to come with me as he would have loved it - it was really interesting to hear from the bar-staff, who were clearly very passionate and knowledge about beers and ale.

    One of things that surprised me most from our talk was that beer is one of the least calorific drinks you can find! Diet talk, i know, boring snoring..but I'd always believed beer was high in carbs so felt guilty when I had a peroni in the pub, but I am now definitely switching to beer instead of wine. Less hangover and less calories!

    Also the Trading House do a lot of their own brewing so many of the beers available will be totally unique. If you're a big beer or ale drinkers, do go along and try it out. I recommend the Passionate Blonde if she's on the menu when you're there!
    Bottle of nutty black ale
    bottle of beer
    I had a really great night at the Trading House, it's got one of the most extensive drinks menus i've seen for a while and if the Smuggler's Cove is anything to go by - you're in great hands!

    The Trading House is now open for business so make sure you pop down and check it out....before someone runs off with the taxidermy puffer-fish!
    89-91 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7NQ

    If you liked this post, why not check out: Pizza Masterclass or Cocktails in the City
    Square Meal The Trading House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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