Although London Fashion Week might have been gobbling up media attention, London Design Festival has had some spectacular installations and displays throughout the city. Designers of everything from furniture to shoes have been showcasing their wares. Of course, I’m particularly interested in a very specific kind of design – the kind that involves food or drink.
US-based design firm Teroforma have created whisky stones – stylish soapstone blocks – used to keep your drink cool without the diluting effects of ice. This is a genius idea, which should not just be used for whisky but for all drinks that are served chilled. There is nothing worse than watery dregs.
To promote their innovation, Teroforma were holding a week-long festival ‘Colonial Common’ in Old Shoreditch Station with a different restaurant catering each day. I went along on the Tuesday to find two immensely over-crowded rooms, a live band and a lot of whisky. It’s just a shame that none of the drinks being served that evening were demonstrating the whisky stone, but I guess they would have been stolen fairly quickly.
I sampled Jura Origin whisky, aged 10 years. The assistant advised us to keep it in our mouth one second for every year it has aged, which led to 10 seconds of unpleasantness and a numb mouth. However, the Origin was much smoother than the Supserstition, a mix of a 13-year old and a 21-year old whisky, with 13% peated malt. Keeping this in my mouth was impossible and I choked in the face of the assistant, who looked at me with concern. Undeterred, I decided to ‘misread’ the ankh symbol on the bottle as one for ‘female’. “Why does it have the female sign on it? Does it help you get lucky with women?” I asked. He wasn’t entirely sure how to respond to that.
The real stars of the evening were Beard to Tail. They’re on my list of places I’ve yet to review but to summarise briefly, my friends, family and I are all having a love affair with their pulled pork sliders. They are so rich, so intense and oh so good. This is thanks to the Head Chef, the awesome Dan Thrippleton, who has concocted an amazing sauce that includes sriracha, orange juice and caraway seeds. These absolutely *must* be tried. If you’re ever in Shoreditch at lunchtime, you can get two sliders and a side of fries for £6.50. Don’t miss out.
As well as the fantastic food, Beard to Tail’s Pete Lewis was mixing up whisky cocktails. Now, as above, you’ve probably guess I’m not a massive whisky fan, but I can tell you that the ‘Stoned Immaculate’ had me immaculately stoned…or something. It was phenomenal! Check out the ingredients below. I have been giggling over ‘Noilly Prat‘ for quite some time – apparently it’s a brand of Vermouth from France.
As my friend and I strolled through the room, we heard heaps of praise for both the sliders and the stoned immaculate cocktail. Indeed, the cocktails were so popular that Pete ran out and I really regretted not getting a second one sooner. However, on finding the photo below, I’m really grateful I just had the one.
I’ll definitely be heading back to Beard to Tail for pulled pork and the Stoned Immaculate cocktail. You should head there too.
Beard To Tail
Where: 77 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3BS
When: Mon- Fri 12pm – 4pm / 6 – 10pm; Sat 11.30am – 11pm; Sun 12pm – 8pm