Cat Byers found a roaring fire, huge booths and potent cocktails in the bar of Merchants Tavern
Merchants Tavern is located in a former Victorian warehouse and apothecary in central Shoreditch, with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at the helm.
The restaurant has to received wide acclaim for its seasonal dishes and innovative menu. But what most people don’t realise is that the front room is taken up by Merchant’s Tavern Bar – a cool, old-school spot complete with roaring fire, potent cocktails and decent bar snacks.
The room is filled with plush leather banquettes, high lamp-lit tables and dominated by a majestic red square bar, giving it a 1930s ambience without the gimmick.
The cocktail menu is the real draw though, with confident combinations and names like Go Hartnett or Go Home and Just What The Doctor Ordered. The Highlander, with Chivas Regal and Lavender Honey and the Shoreditch 36 with Black Cow Vodka are particularly great, but we recommend you work your way through the list.
Being the bar portion of a renowned restaurant, the modestly-named bar snack menu is much more than just bites to soak up the booze. With juicy deep fried oysters, oxtail and bone marrow kermeskis, butternut tempura with aioli, charcuterie and much more, the bar-specific food could make up a meal in itself.
When we popped in on a Wednesday evening there was a definite ‘Friday feeling’, while something about the warm atmosphere and intimate tables (and the cocktails, no doubt) seems to encourage deep conversation, making it an ideal place for a date.
Merchants Tavern, 36 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PG
For more information, visit www.merchantstavern.co.uk
Words Cat Byers a journalist, photographer and food stylist. For more from Cat follow @feedingthecat