Dram & Smoke is heading back to their former winter home in London Bridge for two weeks this December. The site of two previously sold-out runs, the unique setting of a leather tannery warehouse receives a yuletide makeover ready for guests to be transported down a cobbled side street into a wintry highland sanctuary each evening.
As part of the £45 ticket, diners will be greeted with a warming Naked Grouse hot toddy as they enter the candlelit space from the darkest depths of winter, before being treated to a feast inspired by the spirit of Christmas and the best of Scottish produce.
Whilst fake snow and nativity scenes don’t feature, aromas of pine, cosy tartan blankets, flashes of mistletoe and nightly live music acts with a penchant for the odd Christmas cover ensure that a dose of festive cheer is firmly on the menu.
The communal tables, theatre of an open-kitchen, and a private party atmosphere mean that sing-a-longs are most definitely encouraged.
At a time of year when turkey overload is a distinct possibility, Dram & Smoke’s dishes bring big festive flavour with a Scottish twist. To kick things off, a light starter of Partridge & Pear with Game Chips & Clementine, followed by a riff on a classic Christmas starter: Beetroot and Sloe Gin Cured Smoked Salmon served with pickled cucumber and buttermilk.
The humble sprout is celebrated in the third course; Battered Brussels with Spiced Pumpkin Soup, Crowdie Cheese and Haggis Crumb. The main delivers a slice of comforting wintry joy in the form of a hearty Wild Venison & Bone Marrow Pie served family-style with a slew of seasonal sides and lashings of Buckfast Cranberry Sauce.
Finally, sharing trays of Chocolate Chestnut Brownie with scoop-at-the-table whisky ice cream, pickled cherries and a toasted marshmallow topping bring the feast to an indulgent close. An alternative veggie menu is on offer and all dietary requirements are catered for provided that previous notice is given.
For cocktails, whisky is front and centre with a list courtesy of The Naked Grouse which is double matured in sherry casks giving it a sweet, spicy taste that is particularly fitting for the season (and indeed flavours the ice cream on the food menu). Options range from classics for the seasoned whisky drinker through to lighter options for the uninitaited, plus other Christmas stalwarts such as mulled cider and eggnog will be available.
Scottish gin, a short but sweet wine list and a range of craft beers from Harviestoun Brewery also feature and if that’s not enough, there will also be Old Fashioneds on tapÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ literallyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ served from a cocktail draught system.
With food served up at large round reclaimed wood tables for 10-12 people (plus a banquet table for up to 30), D&S is all about getting stuck in and hanging out with your neighbours.
However, for those searching for their very own piece of highland hospitality, Dram & Smoke is also available to hire privately for a boisterous christmas banquet Ã¢â‚¬â€œ so you can say goodbye to festive soirÃƒÂ©es with floppy hats, stale ambience and boring food. Either way, this is the highland hideaway for seasonal scran, bevvy and a healthy dose of flumgummerie this December.
Venue: 2-3 Black Swan Yard
London, SE1 3XW
Nearest Transport: London Bridge
Price: -£45 per ticket (must be booked in advance)
– Welcome cocktail upon arrival
– 5 course tasting menu (vegetarian alternative available)
Tickets: Available via http://dramandsmoke.com/buy-tickets/
Opening Times: Running for 12 nights from 10th December:
Launch Weekend: Sat 10th / Sun 11th
Week 1: Tues 13th / Wed 14th / Thurs 15th / Sat 17th / Sun 18th
Week 2: Mon 19th / Tues 20th / Wed 21st / Thurs 22nd / Fri 23rd
Dinner Services: 7pm Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 10pm (bar open until late)
Sunday Sessions: 4pm Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 7pm (bar open until late)