I have never really been impressed with Scottish cuisine. This wasn’t based on actual experience, per se, but on the smell of the boil-in-the-bag haggis my mother used to make for my dad, and the Scots’ reputation for deep-frying things that shouldn’t be deep-fried.
But now I do have actual experience, because on Monday I visited Dram & Smoke, the nomadic Scottish supper club that has settled, just briefly, in London Bridge in the run-up to Christmas. And it turns out I knew absolutely DIDDLY SQUAT about the fine food of our friends in the north.
But it isn’t just the food. Dram & Smoke are all about creating the full experience – they don’t just chuck a haggis at you and send you on your merry way. There are big communal tables, tartan blankets and whisky cocktails from The Naked Grouse, who are doing the bevvies. There’s an open kitchen staffed with heavily bearded Scots wielding ladles and churning out wave after wave of really top-notch scran. And there’s live music, too, from a beatboxing bloke doing folksy covers with the aid of a drum kit, a guitar and a harmonica. Everyone was on their feet having a bop at the end and, for the first time ever, I quite fancied the idea of having a wedding. Harmonica dude would smash a wedding.
Like all the best supper clubs, we rolled out barely able to stand. There are five courses and none of them are in the slightest bit wee. There’s a lot of game – partridge to begin, served with pear (geddit?), and a dreamy venison pie, beefed up with bone marrow and served with homemade cranberry sauce. There’s a chocolate chestnut brownie with Naked Grouse whisky ice cream (!), gin-cured salmon and an extraordinary spiced pumpkin soup with battered Brussels and a big dish of haggis crumb to sprinkle on top. I thought the latter was going to be a bit grim but chucked in a handful anyway, and it turned out to be MAGIC DUST. Meaty magic dust from the chilly north. Think croutons, but bad-ass. (Although, it meaty magic dust isn’t your jam, there are vegetarian options too.)
You get to eat all of that, by the way. Bring your stretchy pants (and your dancing shoes).
Tickets are available for about half the dates up to the 23rd December, but I have also a pair of tickets, worth £90, to give away for anyone who’s still in town and wants in on a really, really bloody good night on Thursday 22nd December. Just enter via Rafflecopter below.
The small print:
1. Competition open to over-18s only.
2. Competition is not open to employees of this outlet or of The Edrington Group or Maxxium UK Ltd, their families, agents and agencies and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.
3. The competition closes at 11:59pm on Monday 19th December. The winner will be chosen at random and announced no later than midday on Tuesday 20th December.
4. The prize includes two tickets to Smoke & Dram’s supper club on Thursday 22nd December, including a Naked Grouse welcome cocktail and five courses. Winner must be available on specified date, or prize will be revoked.
5. No cash alternative.
6. By entering this competition you agree to be added to Dram & Smoke’s mailing list.
Author: Emily Gibson
Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and
glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in Islington and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.