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Thursday 18 April 2013

Crown and Shuttle - 5cc - Beigel Bake

Saturday 13th - Shoreditch trip #4 got underway with a couple of drinks in Wigwambam with Natalie.  I'm quite proud of myself for revisiting somewhere from The List when I have so many places left to try out!  We tried their hot drinks - hot toddy, hot buttered rum and mulled cider - which all hit the spot, before moving off to the Crown and Shuttle round the corner. Wigwambam will be making way for Rooftop Film Club soon. Get booking for that if you are interested!

The Crown and Shuttle reopened its doors on 5th April so it had only been open a week when we visited.  It started off as a Victorian pub in 1865, but in the 1990s it became a shabby strip club which was eventually boarded up in 2001.  It looks fantastic now (retaining the original strippers pole for old times sake) and has a great selection of beers - in bottles, on tap and in barrels at the back.  There is also a lovely big garden with a food truck serving up a whole host of tasty treats.  It's a very handy place to start off a night in Shoreditch - you might find yourself still there several hours later.

The main event of the evening was a trip to another new pub, The Well and Bucket, which reopened a few weeks ago, 24 years after it shut it 1989.  Here too there is an exciting array of beers spread around an attractive central bar, but the crowds have already discovered it.  It was truly unpleasant just to be in there for a minute.  Luckily, a minute was all we needed because we weren't going to the pub itself.  We went straight downstairs to find the hidden cocktail bar, 5cc.

5cc felt like home after forcing through the pub crowds upstairs.  We had a table ready, jazz was playing in the background and waitresses were competing to serve us!  We were joined by Sam, Ali, Olly and James (on his List début).  There are some interesting bottled beers (we enjoyed local Crate Lager) but the cocktails are the reason to come.  The Last Word and Smokey Tommy particularly stood out of the ones we tried.  The 5cc barman passed Ali's mocktail test, making her a mojito-ish drink that was good enough to make her buy another.  There are also bottle-aged cocktails and vintage spirits available to try.  If you are peckish, you can order in some oysters.  Sam and I were tempted by one that was wrapped in bacon, creamed leeks and crushed hazelnuts, but we decided to hold off on food until a bit later.

We had a very relaxing stay, especially in comparison to our experience of the chaos upstairs.  It was amusing to see pub-goers discovering the bar by mistake on their way to the toilets, and trying to talk their way in for a quick drink.  I only managed to get a 2 hour slot having booked a few days in advance, so get organised if you want to stay there all evening.  There is another 5cc hidden beneath The Exmouth Arms if you don't have any luck booking in to the Shoreditch branch.

Ali, James and Olly headed off home leaving Sam, Natalie and I to search for food.  We started to wander towards Hawksmoor Spitalfields to sample the downstairs bar food, but we got distracted by Beigel Bake on the way.  Beigel Bake is a Brick Lane institution - this traditional Jewish bakery is open 24 hours a day, and is always busy with a mix of hipsters, taxi drivers and locals (who use it as a proper bakery rather than a late night food joint).  For ravenous hipsters, the best option is the enormous hot salt beef beigel with mustard.

Whilst queuing, you will inevitably order some of their pastries, especially when a doughnut is only 30p.  Natalie cleverly ordered a buttered beigel to pass the time until her other beigel was ready, whilst Sam devoured the Salmon and Cream Cheese variety in preparation for his.  I bought two puddings just because it seemed silly not to when everything is so cheap.  This should definitely be your first port of call when in need of late night food in Shoreditch.  You have to feel sorry for the empty Beigel shop next door though!

We walked down towards Liverpool Street to head home and briefly dropped in to The Breakfast Club on Artillery Lane.  We were too late to get in to The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town speakeasy downstairs through the giant fridge, but we stayed for some milkshakes and a sticky toffee pudding (my third dessert of the evening).  I will need to return for a proper brunch before I count this place as ticked off, and a trip through the fridge is also required.  The Breakfast Club can also be found in Hoxton, Angel and Soho.  I am very excited that they are opening a new branch in Battersea, complete with a hidden bar called The King of Ladies Man.  The name is apparently a famous line in 'Cheers' and the bar will have a 70s bachelors pad feel, serving up craft beers and disco drinks from midday until late.

Full of beigels and puddings, we parted company instead of continuing on to Sushisamba round the corner. Natalie picks up 4 more Team List points, Sam gets 3, and Olly, James and Ali pick up 1.  Every little helps! This puts Natalie in to a clear lead with 21 points so far, leaving behind Tim on 16 and Sam on 14. However,  I have been out since with Tim and Sam on separate occasions.  Can they overhaul Natalie's total?  Keep reading to find out!

Exciting popup alert: Midnight Apothecary - a rooftop cocktail bar on top of the Brunel museum in Rotherhithe open Saturdays and Sundays this Summer, starting on April 20th.

Square Meal


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