We’re whipping through the year at what seems like a crazy rate. So let’s slow down a little, grab a chair somewhere nice and savour the flavours of an exquisitely brewed kombucha. Not sure where to start? We’ve got a few recommendations for you…
Kombucha bars, pubs and restaurants – the best of April
Whole Foods Market (outlets across London) may seem like an obvious choice, but it just became a whole lot more interesting. Yep, Real Kombucha is now in stock across all of their stores, which means that the foodies have finally got something non-alcoholic that pairs superbly with the freshest produce. It’s what you’ve all been waiting for!
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Vinoteca (outlets across London) does all the good things right. They dedicate their energies towards creating enticing spots for wine, conversation and food. But how does a wine specialist cater to a crowd that’s drinking less? In this case, they’ve started serving kombucha – a real alternative to the usual non-alcoholic options, and something that demonstrates their sense of adventure.
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The Blue Boat (Fulham) is a great spot if you like gorgeous London sunsets over the water (who doesn’t?!) It’s dedicated to life on the water, so make sure you get there relatively early and secure yourself an outdoor table port or starboard. The pub is also a Fullers Kitchen, so it’s a top spot for a Sunday lunch – and if you’re on for a roast, we recommend the Smoke House.
We love Chard (Brighton) for its back story as much as its rustic simplicity. It’s a family-run business that grew out of a successful pop-up. Now with its own permanent location, they deliver food crafted with real love and care, with each of the dishes made from locally-sourced Sussex produce. You see? What’s not to love?
There are two branches of Bumpkin, although you’d be forgive for wishing there were more. We’ll start with the South Kensington restaurant, where you can wash down your very British fayre (Bumpkin pie made with ox cheek, anyone? Hold us back!) with a very moreish kombucha. From the dessert menu, we’re big fans of Adrian’s Choc Fudge Brownie – it pairs wonderfully with our Smoke House. That’s a hint, by the way.
You’ve been able to get Real Kombucha at The Botanist venues across the country for a few months now, but we’ve got our eye on The Canal House (Birmingham) this weekend for a couple of reasons. Firstly, various members of our team are slightly obsessed with Peaky Blinders, and The Canal House looks like it might have seen a Shelby Family member or two in its time. Secondly, they’ve got their very own festival. Head on down to the Waterfront Festival later this month, and grab yourself a booch while you’re at it. By order of the…
If you’re up in Cambridge and you’re after a healthy but hearty chowdown, head to Doppleganger Burger. They specialise in American diner food done the vegan way. With no less than seven vegan burgers on the menu, they’re a huge hit with the plant-based community, and the ideal spot to get your booch on over lunch.
We love somewhere that knows its art from its elbow, so we’ll take any opportunity to drop into Sketch (Mayfair, London), where you’re literally elbow to elbow with some truly mind-blowing pieces. If you’re not in a drinking mood as you take in this part gallery, part tea room, part wine bar establishment, you’ll be pleased to hear that they’re now serving a kombucha of real artistry. Not that we like to blow our own trumpets or anything…
One of London’s best-loved coffee shop chains now stocks one of its best-loved kombuchas. Yep, we’re talking about Notes, which now has establishments in Bond Street, Victoria, Bank, Gherkin, Kings Cross, Canary Wharf Crossrail, Canary Wharf Jubilee, Moorgate and Trafalgar Square. Just as you’re never far from a decent cup of Joe when you’re near a Notes, the same can now be said for a decent kombucha.
Regular readers of our blog will know that we’re all about offering non-alcoholic options to foodies who want something sophisticated to pair their food with. So you’ll understand why we’re so delighted when we find a restaurant that thinks along the same lines, just as the Felin Fach Griffin (near Hay On Wye) does. Some of their supper clubs look like the mother of all FOMO. Thank goodness they have bedrooms. We’ll see you there!
Spring is upon us and the booch is tasting amazing. It’s been a while since we did our last roundup of kombucha bars, and since then there’s been a booch explosion across the country. You’ll find Real Kombucha all over the place, so where to begin?! To answer that question, we thought we’d start a regular column rounding up some of the places you’ve simply got to go and get your booch on.
This week, our favourite kombucha spots include…
Duke of Sussex, Waterloo
Boasting one of the best beer gardens South of the river, but also one of the cosiest fireplaces should the weather stay wintry, we love The Duke of Sussex in Waterloo. As well as serving Real Kombucha, it has an amazing menu – most famous for its spit-roasted chicken, brined and marinated for 24 hours to hold the flavour. A perfect place to #RejoinTheParty if you’re not drinking.
Burger & Lobster (Harvey Nics), Knightsbridge
There is nothing quite like a B&L combo, served alongside a glass of Royal Flush. Bring your biggest belly – the combo is an amphibious beast of gargantuan proportions – but it’s well worth the prep. Any branch of Burger & Lobster will do, but for a touch of class, head to the Harvey Nichols restaurant in Knightsbridge. No reservations at weekends, but take your chances. It’s worth it.
The Tin Shed, Notting Hill
The perfect Sunday spot. Take a sunny morning stroll through Portobello Market and then make your way over to The Tin Shed, where cuteness and amazing all-day breakfasts reign supreme. Wash it all down with a glass of Dry Dragon and you’ll emerge sharp and sprightly from your boozeless brunch, ready to make the most of your day.
Wulf & Lamb, Chelsea
The next time someone tries to tell you that plant-based food is unadventurous, truss them up and cart them off to Wulf & Lamb. Their menu for “ferocious herbivores” ticks all the boxes required of a thorough and gratuitous graze, with comfort food to the fore. They’ve been serving Real Kombucha down on Pavilion Road for as long as we can remember. One of our faves.
Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone
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Now then. Time for some real luxury. If you’re up for a touch of snazz and fancy bumping shoulders with a few A-listers (see the Rami Malek post above), head to the award-winning bar at the Chiltern Firehouse. The garden area is gorgeous, but it’s the swanky, New York-esque interior that has jaws dropping, with its high ceilings, huge mirrors and hanging lights. Oh, and the kombucha is pretty spesh, too…
One Over the Ait, Brentford
Another great one for lazing the weekend away, One Over the Ait is a striking Fullers pub nestled just next to Kew Bridge with commanding views over the Thames. The food’s good (and the booch is unbelievable!) Get the right window-seat table and you could almost believe you were lounging riverside in subtropical climes.
The Nest, Bramley
Everyone loves an independent coffee shop, don’t they? We’re huge fans of The Nest, a great little spot in Bramley, Surrey, that serves Real Kombucha alongside its fluffy jacket potatoes. It has a great little kids play area, meaning that there’s decent respite for parents looking to read their morning papers in (relative) peace.
Bar Hercules, Soho
Straight back into central London, and this place is about as good as it gets if you’re on the hunt for a classy kombucha cocktail. Officially a “cocktail pub”, Hercules is known for its extraordinary selection and the seemingly unending limits of its imagination. Award-winning bar king, Charles Roche, may have something to do with the latter.
B&H Garden Room, Charing Cross
If you’re in the market for a boozeless brunch with a banging view, you’ll want to get yourself along to the B&H Garden Room by Bourne and Hollingsworth. Located 10 floors up, just behind the National Gallery, you can expect a rooftop bar with a brunch menu to die for. It doesn’t get much more #LivingMyBestLife than this! They don’t call it the Garden Room for nothing, either. Orange trees abound, and a river of booch floweth forth.
The Gallimaufry, Bristol
While most of the choices on this week’s list are kombucha bars in London, we wouldn’t want you to think we’re caged in by the M25. You can get Real Kombucha all over the country now (check out our nationwide booch map), and one of our favourite spots outside the capital is The Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road, Bristol. Great food, amazing live nights, and the best alcohol alternatives in town. Get on it!
Check back in the next few weeks for another selection of amazing kombucha bars, pubs and restaurants across the UK. Drop us a line via our social media channels (Insta, FB, Twitter) if you fancy making a suggestion.
Ever tried a night off the alcohol? If a good drink is part of your typical evening out, it’s not easy. Whether you’re a designated driver, pregnant, taking on a sober month or simply having a night off, the choices you’re left with are usually packed full of sugar or served with a straw. We’re not asking for the height of sophistication here, but something non-alcoholic and adult-oriented might be nice.
It’s for these reasons that we started brewing Real Kombucha, and for these reasons that we’re launching our Rejoin the Party campaign. We’ve been working with some pretty amazing pubs for some time – places like the Barworks Group that have noticed that people are drinking far less, far more consciously – and in the last couple of months we’ve partnered with Fullers and Laine’s, two huge pub chains that recognise the interests of what we call “The Modern Drinker”.
The Modern Drinker
Modern drinkers are not necessarily teetotal, but they are looking for an alternative to alcohol to suit those occasions when they fancy something different. They’re looking for something with that complex, fermented flavour; something with a bit of a bite; something that pours like an adult drink, and something that avoids the usual sweetness. They’re looking for something that they can drink comfortably all night – something that keeps the party interesting rather than bringing the evening to a close.
They’re also happy to live and let live. Any longterm non-drinker will tell you that there has been a peculiar tendency in this country to question any adult who walks into a pub and orders something other than alcohol. It seems that the UK is one of the few countries where you feel you have to apologise for not ordering an intoxicating substance! Thankfully, that’s changing. You’re far less likely to be asked “what’s wrong with you?” when ordering something non-alcoholic than you were even three or four years ago. Behaviours are shifting. People are changing the way they drink, in part because we’re more open-minded to different lifestyles, and partly because the options are opening up.
Rejoin the Party
Here’s what Mr Real Kombucha (David Begg) has to say on the matter.
“With as many as three pubs closing every day in this country, and almost 30% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 claiming to be teetotal, it’s easy to see that the Modern Drinker is looking for a wider range of options. That’s why we’re so pleased to be working with these amazing pub groups who recognise how quickly drinking behaviour is changing in this country, and are adapting accordingly. Non-drinkers have been excluded from the party for too long. We’re here to throw the pub doors open and let people know: the great British pub has listened. Everyone is welcome!”
So how can you get involved and help people feel more confident about changing their drinking behaviour?
Well, firstly, take a look at our Rejoin the Party page. You’ll find all the info you to help you find a pub that now caters to the Modern Drinker by serving Real Kombucha. You’ll also find a section that celebrates how you’re changing the way you drink. Tag your Instagram photos with #RejoinTheParty and we’ll share them with the world.
Other than that, sharing this page with your friends and family would be a great start. The more people that know the options are out there, the better. You’ll find us by clicking on this Facebook link, this Twitter link, this Instagram link and this LinkedIn link (because office parties need non-alcoholic options, too!)
We’re looking forward to seeing you out there.
As London Cocktail Week comes into focus, kombucha cocktails are really grabbing the attention. Mixologists all over the country are starting to realise just how well the acidity in this amazing fermented drink binds their flavours together, whether they’re making something more traditionally punchy, a low ABV cocktail, or even something to serve the growing number of people choosing not to drink alcohol. (more…)
It’s wonderful to be able to announce that Real Kombucha is now available in some of the best restaurants, bars and hotels in Brighton. We’ve been keen to find a way into the legendary seaside resort for some time, and – to be honest – we had assumed that somebody else may well have booched Brighton before us. (more…)