Tag Archives: road trip

Gin and sausages in south London

7 Jul

Little Bird bottleLittle Bird signLittle Bird cocktails
By Andrea McVeigh

Both gin and south London are having a bit of a moment right now.  The city’s skyline south of the river was transformed when The Shard was completed in 2012 and when it opened to the public earlier this year, tourists started traipsing over London Bridge to Southwark.

With gin, the rise in boutique and craft distillers has helped to make it the trendy tipple du jour, but its growing popularity also rests on the fact that the big brands have been busy sponsoring TV programmes, festivals and vintage club nights and increasing its visibility.

So when two trends collide, the result, in this case, is one of the best little drinking spots in London.  The Saturday market at The Ropewalk at Maltby Street (www.maltby.st) in Bermondsey has been luring foodies away from Borough Market thanks to treats such as artisan chocolates and pulled pork brioches, seafood sliders and Monty’s Deli’s Jewish soul food.

With Union Jacks fluttering in the summer breeze and bunting hanging overhead, it’s the hipster in-the-know alternative to Borough Market’s mainstream touristy vibe.

If Maltby Street’s Ropewalk had an official drink, it would be Little Bird Gin.  On Saturdays, 11am somehow doesn’t seem too early to be sitting at an outside table, sipping a gin cocktail from mix-and-match vintage glasses at Little Bird’s pop-up bar.

Sharp yet smooth, this London Dry Gin – among other things, a London Gin doesn’t contain artificial colouring – has been distilled in small batches in London using botanicals such as grapefruit and orange to give it a clean and more rounded taste.

The fun lasts until the gin runs out, and you can choose from cocktails such as the divine Early Bird Martini (Little Bird, Seville orange marmalade, orange liqueur) or the refreshing A Bird on the Field (gin, London Fields Hackney Hopster beer, honey & ginger).

As well as picking up a bottle to bring home with you, a few stalls down from Little Bird’s bar you can find the guys from Honourable Sausages and their gin & ginger snorkers, made from rare breed, free range pork and Little Bird.

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Making Tracks Through Arizona

19 Sep

The rock 'n' roll Chevvy hire car

Every road trip must have a playlist.  Our rules are simple but strict – each song has to namecheck either the state/country or a city/town/place in that state/country.  No generic ‘on the road’ songs, Hit the Road Jack or American Pie or anything like that.  For American road trips, Route 66 mentions numerous locations, and for the ultimate cheat, there’s the fabulous Johnny Cash version of  I’ve Been Everywhere.  Driving from Tombstone, via Tucson and Phoenix to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, here’s what we listened to on our ultimate Arizona playlist.

The Eagles – Take it Easy (standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…)

Beatles – Get Back (Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona…)

Glen Campbell – By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Wilco – Hotel Arizona

Chuck Berry – Route 66 (Flagstaff, Arizona…)

Mark Lindsay – Arizona

Johnny Halliday – Monument Valley

Public Enemy – By The Time I Get To Arizona

Scorpions – Arizona

Steve Miller Band – Rock’n Me (I went from Phoenix, Arizona…)

Kings of Leon – Arizona

Marty Robins – Big Iron  (he was an Arizona ranger…)

Marty Robbins – Ride Cowboy Ride (Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff, Phoenix)

Waylon Jennings – Hey Willie (go back to Phoenix for a far brighter day…)

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Readymade (deep down in Arizona…)

The Coasters – Little Egypt (she had a picture of a cowboy tattooed on her spine, saying Phoenix, Arizona 1949…)

For official AZ tourism info visit: Arizona Tourism

We stayed in these hotels and we loved them:

Tuscon Westin La Paloma
Grand Canyon Plaza Resort
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale (Phoenix)
The Boulders Scottsdale (Phoenix)
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale (Phoenix)