Pint Shop – Cambridge

MEAT. BREAD. BEER. Is the Pint Shop slogan, but (and it’s a big but) do these guys do gin my the barrel load too. Set in the heart of Cambridge (near Jamie’s if anyone wants a specific landmark to work with), The Pint Shop offers shoppers and general wanderer-arounders a little escape and a well-earned gin break. The ethos of this place harks back to the 1830’s but throws in a thoroughly modern twist and a local feel.

I sat back with my deliciously sweet Quince & Ginger gin (£7.50), whilst Mr 5 O’Clock opted for a pint of Organic Pure Brew – Sam Smiths (£4.80). Most of the customers seemed fairly local (you can tell the Cambridge crowd), but definitely all varied.

Lunch was pretty good, the menu has pretty much something for everyone, but the dessert was amazing! I devoured a gin and mango sorbet (which looked like an egg yolk sitting in water), this was truly delicious and so ginny.

If you’re a gin (ok or beer) fan, then I can’t recommend The Pint Shop enough, lovely staff, great food and gin. Come on, what more do you need?

The Pint Shop, 10 Peas Hill, Cambridge CB2 3PN

Boro Bistro

Trawling slowly through the hustle and bustle of Borough Market, I chanced upon this little place tucked away in a little corner. Boro Bistro is as cute and quirky as they come, set lower than the street above with views to The Shard, but still somewhat tranquil especially being next door to Southwark Cathedral.

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As finally it felt like a hint of summer we sat outside to soak up the rays, whilst listening to the cool, Ibiza style chill-out music they had playing. Obviously nothing but a Cotes de Provence rose and my oversized sunglasses would do at this point. The atmosphere is laid-back, and just my style! Gorgeous decor, using old tin baths as flower beds, and metal bed frames as sofas. The loos are interesting too (but I’ll leave that for you to discover) 🙂

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The food is mostly tapas style, again THIS IS SO ME, and the plates and cutlery are a mish-mash but it works. Pictured below is asparagus with a goji berry tapenade and toasted almonds.

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I wager that this will indeed end up being my local London haunt… Except, hmm.. how to put this. There’s a corner in front of where I was sitting, casually people watching, and in the hour or so I was there, I saw three people trip over and one person drop his jar of whatever he bought from the market. There’s definitely something ‘interesting’ about that corner! By the time we left the place had filled up and the clouds now were rolling in – time to go, but I’m already thinking of my next visit.

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Boro Bistro, 6-10 Borough High Street, Bankchambers, Montagne Close, London SE1 9QQ

Tastebuds Tingled at Tusk

Set in the ever popular Northern Quarter in Manchester sits an African themed bar (obvs), Tusk. The intimate bar plays fab music and its interiors include zebra heads and safari hats on the wall (without being naff).

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But forget all that, the thing about this place is the drinks. The cocktail menu is animal based (as in animal named, not animals in the drinks).
The menu is broken down to: Pride of the Pack, which includes The Tiger, The Lion, The Sex-Panther to name a few, then onto: Flying High, The Flamingo, The Albatross etc., and finally Back on Land: The Black Mamba, The Silverback, The Squirrel Monkey, and more.

Now, I have something to tell you. This is pretty big news for me, but I may of possibly had the best cocktail I have ever had in my WHOLE LIFE. And I’ve had a few.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present The Leopard.

Described on the menu as ‘Sleek and graceful with a fiery bite, this combines chilli infused rum, coconut and guava’. Whilst, shaking his stuff, the cocktail guy stopped and asked me to have a little taste to see if it was hot enough. Yep, yep it was defiantly hot enough, I wasn’t sure how I would drink the whole thing without asking for a glass of milk. But after the first and second sip of my cocktail, I found it to be the most devilishly delightful drink I’ve had. The drink became less spicy, that or my mouth had numbed up so much, I couldn’t tell the difference and I didn’t care. If you are in need of a little warm pick-me-up, forget chicken noodle soup and head up to Tusk and try a Leopard. I dare you.