There’s no better feelling than that of discovering a new favourite place when you weren’t looking for it. You’re walking down a road you’ve walked down a thousand times before, and then you noticed it. It looks nice and welcoming, so you push the door and get in.
And before you know it, you end up at that very place 3 nights a week, or more if you happen to have visitors/good excuses.
I have a feeling that’s what’s going to happen with me and The Vestry.
Previously a vestry within St. Sepulchre’s Parish, The Vestry is a new wave wine bar a stone’s throw away from Smithfield Market. And basically the perfect local.
It’s big enough so there’s always a table available for you but intimate enough to feel a bit like home. It’s beautifully decorated, with plenty of dark wood and charming retro touches. The staff is adorable. The drinks selection is on point. And so is the local-focused, seasonally-led menu.
And as if that wasn’t enough, The Vestry also hosts regular food & drink sampling evenings and masterclasses where you can meet their favourite suppliers.
Given that whiskey is one of my not-so-secret weaknesses (the clue’s in the name, really!), I simply had to make it to the Hudson Whiskey tasting, hosted by global brand ambassador Tony Vanaria.
From the wish to create a climbing ranch to opening New York state’s first post-Prohibition distillery via many a creative production techniques (including the fantastic ‘Sonic maturation’), Hudson Whiskey’s history is just fascinating.
One of the pioneer of the craft American whiskey wave, the brand takes pride in their rather unconventional roots, sourcing the best local ingredient and trial-and-error-ing their way to make the best whiskey.
And they’ve done rather well for themselves.
It all started with Hudson’s Baby Bourbon, the first New York-aged whiskey since Prohibition – and New York’s first bourbon ever. Made with 100% Empire State corn, it’s a Bourbon in all its glory. Sweet, woody, smoky, with mellow notes of vanilla and caramel.
Just the ticket for a state-of-the-art Old Fashioned!
Delightful also in a Hudson Big Apple cocktail. Super easy to make too: in a tall glass, pour 35ml of Hudson’s Baby Bourbon over ice. Top with cloudy apple juice and a few dashes of orange bitters. Garnish with an apple slice and voilà!
If you’re more of a Manhattan or a Sazerac kind of person, Hudson’s rustic and spicy Manhattan Rye will be right down your alley. This was my favourite and I can’t wait for my next trip to Gerry’s to add one of the brand’s adorable little bottles to my spirit collection!
There’s also a blended Bourbon, made using a unique four grain blend, and a few special blends making the most of some ‘happy accidents’.
If you’re not sure which one’s for you, I recommend you make a beeline for your local Young’s pub and try them all. Or better yet, go to The Vestry. And if you spot me in a corner acting as if I’d always lived there, come say hi!
A great local, a great drink & a new friend… doesn’t that sound neat?!