City of London based, Boisdale of Bishopsgate has discovered that the beautiful vaulted cellars in Swedeland Court in which it operates were built in the mid-seventeenth century possibly before the great fire of London in 1666 making it the oldest London building with restaurant premises.
This unexpected discovery spurred general manager Ines Jankowska and head mixologist Anna Zacharewicz to look into the types of drinks customers would have enjoyed prior and around 1731 when James Ashley, a 33-year-old “wholesale dealer in cheese,” abandoned his line of work to open The London Punch-House on the north side of Ludgate Hill and promptly became the first British celebrity mixologist. Cocktails really do have a rich and vibrant history. Gin was the go-to spirit of the time and it was usually mixed with sugar, nutmeg and the juice or rinds of citrus and served in a form of punch or shrub. Ines and Anna’s research resulted in new additions to the Boisdale cocktail list – Gin Crusta, London Milk Punch, Marylebone Old Fashioned and City of London Distillery Gin & Double Dutch tonic. I was invited to try a cocktail as a guest of the restaurant bar and went for the Marylebone Old Fashioned and my guest went for the crusta. They were great quality cocktails, with balanced quality ingredients used and most certainly worth trying in fact members of the public can get THREE cocktails for the price of one by quoting “Is this the oldest restaurant on London?” (terms and conditions apply)*. Since I haven’t tried every gin cocktail in London I can’t say for sure whether they’re the best but they were definitely some of the best ones I have tasted recently so I would recommend giving them a try.
And can we be absolutely certain that Boisdale of Bishopsgate is definitely the oldest restaurant in London? “We have always known that the stunning panelled arched brick cellar in which we created Boisdale of Bishopsgate was very special and we are truly delighted to have been able to confirm its extraordinary antiquity. Whether or not it is the oldest building in which a restaurant operates in London is not absolutely clear, but for the time being we will claim that it is!” – Ranald Macdonald Proprietor.
*Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Three cocktails for the price of one. The offer cannot be claimed twice in one day and is subject to availability. Cocktails: Gin Crusta (£12), London Milk Punch (£12), Marylebone Old Fashioned (£13) and City of London Distillery Gin & Double Dutch (£11.90) until Monday 16th September (Monday to Friday 6pm – 8pm).
This is not a sponsored post, cocktails were gifted to review.