Published on July 12, 2016 | by Alastair Gilmour0
Bottled: a merrier world
First impressions are that the outdoor benches area great way of taking in the impressive waterloo Square, a city breathing space. Large windows open up continental-style to welcome what summer weather we’ll be granted. Huge industrial cable spools – which look particularly impressive and sculptural when sanded down – serve as tables and vertical drinking spots. The interior timber theme shouts rustic and warmth from floor to walls to counter, tempered by swaths of exposed brickwork. It feels good. The pub divides into two distinct areas (three if you count sitting at the bar) where dining and drinking meet cocktail lounge with an upright piano, sink-into wing-back leather chairs and table skittles. The furniture throughout is of varying styles and vintages.
A monochrome mural and a painting, both by F Styles, set the beer theme with a quote from and portrait of JRR Tolkein: “If lots of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world”. The painting – at first seeming abstract – unravels into beer’s ingredients, water, barley, hops and yeast. All around are shelves and fridges stacked with bottles with a full wall of keg taps behind the bar and a line-up of handpulls and more taps on the counter. A window into the cellar satisfies the more curious drinker. Entertainment-wise there are regular live music and comedy nights plus pull-down screens for significant sporting events.
It’s a place for complete sessions, quiet assignations and partying groups alike and one element in a terrific tour of distinctive pubs. All aboard for the Bottle Shop & Kitchen, The Globe, The Bodega, Tilleys Bar, The Forth and The Town Wall.
Think different, think exciting, think contemporary-plus. Too many beers to cherrypick but let’s home in on The Kernel Table Beer (3.2% abv), Burning Sky Plateau (3.5% abv) and Ahab Lapsang Souchong Stout (5.1% abv), a collaboration between Quilliam Brothers Tea House and Errant Brewery.
Mains include buttermilk chicken fillet, garlic mayo, brioche, chips (£9.00). Classic 7oz steak and ale burger, baby gem, tomato, honey and thyme melted onions, bacon smoked or blue cheese, stottie, chips (£9.00). Plus Sunday lunches (including pan-fried salmon, lime butter, the whole caboodle, £9.00).