EXPLORE THE WORLD OF HOXLEY AND PORTER – SEPTEMBER 2013
Coming soon to Angel, a cocktail and dining adventure, which is a cut above. Far-flung drinks and fine British fayre, by Hoxley and Porter.
Away from the everyday bustle of the N1 street the train conductor will usher you to your seat to prepare the senses for the journey ahead – a mythical steam express from Cape to Cairo.
From this opulent train carriage – a cocoon of warm turquoise and gold, mythological art concealing secret codes, shadowy foliage – Hoxley and Porter forks into two distinct experiences where dark and light vie for attention.
Created by Michaela Reysenn’s Kai Design, its interior brings together the flavours of Victorian gentlemen’s clubs, Colonial Poirot, Egyptian noir, and surrealist jungles.
The influence of namesake ‘Hoxley’ – an intrepid explorer who has broken away from his genteel English roots to discover the mysteries of Africa – is most evident in the Dining Carriage. Guests are welcomed by floods of natural light through leaded glass, wicker seating and gilt-edged tableware. But never far from the surface, a darker undercurrent – the wilds of frontier entertaining, a sharp wit – shows up in roughly textured woods and dark down lighting.
The cocktail bar delves into the enigma of ‘Porter’, a diamond so exquisite that since its discovery in 1880, has inspired riches, ruin and royalty. With textures of intricate gold leaf, dark teak and geometric motifs, this space evokes lost kingdoms; the glittering of treasure and the foreboding of curses.
Bespoke wallpaper by Kai Design and Arm and Eye Creative Agency creates statement artwork: a collage of diamonds, scarab motifs, flora and fauna; both the deadly and the beautiful. Table service allows you to sink back into leather booths or perch amongst the shadows, where lighting twinkles and tables zigzag, to absorb and await.
Heading up the bar team, Michael Pendergast brings together an appreciation of seasonal and home-crafted ingredients, honed at Powder Keg Diplomacy, with nods to ancient cultures and exotic flavours – and presented with a theatrical flourish or two. A sneak preview of the signature cocktails reveals:
- Caribbean inception: ‘the thinking man’s bandana daiquiri’, with fried plantain fat-washed gold rum, lime juice, a touch of overproof white rum, molasses syrup
- Thyme of gentility: ‘a combination of classic gin and rum cocktail ingredients – refreshing and summery’. Mixes Millers gin, homemade falernum, lemon, fresh lemon thyme. Served long with a fresh thyme flourish
- Whatever doesn’t kill you: garnished with an absinthe-coated scorpion which changes colour, from blue to bright purple…need we say more!
Diners can expect a modern British affair; traditional cuts of meat and fresh in-seasonal vegetables, served with all the flair and charm Hoxley would demand. Signature dishes include:
- Crisp cider-braised pork belly accompanied by glazed baby vegetables, parsnip puree and fondant potatoes
- Pot roasted rabbit with herb-baked butternut squash and crispy bacon
- Saint Clements pie: Hoxley’s take on the key lime classic; a creamy dessert infused with tangy lemon and sweet oranges
With 28 covers, daytimes cater for brunches, business lunches and family groups while evenings will evolve from dinner service to late night private gatherings.
A few lucky drinkers (who can be counted upon for utmost discretion) will be whisked down into The Crypt, a flavour laboratory where Michael and the team conjure up many of Hoxley and Porters own ingredients such as ginger ale…and those edible scorpions!
Hoxley and Porter is the vision of bar operator Costa Tofan who comments: ‘We wanted to bring something unique and fresh to Islington – at Hoxley and Porter you’ll find inspiring drinks, fine food and the space to appreciate great company. We have created somewhere you can stay all night and get lost in the story, somewhere you can come back to time and again and discover new elements to your surroundings.’
Hoxley and Porter soft launches at the beginning of September.
Location: 153 Upper Street, N1 1RA
Keep up to date on Hoxley and Porter news at @HoxleyandPorter - two lucky people will be picked on twitter and snuck into the opening party……