Is there anything more Scottish than Burns night? Bagpipers, haggis, and readings of Robert Burn’s famous poems usually make up a traditional supper. Luckily, for London-based Scots, there are many options for where to spend January 25th. Skylight Rooftop Bar, Docklands tobaccodocklondon.com/skylight/ London’s rooftop ice skating rink and bar is organising an alternate Burns night
65A Brushfield St, London, E1 6AA
020 7101 0093
Backing onto Spitalfields Market, Blixen is a Victorian bank turned into a European grand café with a twist. The perfect spot for a lunch meeting with Wi-Fi and power points available in amongst the comfy booths.
A bit of background:
Opened in 2015, Blixen has become a mainstay in Spitalfields (and on Londoners’ Instagram feeds) with its dreamy dining space and conservatory paired with colourful and vibrant food. This was the first restaurant from owners Clive and Penny Watson, and after a history of refurbishing pubs around London, their extensive experience comes through in this East End haven.
The menu is full of inventive dishes with influences from all corners of the globe. Here, you’ll find a beef burger listed against a bao bun bhaji – in other words, there’s something for everyone. The menu also features the option to choose a small or large portion, so you can order a few big dishes to share, or enjoy them all to yourself.
When we visited, we decided on the chimichirri spiced ricotta, where the soft ricotta and crispy nduja filo pastry contrasted nicely on the plate. We weren’t disappointed on taste either, with pops of fresh tomato and crunchy pine nuts tying the dish together beautifully.
For our main dishes, we opted for two very different offerings – the crispy gnocchi and the aforementioned bao bun bhaji burger. The gnocchi boasted decadence all the way, thanks to the truffle running through the delightfully cheesy sauce.
The bao bun burger was a creative addition to our menu, with the bun surprisingly crispy and the spicy bhaji balanced beautifully by the tomato and onion chutney. Both of the plates offered great portion sizes, enough to be satisfied but safe in the knowledge you won’t be put into a food coma when you’re back in the office.
To pair with the food, we resisted the cocktail menu and picked the fresh house sodas, choosing from flavours like pineapple, mint, pink grapefruit and thyme. The cocktail list reflected the international influence with the Sake Puppy with orange bitters, or the Levante with tequila, turmeric and a cayenne pepper kick sounding delicious.
We unfortunately didn’t have time for dessert, however the warm banana pudding with chocolate sauce and ginger ice-cream sounded like heaven on a plate! If your team has the time, definitely make sure you save room for pudding.
The venue is a drawcard here, as there is a space to suit every occasion. The grandeur of the dining room, where high ceilings, gold accents, marble and warm lighting make for an impressive spot to wine and dine. If you’ve booked a table for a weekday lunch with your team, however, the conservatory is the way to go. It’s light and airy, with plants hanging from the ceiling, the walls and by the tables: a veritable oasis of tropical greenery. Paired with the mismatched chairs and tables of various sizes, the vibe in this area is laid-back.
We chose a table along the windows facing the hustle and bustle of the markets. During our visit, only a handful of tables were occupied around us, so you could definitely host a long meeting without needing to rush.
Blixen is a great location for a relaxed and informal team meeting, with friendly and attentive staff and a menu that spans continents.
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