Dry January is approaching again, but it shouldn’t be a punishment for your overly indulgent drinking this holiday season. Because let’s face it, with another year of Brexit fighting at the dinner table, we all will need a drink to get through it. Or three.
Once the holiday season is over, however, it may be the perfect time to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol, especially as the trend for non-alcoholic beverages continues to grow in the UK. Research has shown that 58% of Brits are drinking more no and low alcohol than ever before.
But just because you decide to decrease your alcohol consumption doesn’t mean you have to stop going out to nice restaurants or having luxurious drinks paired with your meal. Restaurants in London are starting to offer not only alcohol-free options, but non-alcohol pairings to go with your prix fixe dinner as well.
We’ve rounded up six restaurants in London that offer exciting non-alcohol pairings with their menus – because everyone should be able to have all the fancy food pairing fun.
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-CARROT SODA- By lacto-fermenting left-over carrot pulp to make our carrot drink, the flavour develops more of a zing, creating a slight citrus element. Pair the soda with our sand carrot + pickled wild carrot dish and you’ll see the limitless, diverse flavours that can be created from the one source/ingredient by using different techniques…
Flat Three is a Japanese-Scandinavian inspired restaurant which believes in an artisanal approach to cooking. The restaurant offers a juice pairing menu which serves their homemade non-alcoholic drinks of juices and kombuchas. They use foraged ingredients found in abundance naturally so their drinks change with the seasons. In order to decrease their food waste, they also incorporate all parts of their ingredients like fruit pulp, pit, and skin which creates rich and flavourful drinks.
Their menu offers a five-course meal which can be paired with an alcoholic or non-alcohol option. The non-alcoholic pairing is an additional £22 in comparison to £45 for the alcoholic pairing. Each dish out of the 5 courses is served with a juice or kombucha to compliment the flavours of the food. However, the juices and kombuchas are also available to try individually if you choose to order a la carte instead.
Club Gascon is a Michelin starred restaurant offering creative dishes originating from the South of France. In 2017 the restaurant started to notice a decline in people drinking wine, especially around lunchtime so they introduced a tea pairing to go with their fixed menu. Tea sales in the restaurant quickly rose by 400%.
They offer a five or a seven-course tasting menu for both lunch and dinner. A tea pairing is an additional £15.
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We offer a tea pairing alongside our soft pairing and wine pairing. Unique, hand-processed teas from small farms are served at ambient temperature in crystal glassware. The tannins and wide spectrum of flavours in tea make it an ideal accompaniment to our menu. Ask to try one of them next time you visit. Shown here from a tasting with @rareteacompany are, from left to right, Italian Cherry Blossom, Vietnamese Spring, New Zealand Waikato Black, New Zealand Waikato Oolong and White Petal Tea from India and Spain. Visit The Clove Club at 380 Old Street, Shoreditch, London. ______________________________ @its_isaac @postcardteas #thecloveclub #isaacmchale #shoreditch #london #fiftybest #michelinstar #finefood #tea #finetea
Clove Club is an informal and relaxed restaurant that serves elegant dishes. Their tasting menu incorporates international ideas with the best produce from around the British Isles. They offer a “soft pairing” option with their tasting menu which includes juices, teas, nut milks, and infusions. They also serve an ambient tea pairing option which uses a selection of some of the world’s finest cold-brewed teas.
In addition to other fine dining restaurants like Fat Duck, La Gavroche and Nathan Outlaw, Clove Club serves Real Kombucha, a popular non-alcoholic “flight” stocked at 60 Michelin-starred restaurants. They also serve Nine Elms, a non-alcoholic red wine-like drink and the first in a range of non-alcoholic drinks specifically designed to complement good food.
Clove Club’s tasting menu includes a nine-course, six-course, and a four-course lunch option. All of these can be paired with wine for an additional price. A soft pairing or ambient tea with your choice of tasting menu is an additional £50.
Alexis Gauthier is a vegan chef renowned for his plant-based dishes. His restaurant Gauthier Soho is currently on the path to becoming entirely vegan as well. The restaurant, while located in a townhouse in SOHO, has a fine dining atmosphere with an emphasis on using the senses both to cook and when eating.
The restaurant first started incorporating tea into their menu when Lalani and Co reached out to them about listing their brand of teas on the menu. This gave Gauthier the idea to pair his dishes with teas. Now the restaurant provides a full tea pairing service as a non-alcoholic option for their tasting menu. The tasting menu is £80 and the tea pairing is an additional £10.
Frog by Adam Handling, Covenant Garden
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Happy Friday! Who's joining us this weekend? Here's a beautiful shot of our 'Salt-aged duck, peach, wild herbs', which is available on our current menu. To book your table, email: [email protected] or call 0207 199 8370 (📸@emilysenglishwines) #onthemenu #frogbyadamhandling
Located above Handling’s Eve Bar, Frog by Adam Handling in Covenant Garden offers a tasting menu with the option for a non-alcoholic pairing. The restaurant focuses on creating intense flavours and uses the highest quality seasonal ingredients in ways that allow the natural flavour to shine and be creatively paired.
They offer two different tasting menus, Adam’s tasting menu for £96 or the five-course meal for £65. Each also has a vegetarian menu option. For Adam’s menu non-alcoholic cocktails can be included for an additional £40 and for the five-course menu the non-alcoholic cocktails are available for £30. The non-alcoholic drinks are concocted below in Eve’s Bar where they prioritize great taste over theatrics.
Angler is a Michelin starred Seafood restaurant which only uses seasonal and carefully sourced produce in their meals. Angler also participates in Dry January with a non-alcoholic pairing menu in partnership with Seedlip, the creators of the worlds first non-alcoholic distilled spirit.
For Dry January the executive chef, Gary Foulkes, creates a three-course pairing menu featuring classic dishes from the restaurant and alcohol-free cocktails to complement the flavours of the food. The menu is only available from the 7th of January until the 15th of February and is £50 per person.
Honourable Mention: Redemption Bar
While they don’t specifically do non-alcoholic drink pairings, Redemption doesn’t serve alcohol at all. In fact, they also are gluten-free, vegan, and free of all added sugars. The restaurant was started by two female entrepreneurs who didn’t want socializing to come at the cost of your health.
The restaurant is home to the world’s first alcohol- free cocktail bar at Seven Dials Market. The bar serves kombucha on tap and alcohol-free beer, wines, and spirits. Due to a recent partnership with Seedlip, their new location in Notting Hill also offers their own alcohol-free cocktails using Seedlip distilled spirits.
Just because Dry January is approaching doesn’t mean you have to stay at home and knit. The increasing choice of non-alcoholic pairings makes fine dining experiences possible for everyone, whether you want to give your body a break from booze or don’t drink at all.
Written by Megan Forsythe