Summer was in the air and a spring in my step as I set off to meet Ginnie for a Quirky London inspired catch-up. Now that she’s a fully fledged Londoner we decided it was about time we delved a little deeper into her new neighbourhood to see what weird and wonderful places we were missing out on. We wandered through the sun streaked streets barely pausing for breath as we chatted away and hardly noticing the ominous dark grey clouds forming above us. Ginnie felt the fist raindrop and it wasn’t long before the heavens opened and rain began to lash down on us. As we scanned the bars and cafes for the perfect spot to take refuge our eyes were drawn to a colorful sign across the road that simply read ‘The Toy Shop.’ We decided to make a dash for it.
On entering we noticed a bar with an array of unusual objects hanging on the walls above. On further inspection we realised that dotted all around were quirky decorations associated with childhood play time.
Relieved to discover they served food we headed up two flights of stairs and onto the Terrace Bistro where we could appreciate the Summer rain in comfort surrounded by colorful flowers and palm trees.
We decided cocktails would be a great substitute for the sunshine so we immediately ordered two. I tried Moopy’s Milkbottle, a refreshing blend of raspberry infused vodka, lychee, pomegranate and ginger ale reduction. Ginnie went for The Watermelon Summer Punch, TTS blended rum served with fresh watermelon, apple, elderflower cordial, a dash of citrus & a toasted marshmallow. Yummy!
After a look at the menu we decided to share starters of Calamari with sea salt and aioli and the Mozarella and pesto risotto balls with a tomato ragu sauce. The Calamari was perfectly light and crispy and the risotto balls were oozing mozarella and perfectly complimented by the tangy tomato sauce. Delicious!
Next Ginnie chose the Lemon and thyme chicken breast Pancetta, crushed potatoes, sun dried tomato pesto while I went for the Atlantic shrimp skewers, Saffron risotto, Mango salad, smoked paprika aioli. Both dishes were superb but the risotto may just have stolen the show, Ginnie’s fork regularly wandering over to my plate during the meal.
As we made our way downstairs we came to the conclusion that it would be silly of us to not to have one more cocktail for the road so decided to have another peak at the menu. At this point Jamie, the friendly owner, popped behind the bar to relieve our indecisiveness with some of his recommendations. He quickly poured his heart into making a couple of his favourite cocktails for us. As we got chatting he gave us a deeper insight into his vision for the bar explaining that he wants Toy Shop to be more than just another gimmicky bar but instead somewhere where you can relax with friends over some genuinely great food and drinks. If you pay a visit we think you’ll agree with us that he has excelled in his mission.
Soon the cocktails were ready and we sat down to try them. The Raspberry Sherbet Cobbler a perect mix of vodka, or aged bourbon, raspberries, a dash of mint & a cheeky drizzle of red but if I was forced to pick a favourite it would be Tropical Swizzle Dizzle- a delightful mixture of rum and passionfruit with half a passionfruit balanced on top filled with popping candy and a Prosecco foam. Truly a delight for the eyes and the senses!
Just when we thought the excitement was over the waiter turned up with a treat for us !
The Toy Shop is open until 11pm on week nights and 2am on Friday and Saturdays so there’s no excuse not to stay up past your bed time!