I have a Love-Hate relationship with my flat. I love it but I hate the four floors I have to climb to get into it. A spiral staircase, at night, after some merriment is a challenge. You think you’ve made it and then you realise there is ONE MORE FLOOR.
My flat is a garret on one of the prettiest roads in central London. It’s a Victorian block on a road lined with interior design shops, there’s a farmers market on a Saturday and a few good pubs right on my doorstep. I have a tin roof and triple height windows throughout. I’ve also got some great neighbours – as London gets more anonymous, I take comfort in the fact I know my neighbours and they know me.
I ended up here by accident – a series of unfortunate break-ups and house moves meant I had to find something quick and immediate. This flat fell into my lap. But unknown to me at the time, I have history here… quite a bit.
While my dad was ill we talked about his time in London, my time in London and then he casually dropped in that he managed the Victoria Wine shop on Ebury Street. That’s the street that runs parallel to mine. The street that I can see (in winter when the leaves are gone) from the desk I am typing this on. And if I crane my neck, I can see the shop my father used to work in (now an estate agent).
In the summer, this flat gets hot…. very hot, so I take to the balcony (really an open staircase) to drink in the view and drink something to cool me down. It’s often too hot for wine, way too hot for cocktails and unfortunately I’m not a great beer drinker… so I created this cooler to slake my thirst.
It’s a long drink, made of three simple ingredients which together produce an earthy, elegant and crisp cooler that takes seconds to make and a good while to drink. Perfect for those long summer evenings (or those shorter winter ones).
So this is The Belgravia – my tribute to the area that has been so good to me for a decade.
Music to listen to while making this cocktail: ‘Don’t let me down, gently’ by The Wonder Stuff
- 50ml Bourbon
- 150ml Tonic water (don’t use slimline, it’s artificially sweet and ruins the balance of the drink)
- 3 large sprigs of mint (plus one for decoration)
- In a shaker, muddle the mint and the bourbon.
- Shake with a heap of ice.
- Strain into a tumbler filled with ice, add your tonic and gently stir.
- Garnish with mint